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'Uninspiring but cost-effective' school plans 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".
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