Established in 1968, Capel Manor College have been one of the fastest developing colleges in the UK, with ﬁve centres across London teaching over 3,500 students.
We oﬀer courses in horticulture, tree surgery, ﬂoristry, garden design, countryside management and the environment, animal care and saddlery.
We attract a wide and diverse range of students from mature students who are seeking a career change, as well as setting 16-18 year olds on their career path.
We have two campuses in South East London: at Mottingham, and in Crystal Palace Park.
Our Crystal Palace site
Crystal Palace Park farm
Our farm is well known to many local people: before the Covid restrictions came in, it was open (and free!) to public visitors six days a week and attracted 200-300 people per day. Local nurseries and primary schools visited the farm for guided tours throughout the year. We are looking forward to fully reopening our farm to the public once restrictions allow.
However, the facilities there are tired and do not currently oﬀer as good a visitor experience as we would like. We think there is a great opportunity to signiﬁcantly improve the existing farm facilities, providing a much better experience for our students, visitors and animals.
Most of our teaching at Crystal Palace currently takes place in various rooms and workshops in the Jubilee Stand of the National Sports Centre (NSC); we rent these facilities from the Greater London Authority (GLA). The GLA has been consulting on various options for the future of the NSC, which include demolition of the Jubilee Stand.
In any case, we want to provide the very best facilities for our students and staﬀ. Our current base in the Jubilee Stand does not provide the quality of accommodation or the space and ease of access to the gardens and green areas that our students need.
Work so far
During 2019 and 2020, we consulted with local people near Crystal Palace on plans for a rebuilt college farm and a new, purpose-built building on the edge of Crystal Palace Park (close to the museum on Anerley Hill). We were very pleased with the feedback we received: over 75% of responses indicated support for both proposed plans.
Bromley Council has a long standing vision to regenerate Crystal Palace Park: creating new community facilities and restoring the park’s historic features. A public consultation on this project was held in 2018 and an outline planning application was submitted in February 2020. Our proposals were included in the outline planning application, but we still need to submit our own planning application for the detailed works.
The extra teaching space provided by the new Mottingham site means that we no longer need a new building on Anerley Hill, so our updated plans for Crystal Palace now only involve the farm site.
Our Mottingham site
In January 2020, we were delighted to acquire our Mottingham site. We want to develop it jointly with our Crystal Palace Park site to create a combined outstanding centre of excellence, serving the needs of students, employers and our surrounding communities in South East London.
Each site will offer complementary courses, shared learning experiences and enrichment opportunities, whilst keeping their own distinct identities and connections to their respective local communities.
Our vision for Mottingham includes spaces to cater for horticulture, garden design, turf management, floristry, environmental conservation and arboriculture courses.
Like our Crystal Palace site, we want Mottingham to provide high quality facilities for both our visitors as well as our students and staff.
The team on this project
Architect: Feilden Fowles
Planning consultant: RPS
Project management: Fusion
Community consultation: Your Shout