A new secondary school in South West Hertfordshire moved a step closer this week when a list of potential sites was released.

However, residents and councillors in South Oxhey were disappointed that the town had not been included on list, despite being “the furthest place from any Hertfordshire school.”

A new school has been on the cards since Hertfordshire County Council announced a projected deficit of more than 250 secondary places by 2026.

Now, 18-months-on, to the delight of parents' organisations like the WD3 School Action Group, TRDC published a document which details five potential sites for the new school, all of which are in the Croxley Green and Rickmansworth area.

However, South Oxhey and Carpenders Park have been without a school since the closure of Sir James Altham Comprehensive in the late 1980s, forcing young students to find a place in nearby Bushey, Northwood School, or Westfield Community College.

Phil Redshaw, Labour councillor for Hayling ward, said: “I was dismayed, we always seem to be the worst off. South Oxhey is still the furthest place from any Hertfordshire school, and there are 12,000 people here, there will be a lot of children.

“If all the South Oxhey kids didn't go to Northwood School then it would close, they keep that place open.”

At a Watford Rural local area forum, Renato Messere, head of development plans at TRDC, informed residents that South Oxhey was left out because there were no suitable sites and no existing secondary schools to expand.

A possible site on Little Oxhey Lane was rejected on grounds of access. Several resident argued that the fact two sites in Croxley Green would have to be accessed by the “smaller and windier Little Green Lane”.

Councillor Redshaw added: “I agree that the bridge on Little Oxhey Lane is too small but so is Little Green Lane, the sites there will have exactly the same problem with congestion.”

He also expressed concerns at an announcement by Hertfordshire County Council, which said there was a need to reduce the £25 million annual school transport budget.

“Haying and Northwick wards are in the top 50 most deprived in the country, one in four families don't have a car,” he said, “these children rely on school buses from Hertfordshire County Council, if they get taken away then there's no way public transport could cope.”

The “Local Development Framework – Site Allocations” document, available from the TRDC office and website, contains the potential sites for a new school.

They are:

  • Site S(a) - Mill End/Maple Cross – 19 hectares of land east of the A405 and north of the A412.
  • Site S (b) - Mill End/Maple Cross – 20 hectares of land in Froghall Farm and adjoining.
  • Site S(c) - Croxley Green – 17 hectares of land to the north of Little Green Lane.
  • Site S (d) - Croxley Green – 12 hectares of land off Baldwins Lane.
  • Site S (e) - Croxley Green – Land to the west and north of Little Green JMI.

Mark Sutton, chairman of the WD3 School Action Group, said: “We’re delighted, but it is vital that we come together to urge those responsible to continue beyond simply finding a site, and pressuring them into delivering the secondary school in the soonest possible time.”

After public consultation, the council will put the site of the new school forward to the new Local Development Framework, a document which projects how new buildings will be managed for the next 15 years.

To register your comments visit TRDC's website below.