College bids farewell to Harold Hill campus after 47 years

The gates are locked at Havering Colleges' Quarles campus in Harold Hill. Left to right: assistant p

The gates are locked at Havering Colleges' Quarles campus in Harold Hill. Left to right: assistant principal Catherine Foley, deputy curriculum director Sunny Bamra, Colin Moore, receptionist Wendy Kane and cleaning supervisor Elaine Prior. Picture: Julia Borland - Credit: Julia Borland

A college campus in Harold Hill has closed its doors to students for the last time before it is set to be replaced with a housing development.

Havering Colleges bid farewell to the Quarles campus, in Tring Gardens, after 47 years.

It had been the base for engineering, plumbing and welding courses for many years and for foundation learning students in recent times.

The gates were locked by engineering technician Colin Moore, who worked at Quarles for 40 years and was also a pupil at Quarles County Secondary School which occupied the site before it became part of Havering College in 1973.

The Quarles site is the subject of a planning application for a 120 home development, which has been submitted by Havering Council’s housing company Mercury Land Holdings in partnership with Bellway Homes.

A council spokesperson said 35 per cent of the properties would be ‘affordable’ as well as being owned and managed by the council.

They added: “The scheme will provide 120 new homes, with a focus on family-sized housing to address the local shortfall and the whole site will not exceed three and a half storeys.

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“As part of the development, the site will include a brand new public open space, as well as a play park, for residents and the wider community to enjoy.

“The partnership will also include funding to improve sports pitches across the borough, subject to planning permission being obtained.

“Redevelopment of the site follows on from Havering College’s plans to relocate activities that currently reside on the site to its other campuses.”

The closure comes ahead of a new construction and engineering centre at the colleges’ Rainham campus, which is set to be complete in February.

It is part of a £15million redevelopment of the New Road site, which will also include the refurbishment of the existing campus building.

The college said in June: “The project at Rainham will result in the creation of a new state-of-the-art facility that will ensure that our students receive the very best specialist training to meet the demand for people with high level engineering and infrastructure skills.”