A new South London primary school won’t open for at least a decade after it was first approved.

The 420-place school in Norbiton and 19 flats were given the green light in April 2016.

Kingston Council has now said the school on Coombe Road will open to meet the expected rise in the number of kids in the area – forecast to be September 2026 at the earliest.

The site was originally intended for Kingston Community School, which opened in temporary accommodation in 2015 but closed in 2020. 

Applications are now open for a new group to run a school at the venue.

The Department for Education (DfE) said the site will be ready for occupation from March 2023 but the school won’t open until September 2026 “at the earliest” in an update this month.

The DfE said it would identify possible temporary uses for the site ahead of the opening.

The update said: “Whilst the site for the school will be ready for occupation from March 2023, the school will not open until September 2026, at the earliest, due to the local school place planning context.

"We will work with the appointed trust to identify any possible interim uses for the site ahead of the school opening.”

It added: “We want all children, whatever their background or location, to benefit from attending a school that provides a high-quality and inclusive education within the resilient structure of a strong trust.

"Free schools have an important role to play in levelling up opportunity and responding where there is a need for more school places.”

The DfE is working with Kingston Council and its children’s services provider Achieving for Children (AfC) to create the new primary school. 

It will be a free school, meaning it will be funded by the government, free from local authority control and run by an academy trust. 

Plans were submitted in 2015 to demolish an existing property on the site for buildings up to seven storeys tall with a primary school and 25 flats.

But this was later amended so the building would be part three and part six-storey with a primary school and 19 flats. The plans were approved in April 2016.

A spokesperson for Kingston Council said: “The proposed new school will be needed to provide places in line with forecast population growth, principally due to new housing developments and regeneration within Kingston and Norbiton.

"It is important that the school does not open too soon, because its 60 places per year need to be provided when that population growth has taken place, and not before, and that is not forecast to be until September 2026 at the earliest.”