Coombe Wood School


Robert West was appointed by Wates Construction Ltd to provide transport planning and highways advice for the redevelopment of the Coombe Lodge Playing Fields site in South Croydon to provide a new mixed comprehensive secondary school.

The new 8-form entry secondary school will provide accommodation for up to 1,680 pupils, including a 480-place sixth form. The school will have a sporting specialism and will provide a community hub, offering sports and leisure facilities for residents of Croydon.

Robert West have been responsible for producing the following, in support of the planning application: a Transport Assessment, School Travel Plan, Delivery and Servicing Plan, Car Park Management Plan, PERS and CERS audits, Bus and Tram capacity assessments. Robert West have also been responsible for producing preliminary designs for the proposed site’s access and egress junctions and off-site highway works design for a proposed Toucan crossing across Coombe Road, including detailed modelling work to support the proposal.


Robert West played an integral role in the development of transport planning and off-site highways solutions to ensure that Coombe Road and the surrounding streets were safe for the additional number of pedestrians and cyclists generated by the school. This required managing the expectations of various stakeholders, which entailed extensive liaison with Highways and Planning Officers at the London Borough of Croydon and Transport for London.

The Transport Assessment provided robust evidence to confirm that, with the proposed mitigation strategy in place, the proposed school would not have any negative impacts on transport, highways and safety grounds.

Travel plan management measures which included additional cycle parking provision, on-site drop-off/collection, segregating access for delivery and servicing vehicles, staff management of pupil arrivals and departures and an events management plan, were developed. These considered the site’s good accessibility for walking, bus, tram and rail to ultimately reduce the number of pupil car trips, reduce any impacts on the nearby residential streets and to promote safety for vulnerable road users.

Robert West engaged with Croydon residents and the school’s prospective parents at the public consultation event alongside the project’s design team.

Robert West’s Infrastructure team have also been involved in this project, designing the temporary one-way northbound operation for Melville Avenue, and supporting the client on the approval process for in-and-out temporary accesses in Coombe Rd to ease the construction logistics.


Robert West and the design team attended the Planning Committee Meeting and were delighted to see a unanimous vote of approval across Croydon Council’s committee panel. Planning permission was then granted for the school.

The school became operational on site in temporary accommodation in September 2018 and will move into the permanent accommodation by September 2020, reaching its planned capacity for pupils in 2027.

The Robert West infrastructure team is currently developing the detailed design for the Toucan Crossing on Coombe Road as part of the Section 278 work for the school site, working directly for the Department of Education.

This is an example of where Robert West has been providing services from pre-planning and planning stages, throughout the detailed design stages for Section 278 work, ensuring a continuity in management throughout the project.