Green light for new Hatfield primary school

PLANS to build a new free school in Hatfield have been given the thumbs up by Hertfordshire County Council.

Six years on from the closure of New Briars Primary School in Briars Lane, members of Hertfordshire County Council’s development control committee today (Tuesday) voted unanimously in favour of an application to create a new, two form entry school on the site.

The proposals would see the existing school demolished, and replaced with a single storey building for 420 pupils, complete with new pupil drop-off facility, changes to vehicle access, new pedestrian access to Woods Avenue and re-grading of school playing fields.

A nursery for 60 pre-school children, with 30 attending in the morning and 30 in the afternoon, will also be included.

In 2005, staff and students were evacuated from New Briars amid fears the school could collapse into historic chalk mines beneath the site.

The school relocated and later amalgamated with Stream Woods JMI to create Oak View School in Woods Avenue.

Amid worries about the safety of the site, Chay Dempster, principal planning officer, said: “The ground subsidence affecting the site was remediated in 2008,” he said.

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Several councillors also expressed concerns over potential traffic problems created by the new school, and agreed to the plans on the condition that a solution was found to what committee chairman Richard Smith called the “inevitable congestion” in Briars Lane.