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Hertswood Academy development plans would help preserve greenbelt says governor
A school has said its redevelopment work will relieve the pressure on the council to find space for new homes and facilities.
According to Hertsmere Borough Council’s Local Plan, released last year, the council has to find space for a minimum of 3,990 homes over the next 15 years and a new two form entry primary school for Borehamwood.
The chairman of governors for Hertswood Academy Graham Taylor said the school’s plan to sell its upper site in Thrift Farm Way would help relieve some of that burden while helping keep the greenbelt intact.
Speaking at last night’s meeting of the Elstree and Borehamwood Residents Association, Mr Taylor said an estimated 276 homes would be built on its Thrift Farm Lane site when it was sold to developers.
He said: “The borough council can’t do much about its housing target, but, we can help the borough to avoid building those new houses on greenbelt land.
“By selling our Thrift Farm Lane site for housing we are helping relieve that burden.”
He said the school had looked at the option of selling our Cowley Hill site to developers but the Thrift Farm Lane site was too small to house the secondary school as well as The Ark Theatre and the Hertswood Centre.
He added: “Our Cowley Hill site is greenbelt and our plans, including having a three storey school building, will mean there is more open space available.”
The school is currently in discussion with Hertsmere Council and Hertfordshire County Council about incorporating a two form entry primary school into its building plans for the Cowley Hill site.
Mr Taylor said: “We are very keen to have the primary school on our site if we think we can accommodate it.
“Borehamwood is in need of a new primary school and as a resident I would like to save Maxwell Park Community centre, which is currently earmarked as a site for it.
“Having a primary school at Hertswood Academy would be a win-win situation as it would relieve the pressure on the community centre.”
He said he did not yet know whether any primary school would be a separate building or a through school.
During the meeting, people raised concerns about the congestion problems caused by having all those facilities on the Cowley Hill site, with one resident saying the road resembled a “car racing site” and was far too narrow to accommodate the increased volume of traffic.
Mr Taylor said he accepted the roads were “tight” and the school was looking at ways to improve the situation.
He said: “We are currently looking at ways we could widen the road and improve traffic flow in the area, making it easier for parents to drop children off.”
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