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Beechholme to Close - 1971

The children's home and school in Fir Tree Road, Banstead - Beechholme - is to close down completely by 1973. And most of the 37-acre grounds are likely to be redeveloped with a large residential estate.

The scheme springs from what Beechholme owners Wandsworth Borough Council believe to be a unique arrangement between a local authority and a development company.

Rush and Tomkins Group, of Sidcup, Kent, are to pay for and build 12 children's homes on council-owned site within Wandsworth's borough boundaries.

In return, Wandsworth Council will surrender the Beechholme land to the firm for private development.

And the council reckon that they will also get some cash in the arrangement.

The 12 homes, they have calculated will cost a total of 777,000. The exchange value of the Banstead site could be anything up to 1.065,000.

The council think planning permission would be likely to be granted for about 30 acres - the remaining seven acres to be retained as playing fields.

Beechholme at present has 210 children in its 23 houses built in the 1890s. The children are mainly from Wandsworth but some also come from other London boroughs - Westminster, Camden, Hammersmith and Kensington and Chelsea.

As from January next year, only Wandsworth children will be admitted to the home.

As the new homes are completed the children will gradually be moved back to their borough. Beechholme will be phased down and the land handed over stage by stage to the development company.