Consultation launched on plans for a new Rainham sixth form

A first look at Harris Academy sixth form at the old Chafford Sports Complex.

A first look at Harris Academy sixth form at the old Chafford Sports Complex. - Credit: ISG Constructio

A consultation for a sixth form on the former Chafford Sports Complex site in Rainham has been launched.

The building, which closed in March 2019, will be replaced with a new one "incorporating high quality architecture and materials, as well as enhanced landscaping and planting to improve the school’s frontage onto Wennington Road", say developers.

In 2017, the Recorder reported that Harris Academy had "absolutely no intention" of turning the site into a sixth form, as the only council-managed leisure centre in the south of the borough closed.

Since then, an alternative leisure centre for Rainham has been earmarked - Rainham Sports Centre, in Viking Way.

The sixth form planning application will be submitted in early spring and if approved, it is hoped it will be completed in the autumn of 2022.

ISG and Harris Federation have launched a consultation website to provide information about the plans as well as a space for queries and registering interest.

Gareth Stananought, principal at Harris Academy Rainham, said: “It represents significant investment for over-16s in Havering, providing state-of-the-art learning facilities for 400 young people in Rainham and the surrounding area.

"Following the devastating impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the education of young people, the new centre will deliver a transformational boost to learning provision in the borough and to the life chances of young people locally.”

Over the past year, Rainham MP Jon Cruddas has been campaigning for traffic management measures to relieve Wennington Village from lorries damaging the environment.

He said: "The creation of a sixth form centre in Rainham is great news for local students who now have to travel to Hornchurch for sixth form education. I very much welcome the provision of excellent quality facilities in the south of Havering.

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"I must, however, demand that in granting planning permission Havering insist that all construction traffic be directed to not come via Wennington Village and use Lambs Lane.

"The residents of Wennington Village have endured years of disruption from HGV traffic that I am hoping residents’ and my campaign will relieve, so I want to make sure that this excellent development plan for the school does not add to the problem."