A new village primary school will only be built when demand for places is greater than the number of available places.

Hertfordshire County Council has agreed a deal with Taylor Wimpey so that a section of land off Woodside Road, Abbots Langley, can be used for a new primary school.

The authority has admitted the school will only be built if the demand for school places surges past the number of available places in the area.

Some Liberal Democrat councillors claim this position means the council has supported plans for houses to be built on Green Belt land.

Hertfordshire County Council told the inquiry into Three Rivers’ Local Plan the site of the development “is well located in relation to the forecast demand for school places.”

But it is now using money from a previous development to re-open a form of entry at Leavesden Green JMI School.

Three Rivers District Council’s planning committee approved the plans for 95 homes in Woodside Road in September.

County councillor Sara Bedford, who represents Abbots Langley, said, “I am angry that the county council do not now think that a new primary school is needed in Woodside Road.

“Parents will not be surprised to see that the county council appears to have absolutely no idea how many school places will be needed.

“Thanks to this incompetence, children will not have the right school places provided where they are needed. Worse, the county council have enabled Taylor Wimpey to build a housing estate on a previously green field on a busy road.”

Three Rivers District Council removed the Green Belt status of the land, paving the way for it to be development on.

Leavesden councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst added, “I am furious at this U-turn. The county council convinced the inspector that this site was needed, when clearly it was not.

“The council must explain how they managed to get it so wrong, and should apologise for the county council’s part in bringing housebuilding to this Green Belt site”.

Speaking of the need for a new primary school in the village, planning inspector Keith Manning, in a report to Three Rivers District Council, said: “Taylor Wimpey has indicated its willingness to enable the development of a primary school at this site in conjunction with some housing development on adjacent land.

“It [Hertfordshire County Council] has crystallised its view in respect of the primary school site it considers to be needed in Abbots Langley, namely land at Woodside Road, and would if necessary, seek to acquire that by compulsion.”

Spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council Simon Hoggett said: “Hertfordshire County Council has signed a formal s106 agreement with the developer to allow our acquisition of the land for the construction of a new primary school.

“There are 10,000 more children under the age of four in Hertfordshire today than there were a decade ago and the county council is spending more than £170 million to provide over 3,000 additional reception places up to the next academic year.

“Forecasts will continue to be monitored and new schools brought forward where appropriate to meet rising demand for places.

"The county council continues to work hard throughout our organisation to ensure that Hertfordshire residents have access to good, local schools.”