The Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Ark have recently submitted a planning application for the redevelopment of the Underhill Stadium site on Barnet Lane, Barnet, EN5. The plans are for the development of Underhill Stadium to create the new Ark Pioneer Academy. The proposed academy will be a non-selective, non-denominational and mixed-gender all-through school and will include a nursery, primary school, secondary school, sixth form and sports facilities.
The plans include:
- A new, modern educational facility to help meet Barnet’s urgent need for new school places.
- Well designed, dedicated space for a nursery, primary school and secondary school within the site.
- High quality new sports facilities, with the potential for community use outside of school hours.
- New landscaping across the site, including tree planting around the perimeter of the site.
- Helping to bring the playing fields to the south of the site back into more active use.
- Investment in local transport infrastructure, to be identified through discussions with the London Borough of Barnet.
Prior to the submission, Ark and the EFA held a community consultation to ensure stakeholders had an opportunity to view and influence the proposals.
We understood the importance of the site to the local community as the previous home to Barnet FC, and were very pleased that the school generated interest. It was great to engage with the local community and develop a school we hope the borough will be proud of.
The consultation centred on a public exhibition, held on Wednesday 18 May and Monday 23 May 2016. In addition to the public exhibition, the EFA also held individual meetings with residents and stakeholders. The exhibition was advertised through the distribution of leaflets to residents and businesses in the local area. Individual invitations were also sent to councillors and stakeholders, and an article about the exhibition was published on the Barnet Society’s website. It was well attended residents, parents and councillors over the two days, with a large number of feedback forms returned.
The feedback gained throughout the consultation demonstrated a mixed picture amongst consultees.
Many parents and residents were excited by the prospect of a new school in the area, and indicated their interest in high quality new places for their children or children of families they knew.
However, there were also some concerns surrounding the congestion that would be caused by students accessing the school in the mornings and afternoons. As a result of these concerns, the EFA and Ark have downsized the school by 200 students as so to ease the number of potential cars driving to the school.
Thank you to everyone who came down and shared their views with us – your feedback has been pivotal in the shaping of our proposals.
The plans for Ark Pioneer Academy that were presented at the consultation events can be viewed below.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish added to our mailing list please contact us at email@example.com and we will ensure you receive any updates on the scheme as we progress.