Mr Chay Dempster
Spatial Planning and Economy Unit
CHN216, County Hall
SG13 8DN 10 April 2020
Dear Mr Dempster
BISHOP’S STORTFORD SOUTH (BSS)
THE BOYS HIGH SCHOOL (TBSH)
Your ref: PL/0129/20 – A reserved matters application (covering layout, scale, appearance and landscaping) for the construction of a new 6FE secondary school (D1), car parking, cycle storage locations, minibus drop off, playing fields, multi-use games area, surface water attenuation measures and other associated development pursuant to outline planning permission ref. 3/1058-19 dated 14 November 2019.
I am writing on behalf of the Bishop’s Stortford Civic Federation about this reserved matters application.
We have seen the detailed representations made by Mr Colin Arnott and wish to support his request that, since there is no longer a Department for Education funding deadline to be met, this application is premature and, if not withdrawn, should be refused permission.
Mr Arnott has provided extensive and detailed reasons for his request and we do not need to repeat them here. We would however, like to emphasise that the transport assessment for BSS as a whole, on which HCC relied in giving itself permission for the TBSHS to relocate there, has subsequently been shown to have been fundamentally flawed. Its shortcomings were exposed in the transport assessment provided in support of the application to redevelop the existing School site. This suggested that traffic on the southern part of the Bishop’s Stortford road network will come to a complete standstill in the morning and evening peaks. This was caused not so much by the development proposals for the existing site, but rather was the result of already committed development, in particular development at BSS. A major contributor to this congestion was the proposed relocation of the School to BSS.
As a result, the Highway authority has recommended refusal of permission for the development of the existing School site. However, it is clear from the analysis that there needs to be a wider, independent re-examination of the traffic impact of all development commitments and especially the BSS development and associated School move, before any outline permission is turned into a full permission. It may well turn out to be necessary to modify any outline permissions already granted and perhaps indicate that they should not be exercised or only partially exercised. On present evidence, relocation of TBSHS to BSS would be unsustainable. This reserved matters planning application should not therefore be granted permission.