�4m plan to move Hatfield special needs school – temporarily

PLANS to temporarily move a special needs school in order to build the Hatfield incinerator have been discussed by Hertfordshire County Council.

A report into possibly relocating Southfield School while improvements are made to the access road to New Barnfield – where the �200m incinerator will be built – was considered by the council’s cabinet on Monday.

The scheme, which would cost the council almost �4m, would see the school move to the former Howe Dell School site in Old Rectory Drive for three years, before moving back to Travellers Lane once work is complete.

With Veolia yet to submit a finalised scheme, the county council has advised the company to be mindful of Southfield School, and if possible, to carry out the building work outside of school hours.

But if an agreement cannot be reached, the school would have to be moved – to avoid any problems with Veolia’s planning application.

And at an estimated cost of �3.9m, even officers are aware that the scheme “represents poor value for money”.

“It is only being considered in the context of the bigger financial risk of preventing the granting of planning permission for the waste incinerator,” the report reads.

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“The preferred option would be for the temporary relocation not to be required as a result of careful consideration by Veolia of design and construction plans.”

This week, newly-elected Hatfield Town councillor Dean Archer condemned the scheme.

“I think it’s outrageous,” councillor Archer said.

“We shouldn’t even be having a discussion about an incinerator in Hatfield, nevermind moving a special needs school into portable cabins.

“There won’t be enough room on that site to for all the cars and buses that take the children to school.

“I’m appalled and I will do what I can to stop both the school being moved and the incinerator itself.”