Letchworth secondary school set for multi-million pound rebuild

An artists impression of how the new school will look.

An artists impression of how the new school will look. - Credit: Archant

A Letchworth secondary school is set for a multi-million pound rebuild after a successful appeal.

Plans to redevelop Highfield were initially rejected by North Herts District Council planning committee members a year ago, but to the school’s joy the decision was overturned by a planning inspectorate decision on Monday.

The redevelopment will see a new secondary school building, hard and soft surface play areas, car parking and a multi-use games area.

The existing school building will be demolished, but a sports hall will be retained. Headteacher Ian Morris said: “This is fantastic news for current and future students and great news for Letchworth.

“We will be able to offer state-of-the-art facilities for our curriculum areas as well as buildings that we can heat properly in the winter and ventilate properly in the summer.

“The grounds will be relandscaped, offering staff and students a significantly better environment in which to work and study.

“And with the way the new buildings have been designed, we can achieve all this while retaining the outstanding ethos and character of the current school.

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“This is a very exciting time and a really positive move forward.”

The £15 million project will be funded by the government’s priority schools building programme.

North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald said: “I am pleased that rebuilding Highfield School with government support is to go ahead.

“The inspector took care to fully consider the concerns of neighbours and ordered further screening.

“This will be a boost for Letchworth students, their families and all the team at the school.”

Councillors had initially rejected the proposal because they feared the development would have an unacceptable impact on neighbouring residential areas.

This week’s decision says the scheme would not result in ‘unacceptable harm to the living conditions of local residents’.

No date for a start on the work has yet been confirmed.