New school the key to Riverside homes
THE FIRST primary school earmarked for the �1.9billion Barking Riverside development must be built in the next two years, or the whole project will be in jeopardy, council chiefs have been warned. The proposed River Gate Primary School will teach 630 youn
THE FIRST primary school earmarked for the �1.9billion Barking Riverside development must be built in the next two years, or the whole project will be in jeopardy, council chiefs have been warned.
The proposed River Gate Primary School will teach 630 youngsters and 39 nursery-age children.
But it must be completed by March 2011 because developers cannot build more than 500 homes until the school is in place.
Any delay, and councillors have been told the timescale for the 10,800-home scheme could collapse.
The project is already facing an uphill battle after developers decided in January to press on with plans to build the first 4,000 homes, even though the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) extension has not been given the go-ahead.
A legal agreement stops more than 1,500 properties from being erected without the DLR to Dagenham Docks.
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Next week, Barking and Dagenham Council's executive will meet to agree on whether to plough on with the proposed Church of England school, which should be ready for its first class in September 2011.
The council has set aside �10.5m from a total grant of over �31m from the Department for Children, Schools and Families, to go towards their share of the price tag.
It will be one of three, and possibly four primary schools in the huge development, with a secondary school also in the pipeline as part of the third of four development phases.
River Gate Primary School - a name expected to be signed off in next week's meeting - will form part of a neighbourhood centre comprising a place of worship, retail space with flats above, and a police station.
Cllr Jeanne Alexander, executive member for children's services said: "With these new homes the demand will be there. It's too far from any other schools so it really is needed.
"It would have been ideal if the DLR was there but it doesn't change our plans.