St Albans school’s development bid approved on appeal

A ST ALBANS secondary school has won its appeal for a housing scheme together with a new sports hall and classrooms after appealing to the the Planning Inspectorate.

Beaumont School had appealed against St Albans council’s decision to refuse outline planning permission for a mixed use development including up to 75 homes, new sports pitches including an all-weather pitch, new classrooms and a sports hall on land to the north of Winches Farm in Hatfield Road.

There would also be improved access from Hatfield Road to the school and the proposed residential development.

Granting the appeal, the inspector pointed out that since it had been lodged, the district council cabinet had resolved that the land in question should be included as a core strategy site in the district which pointed to its willingness to allow it to be developed.

He said there were two remaining outstanding issues - its Green Belt location and the design and layout.

He accepted that there were special circumstances to warrant Green Belt development including a substantial improvement to the school’s facilities, the provision of playing fields that could be used all year and far better access.

And he did not accept that the council’s criticisms of the layout and design amounted to “persuasive evidence” that good standards of design could not be achieved by the use of reserved matters to follow the outline application.