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East Herts Council set to approve 233 homes at The Bishop's Stortford High School

Plans to turn The Bishop's Stortford High School's (TBSHS) campus into an estate of 233 new homes are set to be approved by East Herts Council on Wednesday evening (Nov 4).

Officers recommend that councillors on the development management committee permit the outline proposals, despite opposition from the town council, Bishop's Stortford Civic Federation, Thorley Parish Council and more than 90 other objectors.

The London Road development is part of the approved district plan and will follow construction of a replacement secondary school at St James' Park, off Whittington Way, which is set for completion in 2022.

Bishop's Stortford high School redevelopment (42963794)
Bishop's Stortford high School redevelopment (42963794)

The number of new homes at London Road has been increased from 150 because education authority Herts County Council originally intended to expand Thorley Hill Primary School, but because the St James' Park development also includes a new primary, more land is available.

There is now approximately six hectares (14.8 acres). The eastern part fronts London Road and is occupied by TBSHS and the Blues Playgroup Nursery. The western side is open space used for the school's playing field, with a two-storey sports pavilion at the junction of Grace Gardens and Twyford Gardens, where there is vehicular access to the site.

The reasoning for increasing the number of homes by 55% was rejected by both the town and parish councils. The former argued that traffic and pollution levels were already bad at peak times while the latter contended that the scheme would result in the loss of valuable green space.

Development site off London Road (42950840)
Development site off London Road (42950840)

However, HCC's highways department accepts the scheme. It conceded that "some mitigation measures were necessary as the traffic generated from the development of the site would worsen existing capacity issues".

However, it said there were already issues, even without the school homes, and they were being addressed.

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