South Woodford private school to be converted into flats

Winston House Preparatory School in High Road, South Woodford. Photo: Google maps

Winston House Preparatory School in High Road, South Woodford. Photo: Google maps - Credit: Google maps

A school housed in a Grade II listed building may be closing down after a planning application was submitted to convert the building into flats.

Details of the application show Winston House Preparatory School, High Road, South Woodford could be converted into nine flats if permission is granted.

Cllr Tom McLaren (Con, Church End Ward) said he was “disappointed” the application had been made.

“I have been working to try and bring a new free school to South Woodford, and the building would have been ideal,” he said.

“I had meetings with two different groups that were interested in opening a free school in the area, but unfortunately nothing came of them.”

The application was submitted in November 2015 and showed the project would include four one-bed flats, two two-bed flats and three three-bed flats.

The building has gone through a number of changes in recent years, most recently in 2006 when it was converted from an office space to a private school.

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The Recorder contacted the school’s headteacher to clarify whether the school would be moving or closing but she refused to comment.

Cllr McLaren said he understood the school would be closing.

But he said he did not know if he would be formally objecting, adding: “If the plans are in line with their rights, in terms of the application, it’s out of our hands.”

On his wish to create a free school, the councillor said there was still time for any other groups to come forward.

“The last thing our area needs to lose is school capacity, given the waiting lists for local schools and the long journeys that some parents need to make,” he said.

“I hope that the owners would still be willing to discuss a deal.”