Garden Fields School expansion: 80 per cent of residents oppose plans

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Garden Fields School expansion: 80 per cent of residents oppose plans Garden Fields School expansion: 80 per cent of residents oppose plans

There has been overwhelming opposition to plans to turn Garden Fields JMI School into St Albans’ biggest primary school.

A public consulation exercise generated responses from 173 people, with 81.5 per cent objecting to plans for the school to take another 30 reception children from September 2015 and in each subsequent year thereafter, making it a three-form entry school.

Sixteen people agreed with the plans and 16 people said they were undecided.

The £2.7 million proposal has been drawn up in response to a projected shortfall of primary places in schools in other parts of the city.

Garden Fields, in Townsend Drive, has been chosen because “it is located close to the area of demand and the site is capable of accommodating an enlargement”.

Reception places would grow from 60 to 90, which could mean the current capacity of 420 pupils would increase to 630, excluding nursery children.

In a report from the Hertfordshire County Council, it was concluded: “There continues to be a real and pressing need to provide primary school places across Hertfordshire.

“Not providing the premises to allow additional places to be offered will mean that very young children may be forced to access places from considerable distance from their homes.

“The issues raised in response to the proposal for Garden Fields School in St Albans may benefit from further discussion before moving to the next stage.”

A cabinet meeting to discuss these plans will take place on Monday, April 12, at 2pm.

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