Villagers call for end to Knebworth secondary school campaign

CAMPAIGNERS against plans to build a new secondary school in Times Territory are calling for the scheme to be withdrawn.

The Save Woolmer Green has urged We Need a School (WNAS) to drop its proposals to build a new secondary for 800 children living in and around the area, after a petition opposing the development attracted 1,800 signatures.

But WNAS has hit back, saying the Woolmer Green petition is “entirely meaningless”.

At a standing-room-only meeting at Woolmer Green Village Hall, members of Save Woolmer Green presented its case against the WNAS scheme.

Central to its argument is concerns over the increased traffic and the threat to Green Belt land, as well as a belief that building a school in the area is unnecessary when there is enough school places nearby in WGC and Stevenage.

Following the meeting, group spokesman Gareth Lloyd urged WNAS to honour a previous statement and withdraw the plans.

“The WNAS group has stated publicly that if there is significant local opposition to its plans it will withdraw them,” Mr Lloyd said.

Most Read

“The Save Woolmer Green Campaign now has 1,800 names on its petition against the WNAS Free School proposal which clearly demonstrates that there is very significant local opposition.

“Numbers are increasing daily as more and more concerned residents are being made aware of the effect that this proposal would have on village life.

He added: “The Save Woolmer Green campaign now invites WNAS to stand by its previous statements, acknowledge the simple fact that there is both massive and increasing opposition against its proposal, and to subsequently withdraw its plans to build a huge school in or around Woolmer Green and Knebworth.”

But Andrew Payne, WNAS’ head of communications, dismissed Mr Lloyd’s pleas.

“The version [of the petition] we’ve seen doesn’t even pose a question,” Mr Payne said. “Nobody knows what they’re signing up to. If it was ever used it would count for absolutely zero.

“For all the accusations they threw at us, all of those apply to them. We know there are names from outside the area. We give little credence to it [the petition]. It’s entirely meaningless.”