Hertfordshire County Council claims it was never told how much it needed to pay to buy land at Shenley Primary School.

Last month, it emerged that land used by Shenley Primary School had been sold to the chairman of Shenley Parish Council, Councillor William Susman, and his neighbour, Nikolai Levey, whose homes back onto the school field.

The sale, announced by the school in early June, angered school governors and parents who demonstrated outside the school on a Saturday in June after finding out a fence was already being erected.

As a result of the protests, the fence construction was paused and since then, after urging meetings were held between a number of key people, an agreement was made between all parties that the school could continue to use the land "for the time being".

Read more: Urgent meeting takes place after school field protest

Borehamwood Times:

Borehamwood Times:

Cllr William Susman speaking to parents attending the protest. Credit: Simon Jacobs

The private land in question, around a third of the school field and home to an outdoor learning centre and community-fundraised sculpture, had been leased by the the county council for primary school use since 1999, but the lease came to an end in 2019.

The county council has released a new statement regarding this particular land and its involvement in the sale process.

A spokesperson said: "Agents acting on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council made a number of requests to meet with the vendor to seek to agree acceptable terms for the purchase of this Open Space designated land. These requests were not met.

"The county council made an initial offer to secure the freehold of the land in June 2019, which was not accepted.

"The vendor’s solicitor was unwilling to discuss the basis on which they had valued the land.

"The county council, after several attempts to progress matters, made a final offer in January 2020 and was advised in February 2020 that the land had been sold to the adjoining neighbours."

Read the county council's first statement here

Borehamwood Times:

The recently sold section of school field. Credit: Simon Jacobs

Borehamwood Times:

The Times has contacted Cllr Susman and Mr Levey to speak to the vendor about the council's statement, but have not heard back. 

Shenley Parish Council has also failed to respond to a request by the Times to find out why its vice-chairman, Nigel Heller, stepped down after less than two months in the role, and just a week or so after the backlash to the school field sale.

Mr Heller said reasons for his resignation from the council were a "matter of record" with the parish council.

Tonight (Tuesday), a Shenley Parish Council meeting will take place virtually from 7.30pm.

On the agenda is a discussion about the Shenley Primary School field.

For those who want to watch the meeting, it can be streamed on Zoom here.

The meeting ID is 873 5210 5188 and the password is 536074.