Hitchin primary school expansion backed by council

THE controversial expansion of a primary school has been backed by councillors, despite the majority of respondents to a public consultation opposing the plans.

Herts County Council’s (HCC) cabinet this week agreed plans to double the number of reception places at Samuel Lucas School in Hitchin.

But the agreement went against the views of the public, with nearly 60 per cent of respondents across two consultations disagreeing with plans.

Many residents claim the expansion will cause traffic and safety issues, and say the county council hadn’t properly explored options.

Resident Robin Dartington told the Comet: “Sometimes, war is too important to be left to the generals.

“Hitchin needs more school places but the question is where to enlarge a school without creating problems for residents.”

He added: “The council knows it has possibilities but is too lazy to investigate which would be best. Not acceptable in a democracy.”

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A statutory notice will now be published and a four week representation period will follow, in which anyone can comment or object.

Planning approval will be sought in January.

Frances Button, HCC cabinet member for education, said: “Having discussed at length the locations of other schools, the education panel recognised Samuel Lucas was the right choice.

“This is currently a one form entry school sitting on a two form entry site as it was always intended to be a larger school when the land was first acquired by the county council.”

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