Parking row over sport plans for Nicholas Breakspear School, St Albans

A MEETING held to discuss the extension of a secondary school s sporting facilities was hijacked by residents anxious to discuss existing parking problems caused by students. Around 35 anxious residents living near Nicholas Breakspear School in Colney Hea

A MEETING held to discuss the extension of a secondary school's sporting facilities was hijacked by residents anxious to discuss existing parking problems caused by students.

Around 35 anxious residents living near Nicholas Breakspear School in Colney Heath Lane, St Albans met staff at the school on Wednesday night to discuss the plans for a floodlit multi-games area and changing rooms.

A planning application has already been submitted for the scheme which will be in conjunction with St Albans City Youth FC.

Robert Hobbs, 63, of Colney Heath Lane, said: "I am concerned that the planning application they have submitted for an all-weather pitch and changing rooms will attract football teams from all over the country. At present we have peace and quiet at weekends and in the evenings but I suspect this will be lost."


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He said the main focus at the meeting was on parking with concerned residents living in Hobbs Close and Swan Close complaining that sixth formers were clogging up their roads with their cars.

Councillor Chris Brazier, portfolio holder for planning on St Albans District Council, was there to represent his Colney Heath constituents.

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He said: "This could have been handled better. Instead of giving residents the impression this was a done deal it would have been better to get them - and ward councillors - on board at the consultation stage.

"As it is, residents are more exercised at the moment about the existing parking problems and did not want to discuss the possible effects of the school's new plan.

"I suspect they will have to address these issues if they want residents to respond favourably to their scheme."

He explained to people at the meeting that the application would go before a planning committee and be considered in detail over the coming months before any decision could be reached.

The school, which has sports college status, is hoping to attract a grant to pay for its ambitious plans for the new Astroturf pitch and associated facilities by entering into partnership with St Albans City Youth Football Club.

It could result in teams from all over the district using Nicholas Breakspear outside school hours.

No-one at the school was available for comment after the meeting.

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