Residents claim Hitchin school disregarding wildlife

AN INVESTIGATION is underway, after a council received complaints that a school has been undertaking site clearance in preparation of building work ahead of schedule.

Hitchin Girls’ School had a planning application approved last March to build some tennis courts on its site.

Conditions imposed by North Herts District Council said that no site clearance work should be conducted between March 1 and August 30 in any given year. The condition was imposed to protect nesting birds and wildlife.

But resident Shelly Aitkenhead, who lives in The Avenue, claims that site clearance began as soon as the school broke up for the summer. She has been down to the site to inspect the work and has lodged an official complaint with NHDC.

“If there was any wildlife there, then it will certainly be gone now,” she told the Comet.

“I went round [to the school], but they said it wasn’t site clearance. But it certainly looks like it is to me.”

Ian Fullstone, NHDC’s head of development and building control, said: “The council is aware of complaints about site clearance work taking place at Hitchin Girls’ School.

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“We are currently investigating the situation to establish the full facts of the matter and are in contact with the local councillor, residents and representatives of the school.”

Due to it being the summer holidays, the school was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.