Olive Free School, Land at Former Hackney Police Station, London E5 0P4
On 19 December 2017, the Secretary of State allowed the appellant’s appeal against refusal of planning and listed building consent for a new free primary school in the London Borough of Hackney.
The Inspector, with whose conclusions the Secretary of State agreed, found that the harm to heritage assets caused by changes to the listed Police Station would be towards the lower end of “less than substantial harm” for the purposes of the National Planning Policy Framework and that there was no evidence of any significant harm to the highway network.
He also concluded, in line with the Inspector’s findings, that the proposed new school would provide an important social benefit, namely the provision of purpose-built facilities to meet an existing need for primary school places in the Borough, and economic benefits by generating employment facilities.
In addition, in the Secretary of State’s view, the proposal would advance equality of opportunity under the Equality Act 2010 between those sharing a protected characteristic and those who did not do so, given that it was one of only two Muslim-faith primary schools in the Borough and the only state-funded Muslim-faith primary school. Lisa Busch QC acted for the Appellant.