Practice appointed for education scheme

An architect has been appointed to lead the design of a new 55 million education hub in Ebbsfleet Garden City.

Cherry Orchard Primary Academy

Lee Evans Partnership, based in London and Canterbury, will work for housebuilder Henley Camland at the development site at Whitecliffe, officially known as Eastern Quarry.

The 12.2-ha education hub site will offer a new two form-entry primary school and an eight form-entry secondary school.

Whitecliffe is the largest development site in Ebbsfleet Garden City, and will provide new homes, schools, leisure facilities and commercial ventures.

Located within the central Alkerden Village area of Whitecliffe, the education hub will form a key focal point in the community. 

The primary school will accommodate 446 pupils and the secondary school will provide space for 1,680 students aged 11 to 18. 

A sports centre will be incorporated into the secondary school, providing dual-use facilities for both the school and community, and will have a four-court sports hall, dance studio, fitness rooms and a cafe-bar area.

Outside there will be four full-sized grass pitches combined with an all-weather pitch and a track and field facility. 

A community hub will be constructed on a nearby site, providing a variety of amenities such as a learning centre, public library, adult education services and job centre, as well as a base for police, youth services and a private nursery accommodating up to 90 children.

Last year, Cherry Orchard Primary Academy and Castle Hill Community Centre, created by Lee Evans Partnership, opened in the Castle Hill area of Ebbsfleet.

This was the first primary school for the region, accommodating more than 460 pupils, and was shortlisted for the 2018 Kent Design and Development Awards.

This year the firm is nominated for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors annual RICS Awards – South East, in the Community Benefit category, which will be announced in May.

Lee Evans Partnership’s London partner, Mark Nolan, said: “With our extensive previous experience across Ebbsfleet Garden City over the last five years, we have developed a real understanding of Henley Camland’s vision for the area.

“We look forward to working with the multiple stakeholders involved with the Garden City project to help create an exemplar education and community facility around which the burgeoning community can grow.” 

The opening of the education and community hub at Whitecliffe is planned for September 2021.