Another blow for £2m school sports hall plan

Plans for a £2.3 million sports hall at Berkhamsted’s Ashlyns School have been delayed for a second time after objections from the town’s politicians.

The property – which is in the Green Belt – is on a Grade II-listed site and has been used as a set in hit programmes Call The Midwife and EastEnders.

The sports hall will help Ashlyns cope with the extra students in Years 7 and 8 after it switched from being an upper to a secondary school in September.

There are now an extra 570 pupils at the establishment – and it had been hoped that the sports hall could be built by the start of the next academic year.

But Berkhamsted Town Council’s planning committee objected to the proposals for a second time during a meeting on Monday evening.

Previously, chairman Laurence Handy had said the design of the new development would lead to the ‘worst disaster in town and country planning history’.

Councillors then said the building relied too much on the use of concrete which would make the building clash with its surroundings.

School headteacher James Shapland said on Monday that the property would now be smaller with more use of bricks and less concrete.

But the councillors said it was still not good enough. They said the building was going to be there for a long time – so it was important that it looked as good as possible.

The committee ruled that it would remove its objection if Herts County Council, Dacorum Borough Council and the developer agree a design that fits in better with the surroundings.