Welwyn Garden City school to expand despite clash of councils

PUBLISHED: 09:47 10 April 2015 | UPDATED: 09:47 10 April 2015

Holwell Primary school

Holwell Primary school

Archant

A primary school in Welwyn Garden City has been given the green light for plans to extend, despite objections from borough council planners.

A new building will be built at Holwell Primary School allowing it to expand from a one form-of-entry school to two.

This means that instead of having one class per year, the Holwell Road school will have two.

The new building, which is to be built on land at the back of the existing school, will be two storeys high with space for eight classrooms.

The plans also include car-parking space for 16 cars, new bike racks and the relocation of play equipment.

But Welwyn Hatfield Council opposed the application ahead of a meeting at County Hall, which saw the plan backed.

The borough council argued the new building would have a “detrimental impact” on designated open land.

Andrew Simmons, deputy director for education at County Hall, said: “Hertfordshire County Council is committed to ensuring that young people get a good start in life at one of our many excellent schools.

“Our primary school expansions programme continues to ensure that we meet the growing demand for places for children starting school.”

A report shown to members of County Hall’s development control committee said two letters of objection had been received to the plans, voicing concerns about traffic.

But the school says it hopes to encourage other ways of getting to school other than using private cars.

There were also worries that the building would encroach onto the playing fields.

But a report prepared ahead of the meeting said: “The proposed classroom block would be of a traditional design and appropriate for its location in the grounds of an existing school.

“There would be no impact on existing sports pitches which would be retained.”

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