Bellevue Place Education Trust opened a Free School in September 2015 which became Richmond’s Deer Park School, with the express purpose of meeting the primary place needs for the East Twickenham/St. Margaret’s area of the borough.
Finding a permanent location for the school has been challenging: like for many new schools in London, space is at a premium. With the support and drive of the Local Authority, working closely with the Department for Education and BPET, an option was found in the right area, with an innovative proposal to develop space owned by Lidl, at a site called new Ryde House.
The planning permission application received unanimous approval from Richmond’s planning committee in April 2016 and building work began in July 2018, aiming for a 2019 opening for the school.
The success of the project has led to further confidence in mixed-use schemes. Lidl has announced a series of developments set to benefit the local communities in which they open stores, leading with our partnership on the new Ryde House site for Deer Park School. The story has been picked up nationally by both The Guardian and Sky News, as well as a number of local and industry publications. It is great to see Deer Park’s new home named as the feature example for this innovative new model of ‘mixed development’. The same site that was formerly used as an office block will now meet the infrastructure needs of the community, providing a supermarket and a school that are both vitally required in the area.
This only occurs with the support of a wide range of groups – parents, local council, the Department for Education and commercial partners. This innovative model of development demonstrates mixed-use schemes with schools can be highly effective in meeting the needs of the local community.
Both national articles can be read by following the links below.
- Guardian article – ‘Discount Grocer Lidl Plans to Build 3000 Homes and a School’
- Sky News article – ‘Lidl Plans to Build More Than 3000 Homes to Cement Planning Permission for Stores’