Building work at the forthcoming St Mary Magdalene school in Greenwich has moved forward quite speedily in recent months with much of the building frame now evident.
The school will have 1,646 pupils and approximately 200 staff with a 26-place nursery, a 420 pupil primary school, 900-place secondary school and 300-place sixth form.
The plan for a large school at the site has had a difficult gestation in large part due to its location. A petition was raised against the scheme and delays have beset the scheme.
The site is surrounded by dual carriageways and access is poor from some directions. Giant roundabouts abound and pedestrians are expected to embark upon long detours to cross roads.
Pollution concerns have also been raised as the school is close to the both the Blackwall and proposed Silvertown tunnels. A nearby gasholder and exclusion zone also concerned some locals.
There is little evidence of new crossings being placed on busy roads surrounding the site.
It’s a few metres away from previously covered poor pedestrian routes and crossings by retail parks, both existing and forthcoming. Students and staff heading to McDonald’s and places like Asda, with its hot food counter, will be using this to cross Bugsby’s Way:
There was some confusion over who managed roads in the area, dating back 20 years to the Millenium Dome’s construction. It’s been clarified that TfL only manage the Blackwall tunnel and approach (A102) along with the busway lane. All other roads, including Bugsby’s Way, Peartree Way, John Harrison Way and Millenium Way are managed by Greenwich Council.
More housing is being built in the area at Greenwich Millennium Village.
Will the wider area become pedestrian friendly any time soon? The large number of developments in the area have brought much money into council coffers. Central government have also match-funded home building across the borough to the tune of £13.7 million this year, and £54 million since 2011/12 through the New Home Bonus scheme.
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