In 2008, Walters & Cohen was appointed alongside EC Harris to complete a masterplan on a large-scale education project, Harold Hill Learning Village in Havering. This campus comprises four new learning environments: a primary school, an SEN school, the 1100 place Drapers’ Academy and an FE college to educate the young people of Harold Hill.
Walters & Cohen prepared a masterplan for the learning village, with outline planning permission submitted in May 2009. The masterplan strategy is a holistic proposal which takes into account the site’s history and its constraints, and places the four learning establishments around a central new heart - a public square where the pupils, staff and public can interact. Vehicular and pedestrian access, internal site infrastructure, sports facilities and soft landscaping formed an important part of the development. The site sits within the Metropolitan Green Belt, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so it was important to take advantage of the impressive views across the site. Since the learning establishments are procured under different framework agreements and contracts, a phasing strategy was developed to ensure that disruption for staff and pupils is kept to a minimum.
The masterplan led to Walters & Cohen carrying out the Outline Business Case and Technical Advisory design role for the Drapers’ Academy and feasibility studies for both Pyrgo Primary School (a two-form-entry primary with nursery and children’s centre) and Dycorts SEN School.