Plan for 840-place primary school at historic trolleybus depot in Ilford

The old trolley bus depot in Ley street, earmarked for demotition

The old trolley bus depot in Ley street, earmarked for demotition - Credit: Archant

A historic trolleybus garage in Ilford could be demolished if plans for a new 840-place school go ahead.

Redbridge Council applied for permission for the new primary school on the site of the former depot, in Ley Street, earlier this month.

If approved, the school will open in September 2015, with pupils automatically moving up to Seven Kings High for their secondary education.

The land had previously been labelled a housing opportunities site and the council put it up for sale to developers last year.

Bids were received but a council spokesman said a sale on the terms offered was not considered to be in the council’s “best interest”.

A planning brief in 2011 earmarked the land for housing, noting the area is “relatively well served” for schools.

But Cllr Alan Weinberg, cabinet member for children’s services, said more schools are still needed to cope with the rising birth rate in the area.

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He added: “This is another step on the way to making sure we have the correct number of school places, not just for next year but for the future.”

It would be the fifth new primary school in a one-mile radius in recent years, following Apex Primary School, Winston Way Primary School and Aldborough E-ACT Free School.

A new primary is also being built at the site of the old Ilford Baths, High Road.

The council’s 2011 planning brief noted the existing late Victorian/early Edwardian bus garage as “a good piece of architecture” with a “place in the history of public transport in Ilford”, but under the plans it will be bulldozed to make way for the four-storey school.

Jef Page, chairman of the Ilford Historical Society, said he had been contacted by residents concerned about the possible demolition.

He added: “It’s not the greatest building but it’s the last of its kind.”

The area, at the junction of Ley Street and Perth Road, housed trolleybuses that ran in Ilford from the 1930s to the ’60s.

Two residents have so far objected to the plans.

Amrita Thakur, of Russell Gardens, says noise from the school would make life “a living hell” and David Kujawa, of Perth Road, was concerned about increased traffic and disruption caused for residents by building work.

The council will consider the application later this year.