Hitchin school to double in size
- Credit: Archant
A PRIMARY school will be doubled in size despite concerns from residents living nearby who have argued the school cannot cope with the influx.
On Tuesday, members of Hertfordshire County Council’s development control committee granted planning permission for a two-storey 10-classroom block and associated works at Samuel Lucas JMI.
County councillor David Barnard, who is a member of the committee and represents Hitchin Rural Division, and the residential area adjacent to the school was the sole member of the committee to vote against the proposal.
Cllr Barnard said: “Of course, I am in favour of, and recognise the need, to provide additional primary school places in Hitchin, but I spoke out strongly against the transport proposals around the school, which I feel are inadequate, poorly planned, and a potential danger to our children, as well as causing the inevitable grid locking of our prime roads at the busiest times of day.
“On-street parking is a way of life on our Victorian roads, and yellow lines would only push the problem elsewhere.
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“I suggested that the extra staff car parking places should be dispensed with, and a “drive in and out” drop off zone produced in its place. This was ignored.”
Mr Barnard said a deferment of the proposal would have given officers the opportunity to research such a scheme, which would have ticked so many boxes.”
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Robin Dartington from Keep Hitchin Special said: “The meeting was a disappointment, the councillor had clearly not looked at the objections put forward and did not engage in a debate, they went straight to a vote.”
The council received 26 letters and emails in response to the planning application, 23 of which raised objections. The plans, for the school include new buildings, playing fields and landscaping.
Herts County Council hopes to start by doubling the intake of reception children this September.