Shepherd Primary School expansion approved by Hertfordshire County Council

A school in Rickmansworth will be expanded to help plug a shortfall of pupil places, after plans were passed by the county council today.

The proposals detail how Shepherd Primary School, in Shepherd’s Lane, will be expanded to take on another 30 pupils.

The school is one of six to be enlarged, and the only one to attract objections from neighbours.

A forecast shows that by the 2013/14 intake, the area of Rickmansworth will be facing a deficit of 16 primary places.

The council’s cabinet met this afternoon to consider the response from a public consultation.

Three objections were received, relating to extra traffic and parking problems which could result as part of the expansion.

A highways assessment indicates that although there will be challenges, the road network can cope with the additional journeys made by the new pupils, after the expansion.

Councillor Frances Button argued that the school would provide another 18 parking spaces, and two areas for "park and stride" schemes.

These will see parents driving to an area such as the Willliam Penn Leisure Centre car park, and dropping the children off so they can walk from there.

A new pedestrian access link is also proposed for the northern boundary of the school, to encourage more parents to use the park and stride scheme.

Shepherd School has agreed to promote sustainable travel to school, and encourage parents to use the new facilities.

Specifically, the school proposes to write to parents asking them not to park in the adjacent property and will remind parents as appropriate on an ongoing basis.

The enlargement, although agreed by cabinet, will still have to pass through the planning process.

Any highways issues which remain are expected to be ironed out by the council’s development control committee.

The budget for the project was approved in May 2012, and totals £32.39million for phase two of the "Primary Expansion Programme".

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