Hoxton play area opens gates amid demolition fear

Whitmore primary school pupils launch balloons in the playground

Whitmore primary school pupils launch balloons in the playground - Credit: Archant

A brand new £40,000 playground with a custom-designed treehouse, teepee and willow groves has opened at Whitmore School – but could be demolished along with the whole school if plans go ahead to establish a secondary school there.

The infants’ playground at Whitmore Primary School in Bridport Place, Hoxton, was launched on Tuesday.

Head of business at the school, Liz Gillen, said: “The weather was wonderful – the children all had balloons which they set off into the sky, and the headteacher cut the ribbon with one of the children.

“The parents and children stayed all day – they were really excited. There was also African drumming and circus skills going on.”

But parents were told in February by the head of Hackney Learning Trust, Anne Canning, that a shortage of 180 secondary school places from September 2017 means a new school is needed. The only feasible sites they can identify in the borough are both by Shoreditch Park – Britannia Leisure Centre and the “outstanding” primary.

But the Hyde Road sports centre is already earmarked as one of five potential sites in the area needed for a ventilation shaft for Crossrail 2. That means even if a school is approved on that site, the rail project’s need would come first, leaving education bosses with no choice but to build on the Whitmore site instead.

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter