Mystery over plans for Nicholas Breakspear School, St Albans

SECRECY surrounds a plan to extend a secondary school s sporting facilities. Anxious residents living near Nicholas Breakspear School in Colney Heath Lane were due to meet staff last night to discuss the plans at an informal meeting. But the invitations

SECRECY surrounds a plan to extend a secondary school's sporting facilities.

Anxious residents living near Nicholas Breakspear School in Colney Heath Lane were due to meet staff last night to discuss the plans at an "informal" meeting.

But the invitations from Nicholas Breakspear, which has sports college status, were only posted through their doors on Monday.

St Albans council's planning portfolio holder Cllr Chris Brazier, who is also ward councillor for Colney Heath, had no idea of what was being planned until he heard from worried residents.


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But even when he telephoned the school he was told that no-one would say anything until the residents were told first. He planned to attend the meeting to hear for himself first hand.

Robert Hobbs, 63, of Colney Heath Lane, St Albans, said the invitation to the meeting indicates that the school was planning an all-weather pitch, coaching facilities and changing rooms in conjunction with St Albans City Youth FC. "It sounds like teams from all over the district may be using the facilities. We are worried that our evenings and weekends are going to be disturbed by more noise. We have more than 1,000 kids go past our house every day of the week and it can be noisy.

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"But now it looks as though the school is joining in with St Albans City Youth Football Club to hold more sporting events at the school. That means on weekends we will have more traffic, more noise and our peace and quiet will be lost."

Nicholas Breakspear head Phil Jakszta said he was not prepared to discuss the school's plans.

He said: "I have arranged to speak to the residents about it on Wednesday night."

When it was put to him that many residents - some of them on holiday - would be unable to turn up with just two days' notice he said that was all he was prepared to say.

n In 2003 Nicholas Breakspear School unveiled an ambitious scheme to build a new secondary school and put houses on its current site which was intended to help boost its sports facilities.

But even though the proposals were unveiled to local residents, it never went any further forward.

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