'Uninspiring but cost-effective' school plans approved

Watford Observer: 'Uninspiring but cost-effective' plans for new school approved 'Uninspiring but cost-effective' plans for new school approved

Plans for a "somewhat uninspiring" yet "cost effective to build" new primary school in West Watford have been approved.

Politicians on Watford Borough Council’s development control committee voted through the proposals for the Ascot Road Community Free School on Thursday without discussion.

The school is due to be built on the former Royal Mail depot site on Ascot Road, next to the new Morrisons supermarket.

The school had been meant to open this September. But due to delays its first 60 pupils will spend their first year at another free school opening in the Lanchester building at West Herts College.

The Ascot Road Community Free School, which is being opened by the West Herts Community Free School Trust, is due to be ready for next September.

The school will be two form of entry, meaning it will take on 60 new pupils a year.

The trust had already obtained outline planning permission for the school. However the second application was needed to settle issues such as the new building’s scale, appearance, and layout.

The new school will be at the southern end of the Morrison’s site and will adjoin the playing fields of Westfield Academy

Council planners commented that the design of the new school had been "kept simple" and the main building will have white rendering with coloured panels.

A report to the committee said: "Overall, the building will have a clean, light and uncluttered appearance and whilst being somewhat uninspiring, it will be constructed of high quality materials and enable the building to be functional and cost effective to build.

"Having regard to its location and the potential for new development on the surrounding land to the north and west, this approach is considered acceptable and appropriate."

The main pedestrian access to the school will be along the new entrance road to Morrison’s. There will be a second entrance further in the site so parents can use the Morrison’s car park to pick-up and drop-off.

The school will also have 33-space car park for staff, as well as two shelters for 32 bikes and space for "45 scooters within the pedestrian piazza area".

Comments (6)

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12:50pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Cuetip says...

Let's hope this local school helps to reduce the bussing of children around our congested the town and become a hub for social cohesion. The fear is that housing developments continue to outstrip services as the 700 odd homes planned for the 'decoupled Health Campus'.
Let's hope this local school helps to reduce the bussing of children around our congested the town and become a hub for social cohesion. The fear is that housing developments continue to outstrip services as the 700 odd homes planned for the 'decoupled Health Campus'. Cuetip
  • Score: 10

1:40pm Mon 17 Mar 14

TRT says...

Decoupled? Off the tracks more like! Is there a better version of this plan? i.e. clearer, bigger picture?
Decoupled? Off the tracks more like! Is there a better version of this plan? i.e. clearer, bigger picture? TRT
  • Score: 4

2:47pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Felinefrenzi says...

Now the plans are finally agreed, whey can't they pull their fingers out and get it built in 5 months, ready for the September start, for the first 60 kids.
Certainly doable, just need to want to do it.
Don't think that is asking too much.
Now the plans are finally agreed, whey can't they pull their fingers out and get it built in 5 months, ready for the September start, for the first 60 kids. Certainly doable, just need to want to do it. Don't think that is asking too much. Felinefrenzi
  • Score: 2

3:42pm Mon 17 Mar 14

not a regular says...

I'll happily live in a world where all school buildings are "uninspiring" if it means the kids actually have enough space to learn. Would help if London and its surrounding towns weren't akin to a can of sardines.
I'll happily live in a world where all school buildings are "uninspiring" if it means the kids actually have enough space to learn. Would help if London and its surrounding towns weren't akin to a can of sardines. not a regular
  • Score: 3

5:55pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Andrew1963 says...

Where are the children living who will go to this school instead of Holywell which is about a mile away. Is it for Croxley Green or West Watford residents or casting its net further afield?
Where are the children living who will go to this school instead of Holywell which is about a mile away. Is it for Croxley Green or West Watford residents or casting its net further afield? Andrew1963
  • Score: 2

6:13pm Mon 17 Mar 14

gusgreen says...

Andrew1963 wrote:
Where are the children living who will go to this school instead of Holywell which is about a mile away. Is it for Croxley Green or West Watford residents or casting its net further afield?
With 700+ homes on the wealth campus ( no not a spelling mistake) Watford is going to need all the school places it can get!
[quote][p][bold]Andrew1963[/bold] wrote: Where are the children living who will go to this school instead of Holywell which is about a mile away. Is it for Croxley Green or West Watford residents or casting its net further afield?[/p][/quote]With 700+ homes on the wealth campus ( no not a spelling mistake) Watford is going to need all the school places it can get! gusgreen
  • Score: 3

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