Decision to be made on homes on Letchworth school site

A DECISION on plans to build houses on a former primary school site will be made tomorrow (Thursday).

The proposal by Hertfordshire County Council (HCC), which goes before a North Herts District Council (NHDC) planning control committee tomorrow evening, is for 38 residential houses to be built on the former Westbury Primary School in Letchworth GC’s West View, which was controversially closed down in January, 2008.

If planning permission is granted, the development will see the existing school buildings converted into nine three-bed houses, 10 two-bed houses, four two-bed flats and three one-bed flats.

There will also be four three-bed and eight two-bed houses erected with a split of 65 per cent of housing to go on the market and 35 per cent as affordable housing.

The plans, which NHDC recommend should be granted, will also see 62 on-site parking spaces and the demolition of the old Westbury School’s entrance building, assembly hall and a detached outbuilding.

Cllr for Letchworth South West ward, Mike Rice, said: “We need housing as everybody is aware and the plan appears to be a very good balance given that fact.

“If the site is left as it is it will become vandalised, an eyesore and dangerous.

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“The South West councillors are disappointed that there’s no community facilities in the plan for the Westbury area but obviously we have to appreciate that County (HCC) and the developers do not think in the same way as local people.”

There was strong opposition to the closure of Westbury Primary three years ago which, along with Lannock Primary School, was shut by HCC because of insufficient numbers.

Despite 87 objections and a 1,095 signature petition against it, the closure of Westbury School went ahead and has remained unused ever since.

Tomorrow’s meeting takes place at NHDC’s offices in Gernon Road, Letchworth GC, from 7.30pm.