JCoSS

(Jewish Community Secondary School)

Road & 'Bridge' Site Update

25th April 2009

The 'bridge' and road are now in use as the site access for the construction of JCoSS.

JCoSS 'Bridge' and Road JCoSS 'Bridge' and Road JCoSS 'Bridge' and Road JCoSS 'Bridge' and Road JCoSS 'Bridge' and Road

Ground Breaking Ceremony

20th April 2009

A ground breaking ceremony was held at the JCoSS site in Westbrook Crescent, New Barnet, on Monday 20th April 2009. It was reported in the local press that 200 guests attended including: Ed Balls - Secretary of State for Schools, Gerald Ronson - JCoSS President, Jeremy Stowe-Lindner - JCoSS Headteacher, Mike Freer - Leader of Barnet Council, John Marshall - Mayor of Barnet, Andrew Dismore - MP for Hendon. As far as can be ascertained, no local residents were invited to this event.

Press Coverage:

  • Barnet Times - "Ed Balls kicks off JCoSS construction" 22 Apr 09
  • Barnet Times - "JCoSS ground breaking ceremony: speeches in full" 22 Apr 09
  • Jewish Chronicle - "Balls praises JCoSS ethos" 23 Apr 09
  • Totally Jewish - "Breaking Ground at a Groundbreaking School" 23 Apr 09

Unexploded Bomb

11th March 2009

Builders uncovered an unexploded bomb at the JCoSS site on Wednesday 11th March 2009. Police were called and set up a cordon around the site between 4 & 6 pm. A bomb disposal team carried out a controlled explosion on the second world war device.

Press Coverage:

  • Barnet Times - "Bomb cleared from New Barnet school site" 13 Mar 09
  • Barnet Times - "Low risk of more live ammunition on school site" 18 Mar 09
  • Barnet Press - "Experts called as unexploded bomb is dug up" 18 Mar 09

Road & 'Bridge' Site Update

15th Feb 2009

The site of the bridge and road the day before the Pymmes Brook Trail public footpath was closed for 8 months.

Pymmes Brook Trail - before and after JCoSS 'Bridge' and Road JCoSS 'Bridge' and Road JCoSS 'Bridge' and Road JCoSS 'Bridge' and Road JCoSS 'Bridge' and Road

Road & 'Bridge' Site Update

7th Feb 2009

The site of the planned bridge is now filled with a huge earthwork, completely filling the countours of the Pymmes Brook valley.

JCoSS 'Bridge' and Road JCoSS 'Bridge' and Road JCoSS 'Bridge' and Road JCoSS 'Bridge' and Road JCoSS 'Bridge' and Road

The road progresses across Livingstone School's playing field (Metropolitan Open Land), eliminating their long established nature area.

JCoSS 'Bridge' and Road JCoSS 'Bridge' and Road

Closure of Pymmes Brook Trail Footpath

A public notice dated 5th February 2009 appeared in the Barnet Press announcing the closure of the public footpath.

Footpath Closure Public Notice 5th February 2009

The path will be closed for 8 months from 8 am on Monday 16th February 2009. Anyone trying to use the path in the two weeks before closure have to scamble over the huge earthwork that now fills the valley.

Bridge Site Update

26th Jan 2009

Pymmes Brook now passes through concrete pipes with the banks and space above now covered by tons of hardcore.

JCoSS Bridge Site JCoSS Bridge Site JCoSS Bridge Site

This site is a "Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation", cuts across a "Green Chain", and is immediately adjacent to the Green Belt at Monken Hadley Common.

Construction Starts

Work to build JCoSS started in early January 2009 with the felling of trees and hedgerow clearance on the banks of Pymmes Brook at the bottom of Northfield Road.

JCoSS Bridge Site Clearance JCoSS Bridge Site Clearance JCoSS Bridge Site Clearance

A letter to neighbours [147K pdf] was issued by JCoSS on 12th January 2009. (text below)

"Dear Neighbour,
RE: CONSTRUCTION WORKS AT EAST BARNET UPPER SCHOOL SITE
As I'm sure you know, in September 2010, a brand new secondary school, JCoSS, will be opening on the playing field adjacent to the site of the current East Barnet Upper School. At the same time, the Upper school will move to a new building on Chestnut Grove, providing Barnet with not one, but two, new state-of-the-art school buildings. In due course, the existing buildings on the site will be demolished and replaced with an all weather pitch.
I am writing to bring you up-to-date with progress. I am pleased to tell you that, after careful consideration, we have appointed Ardmore Construction Ltd to undertake the necessary building work. Ardmore is a member of the Considerate Contractors Scheme and we will be working with them to ensure any disruption is kept to an absolute minimum.
Ardmore is commencing work on site this week. This will initially involve installing some temporary fencing, drainage and temporary roads. It shouldn't be too noisy and the majority of works will be away from residential areas.
During the next couple of weeks there will be deliveries to the site via both Westbrook Crescent and Castlewood Road/Northfield Road. The contractors have been instructed that these should take place during working hours (between 8am-6pm) and a safety plan has been agreed with the school.
Some disruption is inevitable with any development of this kind and I want therefore to apologise for this in advance. Please rest assured, however, that it is our intention to minimise any nuisance. If you have any complaints or queries about the work being carried out, please do not hesitate in the first instance to call Roger Cullen, Ardmore's Project Manager, on 07956 807015 or, if you prefer, contact JCoSS directly on 07713 509134.
Yours sincerely,
Michael Phillips
Chair, JCoSS Trust"

Conditions Application

A planning conditions application (B/04808/08) was registered by Barnet Council Planners on 17th December 2008. This appears to be in response to a planning decision notice (for N02587K/07) issued by Barnet Council on 5th December 2008.

"Submission of details of conditions 3 (archaeological investigation), 5 (car parking - management plan), 7 (levels), 22 (drainage strategy - drainage works), 26 (method statement - demolition/construction), 36 (bridge - design details), 37 (mitigation strategy - reptiles), 40 (phasing plan - transitional arrangements - sports activities during construction) and 43 (scheme for clearance of the site) pursuant to planning permission N02587K/07 dated 05/12/2008."

Public Exhibition

JCoSS are holding a public exhibition of their plans for the new school at East Barnet School, Westbrook Crescent.

Sunday 2nd November 2008 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm
Monday 3rd November 2008 5.30 pm to 9.00 pm

The exhibition was announced in both local papers and 'JCoSS News':

  • Barnet Times - "Jewish school holds virtual tour" 28 Oct 08
  • Barnet Press - "Groundbreaking Jewish school's plans go on show" 23 Oct 08
  • JCoSS News [3.4MB pdf] - 4 Sept 08

Lease of Land around Pymmes Brook

A public notice dated 17th September 2008 appeared in the Barnet Press announcing Barnet Council's proposal to grant a long lease of land to be used as part of the access road for JCoSS.

JCoSS Public Notice 17th September 2008

Written representations should be sent, by 20th October 2008, to: The Head of Property Services, London Borough of Barnet, Building 4, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, London, N11 1NP.
Quote reference VAL/GRC/3201 pt2


Copies of the public notice, and a plan, were also posted up outside Livingstone School and on the kissing gate on the footpath between Hadley Woods and Baring Road.

Public Notice on kissing gate Public Notice text Public Notice map

The plan posted would appear to be somewhat misleading and confusing. It shows the entire 600m length of road to be built on Metropolitan Open Land to access JCoSS from the Castlewood Road & Northfield Road junction. The majority of this is already within the site boundaries of Livingstone School and East Barnet School. The text of the notice refers to the public land on either side of Pymmes Brook (comprising hedgerow, trees, grass, brook, & public footpath) that will be bulldozed to build the bridge and road to serve JCoSS.

The lease of land went before the Chipping Barnet Area Environment Sub Committee on 2nd December 2008. The proposal was rubber stamped, despite the 28 letters of objection from local residents.

Construction News

Report in ContactJournal.com on 9th September 2008:

"Three rivals are swotting up for a 35m education-sector deal in north London. Norwest Holst, Ardmore and Apollo are in the mix for the design and build of a new Jewish secondary school in Barnet. The task is to construct a school spanning about 11,700m2 and accommodating about 1,300 students, plus a 3,000m2 special needs unit for 50 children. Client Jewish Community Secondary School is due to appoint its preferred contractor by the end of November. Work on site is expected to begin early next year, with the job likely to take about 18 months to finish. The new school will be open in time for the start of the September 2010 term."

Voluntary Aided School Proposal

JCoSS published a public notice in the Barnet Press on 7th August 2008. This legal notice announced the intention to set up the school, due to open on 1st September 2010, and its specialism in Science & Technology.

Comments or objections should be sent, by 18th September 2008, to: Director of Children's Services, London Borough of Barnet, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, London, N11 1NP.

JCoSS Public Notice 7th August 2008

Further documents can be found on the JCoSS website.

The Statutory Proposals Document [124K pdf] includes details of proposed entry requirements, curriculum, funding and travel arrangements.

Construction

Closing date for tenders: 7 May 2008 (from Construction Now)
Contracting Authority: JCOSS Construction Limited
Value: 35m


Duration of contact (from PublicTenders.net)
Starting: 1 September 2008
Completion: 31 August 2010


Quantity Surveyors: Deacon and Jones

Planning Application

JCoSS made a planning application (N02587K/07) in May 2007.

"Demolition of buildings and erection of a new secondary school (six form entry) and special resources unit, external works including construction of new outdoor all weather sports pitches and games area, formation of new North East access driveway off Castlewood Road and use of existing access from Westbrook Crescent for emergency vehicles only, parking, landscaping and other enabling works."

It was approved by Barnet Council's Planning & Environment Committee in August 2007.

Road & Bridge

Pymmes Brook Trail

The school site is Metropolitan Open Land and directly adjoins the Green Belt (Hadley Woods / Monken Hadley Common). It is currently the Westbrook Crescent site of East Barnet School, housing 450 pupils. It is planned to amalgamate both parts of East Barnet School on the Chestnut Grove site in East Barnet.

JCoSS plan to build a school housing 1350 pupils. The school will have no local catchment area but will draw its students from the whole of North London and Hertfordshire.

The only access to the site is via narrow residential roads and it is very poorly served by public transport.

To deal with the large increases in traffic predicted, planners decided that the existing school entrance in Westbrook Crescent was not sufficient and that a new access road should be built. The road would run along the boundary of Hadley Woods, across the playing field of Livingstone Primary School and crosses Pymmes Brook via a new bridge.

The new road will directly draw traffic past the entrance to Livingstone School. As the local roads are very narrow, a one way system will be implemented for traffic entering and leaving the JCoSS site. The road will be two lanes wide, plus pavement and a parking lane for 52 cars. In one corner of Livingstone School's field the road also features a security 'air lock' to enable all vehicles to be searched before entering the JCoSS compound.

The Site

The JCoSS site is outlined in purple on the interactive map below.

View Larger Map

Zoom in & out using the + & - buttons in the top left hand corner
Click on the markers for more information.

Campaign

No Bridge No Road Sign

A campaign group, Barnet Safe Children And Environment Group (BSCAEG) was formed to fight against the planned road and bridge, and had widespread support in New Barnet. The campaign wanted a robust, viable and legally enforceable green travel plan which would mean that the planned road and bridge would not be needed.

The JCoSS plans appeared to break numerous parts of Barnet's Unitary Development Plan and were contrary to use of Metropolitan Open Land, but a majority of councillors decided to vote in favour.

Brian Coleman, Totteridge Councillor and GLA Member for Barnet & Camden, threw his weight fully behind JCoSS at the planning meeting and made unpleasant comments about the residents of New Barnet in the Jewish Press.

Theresa Villiers MP, president of the London Green Belt Council, gave her support to the building of the road and bridge, despite regularly stating that the protection of green belt and metropolitan open land is one of her highest priorities.

Victoria Road

The main access route to JCoSS is via Victoria Road.

JCoSS's own planning application documents stated that the East Barnet Road / Victoria Road junction was already working at capacity. Now further planned developments also involve the use of this road and junction.

  • Tesco's 'regeneration plan' would involve the use of Victoria Road as an access route for nearly 600 car park spaces.
  • Tesco also had plans to build a Tesco Express in Victoria Road.
  • ASDA's plan for the gas works site would involve access via the Victoria Road / East Barnet Road junction.