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Herts County Council highways experts withdraw objections to plans for 223 homes on The Bishop's Stortford High School site

Highways experts at Herts County Council have given the green light to plans for 223 new homes to be built on the site of The Bishop's Stortford High School.

The London Road secondary has submitted plans to redevelop its 1960s campus after it relocates less than a mile to a larger site at St James' Park, Countryside Properties's new 750-home estate at Stortford South, off Whittington Way.

Bishop's Stortford High School redevelopment (39036794)
Bishop's Stortford High School redevelopment (39036794)

Opponents of both schemes hoped the roads team at County Hall would apply the brakes after an initial report concluded insufficient information had been supplied to prove the brownfield development would not contribute to the gridlock predicted by objectors as a result of the Green Belt housebuilding.

However, following submission of further traffic generation modelling and data from consulting engineers Pell Frischmann, the highways department says it no longer wants to restrict the granting of permission, providing a series of conditions are met. These include more than £323,000 for local transport schemes.

Bishop's Stortford Civic Federation has also reviewed the new evidence and reiterated its objections to planning authority East Herts Council.

The Bishop's Stortford High School site is already surrounded by housing (39036803)
The Bishop's Stortford High School site is already surrounded by housing (39036803)

In a letter to EHC, president John Rhodes said: "The modelling is, we believe, still defective, in that it does not model the impact of junctions operating over capacity on the congestion the tailbacks will cause at preceding junctions. It has not therefore properly modelled the cumulative residual impacts.

"Pell Frischmann dismiss the modelling of the impact of the pm school peak simply by claiming that the conventional evening peak is more severe.

"It is not clear whether this assertion is based on the evidence of traffic counts or whether they have simply relied on the Bishop's Stortford South Transport Assessment which has now been shown to be seriously flawed.

"The experience of local residents is that the school peak is worse, and if the evidence supports that experience then its impact should clearly be modelled."

The high school site is designated for around 150 homes in the East Herts district plan, but permission is being sought for 31 one-bed, 72 two-bed, 99 three-bed and 21 four-bed properties – 73 extra.

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