Well-used Stevenage park considered for school build
A COUNCIL has deferred a decision on the relocation of a secondary school to Great Ashby in order to assess a well-used valuable park as a potential site for the development. Herts County Council s (HCC) Development Control Committee met to discuss plans
A COUNCIL has deferred a decision on the relocation of a secondary school to Great Ashby in order to assess a well-used valuable park as a potential site for the development.
Herts County Council's (HCC) Development Control Committee met to discuss plans to move The Thomas Alleyne School from Stevenage Old Town to Great Ashby, as part of the wider Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme.
The BSF programme is set to rebuild, remodel and relocate secondary schools, special schools and education support centres across the county, beginning in Stevenage in early 2011.
The committee opted to defer making a decision on The Thomas Alleyne School relocation plans in order to assess the suitability of St Nicholas Park in Stevenage as a potential site for the school.
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Resident Ric Euteneuer, of Durham Road in Stevenage, said: "It may have escaped councillors' notice, but there is a well used park on this site used by residents of Stevenage and Great Ashby for sports, leisure and entertainment. Contrast this with the empty field that the proposed school will stand on in Great Ashby."
A report issued to members of the Development Control Committee asserts that a study carried out "identified St Nicholas Park as performing a valuable function as a site for outdoor sport provision in a densely developed area with a good quality rating, good/very good access, and significant usage."
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The study also showed a significant under-provision of parks and gardens in this area of town.
Stevenage Borough Council has confirmed that there is no acceptable site for a replacement park within the borough, and even if a replacement site could be found on the fringe of Great Ashby it would be significantly less accessible to existing users of St Nicholas Park.
As part of HCC's initial assessment of potential sites for The Thomas Alleyne School, five areas were identified. All but the land north-east of Great Ashby were rejected by the county council, including St Nicholas Park. HCC concluded that the park, which is home to a play area and large play centre, was not an option because "it is a valued public open space with significant sport provision".
The Development Control Committee is scheduled to reconvene on March 2.