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Bushey resident's anger with county council after new school built
BUSHEY resident Alison Castellow has hit out at Hertfordshire County Council for failing to ensure contractors, who built a school opposite her home, repaired the nearby green.
Following an investment of £8,250,000 by the council, Highwood Primary School, which once stood in Bushey Mill Lane, was demolished and rebuilt in a neighbouring field.
Much to the dismay of residents in Mead Way, the entrance to the school was relocated to their road, sparking concerns of an increase in traffic.
In March, the Watford Observer reported how neighbours of the school said they had compromised on the fact their properties would no longer be overlooking open fields and been assured traffic would not be an issue.
What they did not bank on however, was that their new view would consist of large waste bins and a huge water tank. Or that there would be daily traffic chaos in their street and that the once grassy island in the middle of their road would be destroyed by vehicles driving over it.
Mrs Castellow, 48, said: "We have been told one thing after another by the council - it’s got to the point no-one knows quite what to believe.
"Supposedly quality topsoil was put down on the green, so the grass would grow. I looked at that soil and it wasn’t topsoil. It had a sandy texture and was full of rocks. Now what we’ve got are ridiculously high weeds. It’s unsightly.
"Vehicles are still driving over it and nothing has been put in place to stop from them doing so. We’ve asked for bollards but it appears our requests have been unheard. We’ve asked drivers to be more courteous, but they just won’t listen.
"As for building the wall to hide the water tank and bins, work was supposed to have started on August 20 before children came back to school. But nothing has been done.
"Blaming it on the weather just doesn’t cut the mustard, it’s been really sunny, there’s no excuse.
"Why can’t the council give us correct information and act upon it? Why are we having to chase them?"
Hertfordshire County Council said it has instructed its contractor to complete all necessary work as soon as possible.
David Henning, council representative, said: "The work to the service yard is currently underway and completion is expected within two weeks.
"Planting in the area will be carried out in October as we understand is to be the best time to achieve optimum growth. The reinstatement work is being carried out by the contractor and their subcontractors.
"The grass was reinstated a number of weeks ago. It appears that further damage has been done recently by cars parking on the grass and work to rectify this issue will take place alongside the other remaining works."
Morgan Sindall spokesman Ruth Cobban said: "Morgan Sindall is currently constructing a wall to screen the water tank and adjusting the access and screening to the service yard, and this is due to be completed in approximately five weeks.
"The Morgan Sindall construction team has not used Mead Way or the grassed island near the front of the school since February as work is now proceeding on another part of the school accessed by a different road, and are not responsible for the damage to the green.
"Although part of the island was damaged by unavoidable deliveries during construction, the Morgan Sindall team repaired the damage with topsoil and the green was left flat and even.
"We continue to work closely with the council to engage with local residents and ensure building work on the primary school proceeds with as little disruption to people’s lives as possible."
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