Deputy mayor calls on county council to scrap Bishop's Stortford High School's plans to move
Deputy mayor Cllr Keith Warnell has launched a petition to block the relocation of The Bishop's Stortford High School (TBSHS).
Countryside Properties has planning permission from East Herts Council to build 142 homes – and a main road running north to south – as the first phase of an overall scheme for 750 homes in its Bishop's Stortford South development on green fields off Whittington Way.
The developer also has outline consent for a neighbourhood centre comprising up to 1,000 sq m (10,764 sq ft) for shops and up to 2,200 sq m (23,680 sq ft) for other uses, a primary school with up to three forms of entry (90 pupils) with early years facilities, a care home and up to four hectares (9.9 acres) of employment land.
The Bishop's Stortford High School wants to relocate to the new estate, freeing up its London Road campus for around 150 further new homes.
Cllr Warnell, who lost his Bishop's Stortford Meads seat on the district council in the May 2 local elections, remains a town councillor and has set up an online petition calling on education authority Herts County Council (HCC) to withdraw the school's plans.
He says: "It is a perfectly good high-performing school where it is, and instead of spending money (probably £30m) on a new school, spend the money modernising the existing school or building a new one on the existing site where there is space to do so.
"If built on the Whittington Way site as proposed, it will cause local traffic problems around Thorley."
Cllr Warnell said that building new homes in London Road would also exacerbate congestion on the Bishop's Avenue estate.
He argues: "The existing school appears to have suffered under-investment in the infrastructure in an attempt to justify the move. HCC should invest in modernising the school or building a new one or some new facilities on site where there is space to do either or both."
To sign the petition, go to https://democracy.hertfordshire.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?id=37
More by this authorSinead Corr