Petitioning Hertfordshire County Council

Reconsider the decision to build a new Harpenden School on the Site East of Common Lane

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We the undersigned, as residents of the Harpenden School Planning Area, petition Hertfordshire County Council (HCC), in conjunction with Education Funding Agency (EFA), to rerun the site evaluation and selection process, including scoring that led to the Site East of Common Lane (Site F) being chosen as a potential new school site, before any further work is carried out on the Harpenden School project due to significant changes in the factors considered in the previous exercise.

In the original scoring used to justify site selection no account was taken of the following (in no particular order):  

1) Site F's owners ambitions to develop part of the site for housing, and the consequent effects on school building; 

2) The ambition of South Beds to develop housing on the Harpenden Northern border.

3) The rising levels of traffic caused by housing development on the Lower Luton Rd and North Harpenden and the continuing expansion of Luton Airport.  

4) Two separate Archaeological investigations by the University of Bristol on only one corner of the site using Magnetometry and Ground Penetrating Radar have revealed a significant variety of constructions on the site which merit a thorough investigation of the entire site,

5) The original decision (as stated in minutes of HCC Cabinet meeting 23 September 2013) was based on a permanent increase in demand of 5 Forms of Entry over current school place provision, while the latest HCC forecasts, produced just 3 years later, show a fall to a demand for 0 Forms of Entry by the end of the forecast period, i.e. no shortfall. We believe this evidence that was not available at the time the search and evaluation processes were undertaken and has a material bearing on the nature and location of an appropriate site for needs of the area.

As this evidence was not available at the time the search and evaluation processes were undertaken and has a material bearing on the nature and potential location of an appropriate site for the needs of the area.

Any one of the above is enough to mean the circumstances for releasing this site from green belt cannot be justified.

This petition will be delivered to:
  • Hertfordshire County Council


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