A landowner is seeking changes to planning permission it received two years ago to allow them to build new homes before a school has been built.

In October 2018, Wrotham Park Estates were granted outline planning permission by Hertsmere Borough Council for 58 homes on green belt land off Potters Lane, near Well End.

As part of this permission, which was subject to protests from Well End residents, Wrotham gave up adjacent land it owned to Hertfordshire County Council, to enable the council to build a new two-form entry primary school.

A section 106 agreement in 2018 meant a primary school had to be in place before any work could start on residential development - although at the time, the county council did not specify when a school would be needed.

More than 20 months down the line and applicants Wrotham Park Estates has returned to the council.

The applicants want to remove the clause that a school must come before houses can be built.

Borehamwood Times:

The land in question is off the narrow Potters Lane

According to planning documents, the county council does still see the need for a school in this area, but current data suggests it may not be needed until at least 2025.

Initially, it was thought a new school could be needed by 2021.

The county council does not want to take on the land until a school is needed.

Borehamwood Times:

Campaigners fought to protect the green belt (pictured in 2018)

The application, which will come before the borough council's planning committee on July 16, comes with the proposed Section 106 agreement that the land set aside for a school will be transferred to Hertsmere Borough Council.

However, the council will lease the land behind Hertswood Academy back to Wrotham for upkeep and maintenance purposes.

The planning document states the land in question must be safeguarded for educational use for a period of up to 12 years.

The land will presumably be transferred to the county council if or when during that period the time comes for a new school.

If by 2032, there has been no need for a new school, the land will be used for an alternative public purpose, the document states.

The proposed agreement which councillors will consider states that construction of the 58 homes cannot start until the school land is in the control of the borough council.

Just like in 2018, the planning committee will discuss two outline proposals - one for 58 homes and one for a primary school.

They may choose to refuse the applications.

If councillors approve both of the schemes, which are connected but separate, then borough council officers will need to agree the revised Section 106 agreement with Wrotham, and have the powers to refuse the applications if no agreement can be made.

If a new Section 106 is agreed, Wrotham will have the green light to submit proposals for a more detailed planning application for 58 homes.

The planning report can be found here.