Go-ahead for college and housing complex in the Green Belt

PUBLISHED: 14:15 19 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 06 May 2010

A MULTI-million pound college complex and two housing schemes on Green Belt land in St Albans have been approved by the district council. At the planning referrals committee meeting held last night (Wednesday), the majority of councillors agreed to grant

A MULTI-million pound college complex and two housing schemes on Green Belt land in St Albans have been approved by the district council.

At the planning referrals committee meeting held last night (Wednesday), the majority of councillors agreed to grant the application for a new state-of-the-art complex on the existing Oaklands College site in Smallford.

This was despite a number of objections, including those from some councillors and the Civic Society who felt the 62 flats and houses proposed could not be justified in the Green Belt.

But those in favour of the development felt the complex would offer a valuable educational and community amenity which overruled the Green Belt issue.

The application, submitted by Oaklands College and George Wimpey North Thames, will now be passed on the Secretary of State for approval.

If built, the new college site would include nearly 32,000 square metres of educational floor space, high-standard sports pitches, 820 parking spaces and a new roundabout for access onto Hatfield Road.

The councillors also approved a scheme for 38 new homes submitted by George Wimpey North Thames on the former Oaklands College site in Highfield Lane, Tyttenhanger.

Although it is also Green Belt land, the agricultural site has fallen into disrepair and the majority of councillors felt the housing would be an ideal way of rejuvenating the site.

But councillors refused an application submitted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Herts County Council (HCC) for housing in the Green Belt at Beaumont School and land north of Winches Farm.

The plans included 78 dwellings along with new sports pitches, a classroom and sports hall, along with a new access road from Hatfield Road and an extra car park on the site.

Councillors felt the special circumstances to build housing on Green Belt land had not been justified and said the application had a number of flaws.

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