Turing House

Sites Previously Considered

When groups put in free school applications they are asked to name a preferred site for their school, as well as listing some alternative options. Our proposal was first submitted in February 2012, and subsequently in December 2012. On both occasions we published details of our preferred site, though both were later ruled out.  Details of two other sites have been published in the local press and elsewhere, but we were unable to discuss them publicly at the time. Information about the 4 named sites is provided below, however other unpublished options have also been considered, and ruled out, by the EFA.

MoL behind David Lloyd Centre

A site on Uxbridge Road (David Lloyd/Fulwell) has been suggested as an alternative to Hospital Bridge Road. However, as well as being MoL, the Uxbridge Road site has the following additional planning policy restrictions which in reality make it an inferior location and prevent it being an option for Turing House School:

  1. Site of nature conservation importance
  2. Public open space
  3. Public rights of way.

Old NPL Buildings

This site was listed as an alternative option in our original proposal, and then became our 'Preferred Site' in December 2012.  We identified some old buildings at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), because at the time they were under-utilised, and their future use had not been determined.  Most of NPL’s science activities had been re-housed in modern facilities nearby.  We suggested the location would provide an inspirational setting for our school, as well as being very good value for taxpayers.  

However, we always remained cautious about our chances of securing the NPL site. As well as historical planning issues, and strong feeling from some neighbouring residents, the laboratory's director told us in July 2012 that the Government was conducting a review of their operations, and would probably need the old buildings for scientific use. This advice was echoed in a letter from the science ministry.

The results of the Government's review were published in November 2012 when the science minister announced his policy on the site's future use. Promisingly that announcement said that NPL's spare capacity was to be made available to others.  Plans were later announced for a new laboratory on part of the NPL site, and when the details were published they indicated that the old buildings may be refurbished as offices as part of that development.  In August 2013 it was confirmed that only scientific partners were being sought, inkeeping with the wider development of the site. 

Udney Park Road Playing Fields

After much local speculation, Imperial College formally announced they would be selling this site in December 2014.  Following up on some previous discussions, the Education Funding Agency tendered for the land but the winning bidder, announced in September 2015, was a property development company.

Other unsuccessful bidders included the local community sports consortium Space to Play. We had planned to work with this group if they had been successful. We also told them that if EFA won the bid then we would partner with Space to Play to ensure ongoing community use of sports facilities that we managed.

RACC, Clifden Road

In our original Free School application to the DfE in February 2012 we specified our first-choice location as Clifden Road in central Twickenham. The Richmond Adult Community College site had been bought by Richmond Council for use as a Secondary School, and they were planning to hold a consultation on the type of school to be provided.  It was a very cost-effective location because it already had school buildings that required only moderate refurbishment.  However, the council decided in May 2012 to accept proposals from the Archdiocese of Westminster for Voluntary Aided schools on that site, and St. Richard Reynolds Catholic College opened there in September 2013.

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