Your Comments

These are some of the comments we have received so far, please keep them coming:

“The local infrastructure will not cope with the volume of traffic etc generated by a secondary school.  Stevenage and Welwyn schools are not over subscribed, rendering this proposed school unnecessary.”

“The green belt around Knebworth, Woolmer Green and Datchworth should not be touched. The areas roads simply cannot cope at present, never mind with the extra traffic that a large secondary school would generate. Lastly, I've yet to see any convincing argument that this is in any way required, I therefore oppose it absolutely.”

"It is clear that no thought has been given to the quality of life for those living in these villages. The roads around all sites can't support more traffic and if the WNAS committee really believe that children and staff will walk to school I would like to see the supporting evidence.  I am totally 
against the loss of greenbelt land for a construction we don't need. Use the upgraded Stevenage schools"

“Would serve no useful purpose, ruin the surrounding areas, clog up the roads, cause vehicle massive congestion, be a drain on resources and is a complete waste of taxpayer's money.”

“It would be a terrible shame to ruin the green belt land which is so beautiful and should be preserved.  There is far too much to lose by taking away our green fields than there is to gain by building a school.  I have school age children and find their schools very local and convenient to travel to and from. There is no reason for another school to be built in a village location.” 

“much investment in the Stevenage schools has and will be made - we don't need a school in green belt country, and the further strain on infrastructure that would result.  Let's keep our precious villages as villages.”

“such a new school would damage the environment, destroy green space and is not required. I find the petition by the supporters of the school proposal to be unsoundly based and wrong headed.”

“Leave Woolmer Green alone!”

“Leave our precious country side alone and reopen Heathcote and use this as a Free School.”

“I do not understand why this money isn't spent on the schools that are being closed in Stevenage, the grounds and property are already there, therefore better use of public money in this time of austerity. The increased traffic will destroy our villages.“

“I am quite frankly appalled”

“this school should not be built in any of the proposed sites.  Why can it not be built on the B197 leaving Knebworth to Stevenage? “

“There are enough secondary schools around, we do not need another one. This money should be put towards improving the ones we already have!”

“We DON'T want huge school in this area. I moved here to have a change to bring up my child in save and green area. Don't want people parking in front  of my house. And honestly said, I would never sign my child to a school which doesn't have qualified teachers.”

“Our roads are already unable to cope with rush-hour traffic. Snow or A1M incidents make this worse. Secondary schools should be in towns.”

“When is a village not a village? When you build an unwanted secondary school in it. Why don't we turn the Doctors surgery in to a McDonald's drive through and the library can become a multiplex!! We can even change our name to Stevenage South and become a "park and ride" All our villages should be kept as such. I totally oppose this idea.”

“It's simple, it just doesn't make any sense”

“A terrible idea; Every time the Green Belt is compromised like this Hertfordshire becomes more likely to become a place of one vast urban sprawl joining Stevenage, Hertford, Welwyn Garden City into one.”

“SAVE THE GREEN BELT”

“keep the green belt beautiful and don't build schools on it”

“secondary schools belong in towns not small villages”

“This desire for another school is sheer snobbery, and an implication that children round here are too good for perfectly reasonable schools in Stevenage and WGC”

“we do not need school here or near, the schools in stevenage are still easy to get to when you going to buy a house you take these in to consideration so we say no thank you my children both went to stevenage schools”

“I am very against this and would be happy to support however we can. I own a media company in London and we can offer some services FOC.  I also know our MP Grant Shapps fairly well (he is a client) and would happily contact him.”

“Roads already congested. No need for one; and in today's economic climate there must be better issues that this money can be spent on. “

“Keep up the good work !!”

“Boo!!! Not enough space for another school in Woolmer Green …”

“Woolmer Green is too small for a huge secondary school.  Build it in a town!”

“We live very close to the sites and do not want the increased traffic or have to look at a school instead of the countryside”

“Woolmer Green is far too small for the proposed size of this secondary school.”

“Woolmer Green not appropriate for large school. Has to be in a town with sufficient infrastructure.”

“Keep the Green Belt”

“Both Woolmer Green & Knebworth, suffer with very heavy traffic, we do not need this school or the extra, housing that will  inevitable follow.There are several choices that I know of to go to senior school locally, WGC & Stevenage and for those that can afford it, nearby private schools. There is plenty of choice. We do not need our villages ruined.“

"Keep the green belt, Secondary Schools in towns not villages"

"Like most council or government plans, it would have been probably poorly thought through which is a shame. A simple example I believe, would be the widening of the A1M.  The amount of traffic already in the local villages is a serious issue, which was the reason for the A1M project in the fist place.  As we are all aware, it was poorly investigated and planned effort on the behalf of the council.  This we know left a big hole in the people’s pocket, because as we well know it’s the people that pay for council and government blunders.  It’s good planning that makes a successful project, not money miss management, by people in suits. Unless this has been misread, I’m against the build of a school in this location. Have a nice day..."

“I cannot think why such a large school would be needed in or around Woolmer Green. In any case, the B197 (I live just off the B197) is already busy enough and would become intolerable during school run time.”

“We do not need a school in Knebworth”

“We do not need a school in Knebworth.”

“We do not need a new school. There are provisions locally and it will impact greatly on traffic and parking.”

“I do not understand why they are not listening to the local community. Free Schools driven by the government work outside of the local authority and in competition with other schools. There is no evidence that it is a good for our children and it is a huge social experiment”

"village too small, roads already too busy would restrict datchworth children access to other schools, in Hertford, Welwyn Garden City, Stevenage, etc"

“I travelled to Stevenage to school by bus.  It wasn't a problem and made me more confident and independent.”

“There is no need for another secondary school. Parents will still drive their children and then go off to work. This will lead to more cars and tailbacks through Knebworth high street.“

“There are perfectly good Secondary Schools already in Stevenage & WGC. Another school to be built is unnecessary.”

“Not in favour of building on Greenbelt land”

“I would never have moved to Knebworth if I had known there would be a secondary school near to my home. Preserve our countryside.”

“We don't need a school. We were happy with our choices of secondary school when making the choice 2 years ago and again last Autumn. Most children at Woolmer Green school move onto single-sex schools anyway.”

“We do not need this school, already enough problems with people dropping off & collecting children at the two SMALL local primary schools, just think about the volume of extra traffic this school would generate, the council has already said they are improving the existing schools, this is about people who don't like the existing schools and think they can do better.”

“We do not need a school in Woolmer Green.”

“How utterly ridiculous!  There are no pavements along the lanes, volume of traffic already poses problems, particularly when there is an accident on the A1M, not to mention developing greenbelt land.   Have the Pro-school group conducted any research?”

“BOO, NO SCHOOL IN WOOLMER GREEN. thanks”

“the village isn't big enough to cope with the extra traffic and people a school would bring.it would ruin the village life.”

“Petition!”

“Villages are all about having peace and quiet and not about noise and congestion. Why would you want to ruin a village by building something so huge, it'll have an effect not only in Woolmer Green, but also in surrounding villages like Old Welwyn and Knebworth, increasing the traffic, number of people and general chaos of the villages. It's not worth it and besides, there are plenty of good secondary schools nearby, so travelling just a little bit further each day is nothing compared to having a village destroyed.”

“I work night shifts and already can't park outside my own house due to having primary school parents parked up all down my road. I do not need this frustration increased due to an unnecessary secondary school!”

“I already sit trying to get onto London Road for 10 minutes every morning. I do not need this increased by more traffic through Woolmer Green.”

“we moved to our present address because of the peaceful nature of the surrounding environment. we would be devastated if this was placed in jeopardy”

“this is a scandal and must be stopped at all costs”

“Don't spoil this lovely village, with extra traffic and congestion. I say no to building on Green belt land.“

"Please save our greenbelt land.  The huge school proposal is ludicrous.  Woolmer Green and neighbouring villages do not have the infer-structure to sustain a project of this magnitude. The road network simply will not cope.  The idea that children will walk to school is madness.  Pupils from Knebworth Primary living in Knebworth! have parents drop them off in cars! The idea that children will walk from Datchworth, Codicote and surrounding village locations is inconceivable it simply won't happen. I chose to live in a rural area to appreciate country living. Leave large schools in towns where they belong and where children can access them easily."

“No way would I want a school in the village.  I have a baby due in 1 week and wouldn't want it to live round the corner of its school in years to come.  I want my child/children to come away from built up areas and enjoy the countryside and the village will be ruined if it goes ahead !! I will be devastated !!”

“Absolutely oppose !!  Moved here for the country side and village life and if the school goes ahead the village will die and become a town with more traffic, pollution, crime etc.  They state that house prices could go up 19% ??  Well if the school is in sight of our houses they will go down !!“ 

“Woolmer green IS far too small for a large secondary school. It would destroy the quiet community, create a huge quantity of traffic that the village's traffic system could not cope with and would destroy the quiet life of Woolmer Green.”

“Only 16 years of age and I can already see all the potential problems with bringing this school to our village, they have not thought through the whole concept of building this school. Keep it away!”

“I do not feel a school in woolmer green is appropriate”

“I think the village is too small for this school, the amount of traffic it will generate will cause chaos, i think the only reason behind the building of this school is snobbery because Knebworth residents do not want their children to go to a Stevenage School.”

“Totally against a new school”

“NO SCHOOL”

“My daughter lives in Woolmer Green and one of the reasons she chose this location was the fact it is a small quiet village with open country side and beautiful views.  This would all change(for the worse) should the plans to build this school go ahead.”

“All you have to do is look outside the primary schools each day now to see the appetite for walking; there isn't one. Anyone who thinks traffic and congestion will not increase is not of this world.”

“The building on green belt is ridiculous. There must be brown field sites that could accommodate this school. Also the increase in traffic would not be acceptable.“

“Living in a small village myself i fully appreciate the locals concern about the impact a school of this proposed size would have to the community and feel that the local residence have a right to protect their life style”

“A SCHOOL IN THE VILLAGE WOULD BE A BLOT ON THE LANDSCAPE AND RUIN THE PEACE AND TRANQUILITY OF THIS SMALL RURAL COMMUNITY.”

“It is likely that the school would almost double the population of the village and cause mass congestion in Woolmer Green and surrounding villages should the plans go ahead.”

“We do not a secondary school, we have perfectly good ones in Stevenage and WGC.  The woman behind this campaign is so single minded and worried about her precious children having to go to these schools.  If she doesn't like it may I suggest she moves out the area and leave those of us who want to live in beautiful countryside alone!!”

“No School in Woolmer Grean area the road network hasn't the capacity”

“We don't want a school destroying green belt land. There must be brown field sites in this area.“

“To have three schools within a mile in a small village away from the main towns where they are required is totally ridiculous. .Will they ever get it right?”

“We do not need a  new school in our little village”

“This is the wrong location for a school of this size.  There will be a massive increase in traffic with the resulting increase in the rate of accidents.”

“It is wholly inappropriate to have a school of this size in a  small village.  The infrastructure will not cope, there will be a massive increase in vehicular traffic, litter and obstruction of the paths/roads by parked cars.  This is also Green Belt and in a time when we are encouraged to save our environment it MUST be preserved as such, or this will just be the thin end of the wedge.”

“I used to live in Woolmer Green, and my daughter and son in law still do. The village is not big enough to warrant a school of this size and there will be a dangerous amount of traffic generated by it on the surrounding roads.”

“I think that this is a stupid idea, what's the point in this school? there are many good school's around so why build another one!!”

“We don't need a massive secondary school here, don't like it, don't move to a village then! because you'd ruin the village!”

“Green belt.  Why, why, why!”

“The traffic is bad enough when the A1 has to shut from time to time the thought of that amount of traffic on a daily occurrence is enough to make me think twice about staying in woolmer green”

“This bored housewife wants to build a school in our village which i have lived all my life. If you want a school,build it in knebworth with all the problems that go with it.”

“I am very familiar with the area as well as some local residence of Woolmer Green. I share the opinion that the building of a very large school in the area will be detrimental to the rural town.”

“It's bad enough trying to drive through knebworth with the cars parked on either side, with added traffic it would be a nightmare.”

“People choose to live in a village for a reason. There is neither the room, infrastructure, or facilities to accommodate a large secondary School in this village.  If one has to be built it would be better placed in a town.”  

“The extra traffic through Knebworth shops will cause Chaos”

“We are a small village and our children seem to get the schools of their choice the problem i believe that the people who have moved to knebworth had a good primary school what they didn't foresee was the choices for secondary schools and where they would be ie stevenage . Hands off our beautiful rural village !”

“Stupid idea!”

“The proposals are ill-founded and appears to be no more than a thinly veiled attempt to conceal a crass money-making scheme by local landowners at the expense of local residents.”

"Who wants this school? Build it there.  The idea of building a large secondary school in a small village is absurd.  There certainly isn't 800 teenagers in Woolmer Green to fill it."

“The traffic at rush hour is so bad along the B197 through Woolmer Green.  Adding to that during the build and use of a school would be catastrophic for local commuters.”

“I moved to Woolmer Green nearly 9 years ago because of its rural location and would be ruined if a large school was built on green belt land. Keep WNAS out of OUR village.“

“As an ex Datchworth resident I cannot see any justification for this school. The extra traffic generated will create chaos on the local roads and country lanes and another huge chunk of countryside will disappear.” 

“The school is for 800 pupils (plus teachers), which amounts to as many headcount as the entire population of Woolmer Green.  There are other schools within easy commutable reach of Woolmer Green, these schools already support the needs of the children, so why on earth build yet another school?”

“Bad news for a small village like Woolmer green,will not be able to cope with extra people and traffic !“

"Save the Green Belt around Woolmer Green I say No to WNAS. What is wrong with a Brownfield Site"

“we don't want a school”

“we don't want a school”

“We don't want a school!”

“We do not a secondary school in our small village. SAVE our Greenbelt.  SAVE our Village for future generations.  Start the Revolution!”

“Strongly oppose A totally ridiculous idea obviously not thought out  properly possibly though shear desperation to find a quick answer to “off load” their problem at the cost of this small villages green belted future and the local people living there! The B197 is congested throughout the day particularly at Knebworth ,enough is enough!”

“A Village is NOT a suitable location for a large secondary School. It will change the whole dynamic of the village, not to mention the impact on the already busy roads.”

“We do not want this school built on green belt land in our village. The negative implications for everyone in Woolmer Green are huge. Extra traffic adding to the already busy B187 will cause major problems and is a danger to our children.”

“Woolmer Green is a very small village probably no more than 1000 homes no general store or post office. We cannot cope with the size of the proposal or the addition vehicles this would bring to our narrow village lanes and streets.“

“Build school somewhere that can warrant this size structure; it certainly is not Woolmer Green.”

“Villages do not need large schools, there's already a lot of primary school traffic congestion in Woolmer Green and surrounding areas. Why do we want to make our roads worse and less safe for our children. We don't want the congestion situation that's currently at, for example, John Henry Newman School.”

“We don't need a school.  The green belt land must be protected. The suggested locations are not practical in anycase, just look at the narrow roads (New Road & Mardleybury Road) Most pupils would arrive by car.  All the roads would have to be upgraded to meet the demands the school traffic would need!!!!!“

“Has it been suggested to the members of WNAS that they are able to move near to a school if they think it is important for their children”

“As a local parent who had to appeal to get her daughter into secondary school in WGC - I am proof that you can get your children into the school of your choice. The traffic the proposed school would bring would cause chaos to the surrounding area given that Woolmer Green is mainly made up of small lanes.”

“A secondary school would ruin our village. I have three children at secondary school who manage to get to their schools perfectly well by the transport systems already in place. If people feel they need a secondary school on their doorstep may I suggest they don't live in village locations!!”

“Too much traffic already as used as rat run for congested A1”

“Not on my land”

“We don't wish our pretty little village to have a big school. Keep these to towns and improve the existing schools with the money.”

“We don't need a school here.”

“Not in our village!”

“I am a WHBC Councillor and totally support the petition NOT to build a Secondary School in our village.”

“I grew up in Old Knebworth and travelling to Stevenage did me no harm to get to a secondary school, it didn't do my mother or aunt any harm either as they also had to do the same.  Why do our children have to do something different, we live here because we want them to have such experiences and independence.  Also taking my son to school in Knebworth I can never park easily and have observed that a number of parents who live in Knebworth drive their children particularly on wet days, so how will a secondary school not affect Woolmer Green?  Our roads are narrower and not as numerous so it will gridlock us even more than when there are problems on the A1, and make our roads even more of a risk to our children than they already are, IT WILL NOT HELP US!”

“Keep off Green Belt Land. The village is far too small to house such a School.”

“Woolmer Green does not need a secondary school.  I have two secondary school age children and used the village primary but Woolmer Green children have access to a good range of secondary schools and feel strongly that any money available for school construction should be spent on existing schools to improve the comfort, appearance and efficiency of these.  In my experience most children who attended the village primary were driven to school including many of those who lived in the village - the traffic will be awful.“

“There is no need for a school in Woolmer Green as the area is serviced by some splendid schools already. This campaign is run by spoilt selfish people who feel that they could run a school better than the experts.”

“Save the Village way of life..”

“I fully agree that the proposed secondary school in Woolmer Green must not be allowed to go ahead.”

“Absolutely agree that our villages do not need a Secondary School.  It would have too much of an impact on the infrastructure on the villages. Save Heathcote School!!”

“The person who invented this idea should build outside their house!”

“We do not need a secondary school in a village. Traffic would be a nightmare, particularly down the narrower side roads by some of the proposed sites.”

“This is wrong on every level.  It's all about location rather than education.  Free schools are businesses whose main aim is to make a profit.  They have been a failure in Sweden where they've had them for 20 years.”

“we don't want a school!”

“Keep school out of the village and OFF greenbelt - locate it near larger populations ie Knebworth, Codicote or Old Welwyn.”

"i moved to woolmer green approx 4 years ago and love the village feel. but if a school was built in woolmer green that would be lost, and the roads that are busy now would be grid locked even more so if any problems happen on the a1m."

“Apart from building on green belt land, it will bring more traffic into an already very busy area.Each mother thinks its only her swinging round in the road, parking incorrectly.Why close a school in Stevenage and build a new one should they not improve the existing one and improve the transport to it.“

“I grew up in Woolmer Green and I don't think the village is suitable for a secondary school and what comes with it, traffic , extra housing etc ! Suddenly the village will be a town!”

“Village kids need the life experience gained from going to a secondary school outside their village. Back when I was starting we had the choice of schools in Hertford, Welwyn Garden City, and Stevenage...”

“The towns surrounding the village have places in their existing secondary schools so why build another after closing/knocking 3 down in the last 20 years!”

“I totally agree. It is wrong how someones personal agenda is going to affect so many people without first canvassing fully and properly without bias.”

“There is no way that a secondary school is needed in woolmer green!!! There are already enough schools for all of the kids in our local towns - stevenage,wgc and hertford, simples!!!”

“No place for a huge school in a village”

“As a former Woolmer Green resident I want so say there is no need for a senior school in the area. There are very good senior schools close by & I think my children benefited from the experience & independence that they got from travelling to their senior school. There is unlikely to be sufficient local children who would walk to a new school here & I think that would mean busing kids in from other areas which would be detrimental to the local community & countryside.”

“We don't need a school in any village!”

“Being from Datchworth i strongly oppose the building of a new school in Woolmer Green.”

“No space, no need, nobody wants it”

“I was Born in Woolmer Green and this idea for this school is all wrong. Woolmer Green is a village not a town and should be kept that way.”

“Schools should be in towns not villages!!“

“This area definitely does not need a senior school.  It appears to be just a money making project by those who won't have it on their doorstep.”

“If more school places are so desperately needed then why is Heathcote School closing? If a new school is required why is it imperative that it has to be built on increasingly rare Greenbelt land when it could utilise the existing Brownfield Heathcote site, which will soon become vacant? It leads one to suppose that the proposal is purely to satiate some local parents desire to distance themselves from Stevenage and to grease the palms of a few greedy individuals. Take a reality check – this development will not be the ‘utopia’ we are promised by WNAS. The children will NOT walk to school come rain or shine, it will NOT provide choice for local parents (quite the opposite), the development of an 800 pupil secondary school, swimming pool and gymnasium will NOT nestle discretely into the natural environment, but it WILL increase traffic congestion through the village, it WILL change the character of the village and it WILL open the doors to further development in order to populate a large school.”

“The idea of building a secondary in or around a small village like Woolmer Green is not only ridiculous, but morally wrong when secondary schools are being closed and the land sold off in the nearby town of Stevenage.”

“This school will lead to additional traffic and is clearly not required as the local authority are currently CLOSING good schools in Stevenage”

“We need to preserve the rural atmosphere of the area.”

“There are about 20 children in this village...so what will happen... all the children from local towns will come to the village...as they do already for the primary school!! If you want a secondary school on your doorstep live in a town! Said with 2 children at the village school and we don't want it!! Traffic nightmare!”

“There is not need for the school in the local area!!!!! I'm at a school age and most children my area go to private schools.”

“Completely unnecessary destruction of the rural atmosphere of the village and its surrounding countryside bringing yet more traffic to our roads.”

“This is a stupid idea, why would some local people want to ruin our beautiful village. If you want a secondary school near you, MOVE TO A TOWN WITH ONE IN.”

“Apparently no habitats will be ruined because they are going to build an artificial pond? How idiotic, they are disturbing perfectly formed existing ecosystems for completely unnecessary reasons.”

“I'm a student, its so easy to travel to secondary schools in the area there is no need for a new school. the people building it are being ridiculous and we have so little countryside left in this country lets keep a little bit for the future please.“

“We don't need a secondary school, there are plenty of good ones to go to already. It will ruin our village!”

“The implications of this proposed school have not been thought out. The traffic being one of many reasons why this proposal is a bad idea, the actual planning and effects on the infrastructure of Woolmer Green, Knebworth and the surrounding area seem to be nowhere in the minds of the people who are 'for' the building of this school.”

“We do not need a large secondary school in a small village. The traffic will be at a standstill morning and afternoon.”

“I moved to Woolmer Green over four years ago because I wanted to live in a village not a TOWN with hundreds or people coming and going everyday. There are many children who do not want to walk to school and want to be driven door to door these days, this will make the traffic in the village horrendous.”

“There are plenty of choices in Stevenage for children to go to School. Knebworth is already chaotic with traffic and dreadful parking issues so building a secondary school in or near the vicinity will make this worse. We don't need the hassle ridiculous idea would cause traffic chaos in such a small village too much greed and selfish reasons for building. WE ARE A VILLAGE with a small community....keep it as one!”

“WE DON'T NEED A SCHOOL!!!!”

"It's obvious that there is no 'secondary' school in Woolmer Green, Knebworth and Datchworth. That's definitely the situation. Anyone choosing to live in the area would certainly be aware of the lack of a secondary school?  But if anyone needs a place there are plenty of accessible schools with plenty of places. So why do 'we' need a secondary school?"

“The money would be better spent on improving other schools in the area and on improved public transport”

“The County admissions criteria for residents of North Woolmer Green do not allow parents to apply for a secondary school which is their nearest school within their catchment area meaning that we are highly disadvantaged in applying for chosen schools and would need to apply through an appeals procedure if allocated the nearest under-subscribed school. I am sure we all want to be able to apply on a fair basis for the school within our catchment area of our choice and at the moment we cannot? A new school for the village children to feed into with community leisure facilities and environmental benefits could be a tremendous asset to the area. However I feel the it must to situated nearest the largest population to gain the most benefits and curb the detrimental impacts upon smaller settlements such as Woolmer Green.” 

“No to the school”

“As on old resident of Datchworth and still having family in the area I would hate to see the green belt land built upon. There are enough schools in the local towns with good transport links.  An increase in traffic to the small roads would be detrimental.”

“I would not like to say any greenbelt built on for a school which is not necessary as there will be a perfectly good school (Heathcote) standing empty before long.”

“No to school”

“Interesting that the strongest WNAS supporters are Estate Agents, well known for their philanthropy and concern with Education.”

“It is ridiculous to even consider putting a school of this size in a small village, any small village especially on the old Great North Road which carries traffic from the A1M (2 lanes)?  There are already 2 schools on this route.”

“With 2 lanes on the A1M, Chas Lowe's, a massive school = Gridlock”

“IF another secondary school is genuinely needed because the powers that be got the demographics wrong, then please save The Heathcote School instead of spoiling green belt land.“

“Schools have recently been closed in both Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City.  We are well served by public transport and it is easy for schoolchildren to travel independently to school.  We have excellent schools in nearby Hatfield, Welwyn Garden City, Stevenage and Hitchin, so I see no need for the extra expense of building a secondary school on green belt land.”

“The impact of such a large school within a tiny village is ludicrous and a no brainer!”

“It's a morally and ethically unsound idea. Our money and resources could be put together to benefit people in real need.“

“Strongly oppose, for a village with a population of 1500, a school for 800+ teenagers is a ludicrous idea, that's over half the population number.”

“I think this will ruin our quiet little village and it will be taken over with more cars and screaming children.  This is a bad idea and will also devalue ALL the properties in the area.  It should be stopped.”

“This will ruin a small pretty Village”

“I had no issues travelling to Stevenage every day to secondary school; in fact it allowed me to gain important independence.”

“Area far too small for a secondary school and will have a negative environmental impact on the area (noise pollution,traffic congestion, building on green belt land etc) Our children need to branch out and experience life outside of where they live.“

“More traffic, pressure for building, loss of countryside. A loss of choice for local families when it comes to secondary schools, all local kids will be sent there whether it`s good, bad or indifferent. It`s a naive folly proposed by a highly vocal single issue pressure group and being manipulated by speculative landowners.”

“We do not need a school in our village !”

“The effect of having a school for 800 pupils in such a small village area would be disastrous. And the question remains whether there would ever be 800 secondary school age children living in the villages needing a local school.”

“I find it absolutely incredible that a group are even discussing placing a huge 1000 pupil secondary school in a small, quiet village such as Woolmer Green.”

“The impact of a large school would be huge on our beautiful greenbelt. The we need a school group need to move out to a town.“ 

"A school is absolutely the last thing any of the villages need.  They are at breaking point with traffic congestion as it is, thanks to the A1!!! Parents are happy with their children travelling to towns for secondary schools - what next a college? a university!!!!"

“A 900 pupil secondary school is unsustainable in a village the size of Woolmer Green. The surrounding areas are green belt land and should not be overdeveloped. The impact on local roads would be massive. The money would be better spent on improving existing schools and improving public transport to these schools. Remember also it is not about the parents it as about the children, when they go to schools out of their immediate area they have the opportunity to make new friends and broaden their outlook on life generally. This plan is flawed from the very outset and should not be supported in any way.”

"The proposed school would bring with it around 1000 pupils and staff which wouldn't be far off equaling the number of residents in Woolmer Green (quite a handful to contend with). These pupils spilling out at lunchtime would be quite noticeable roaming around our quiet village. The cars dropping off and picking up would cause chaos around the lanes. 
Large secondary schools need to be sited in towns with good bus and train connections.
Secondary school aged kids don't need a school on mummies doorstep. They need to travel and broaden their outlook."

“This sounds like the sort of nonsense we had from the previous Government in their ill-advised and poorly conceived East of England Plan. Once greenbelt land is gone it is gone forever and the Conservatives would do well to remember their arguments against the East of England Plan: those same arguments apply here.”

"What is the justification for this in terms of local demographics? What about transport links for this proposed school? This seems to be a needless development whose main impact will be to cause a large amount of local disruption.  And of course, if this school is allowed to go ahead on Green Belt land, what else will follow?"

“The B197 is already overloaded, particularly during the morning and evening rush hours, and with no evidence that the A1(M) is to be widened and the move from the QE2 to the Lister, this will become even worse.  Therefore a  large school in Woolmer Green or Oaklands would suffer, for example staff and pupils will not be able to guarantee arriving on time.”

“It would not be good for me, or our children to have a so-called Free School here or anywhere else.  Education should not involve profit for Big Business.  I fiercely oppose it.”

"I don't approve of schools that don't follow the National Curriculum as they can easily be influenced by 'interest' groups, like Creationists etc.  I don't want the Private Sector involved in education, look at what has happened to Energy Supplies and the Railways.  The additional traffic generated will add to the already congested B1957."

"There is no need for another secondary school. The Government have recently announced substantial spend on three existing Stevenage schools that will improve them and is a better use of resources. The economic climate is not conducive to unnecessary spend. A rural location is not suitable for a secondary school. Above all, the B197, is already at capacity both from residents in Knebworth, Woolmer Green and Oaklands as well as the additional strain of vehicles using it as a rat run between the bottleneck of junction 6 and 7 of the AIM."

“This school is totally unnecessary and money would be better spent in investing in the schools we already have in the area.  If this school is built, the increase in traffic, pollution and noise will be horrendous.”

"There are enough schools in nearby Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage Many People choose to live in a village because of its nicer environment housing etc green spaces so traveling to Senior school is just the price you have to pay there are Junior Schools in these Villages so while young they can be schooled nearby to home which is as it should be but after then its out into the big world of Senior Schooling where ever that maybe so please no senior schools of what ever type keep the country for us all to enjoy. We need these small pockets of green in between large towns as breathing space or we will all be joined together, please keep  Senior Schools in Towns and Junior schools only in villages."

“I myself have recently started a campaign to reduce the amount of traffic in Datchworth. The lanes are being badly damaged by the huge increase of vehicles in recent years and a number of the smallest lanes are used to access Woolmer Green from Datchworth, Hollybush, Baines and Swangleys being three. The lanes around Woolmer Green would be unable to cope with all the extra traffic caused by a new school. The majority of children attending would NOT be able to walk to the school and as Datchworth now seems to encompass a lot of housing at Bragbury End the route would either be through Datchworth or Knebworth High Street both of which are ill equipped to cope as it is.”

“To have 800 children emerging into Woolmer Green or any of the surrounding small villages all at once would have dramatic impact on the local residents. These are not towns which can absorb these numbers. It is not a reasonable proposal and I am totally opposed to it.”

"If there were a need for more places then any money would be better spent on implementing more of Building Schools for the Future programme for Stevenage and starting to implement it for Welwyn Hatfield. Both of these have (despite some of Michael Gove's rhetoric) progressed their planning with schools and community to the contractual stage:  in Stevenage implementation has already started and could be expanded along the original themes and Welwyn Hatfield were, after 2 years of consultation and planning, at the stage of deciding on contractors and could (if necessary) be downsized slightly and then implemented.  Both of these have solid planning behind them, would maximise benefit for both towns. Lets not waste more good money by trying to second guess something that is the half-baked whim of a few!"

“We have sufficient traffic problems already on B197 during term time and do not need more.The likelihood of teachers or pupils walking is remote.In 2011 all children seem to have been allocated school of choice and birthrate appears to be falling. Therefore existing secondary schools are adequate and available funds should be spent on improving these sites."

"Its bad enough with a normal busy day with out the additional school and the traffic, additional litter around and then there is the crime that brings, I believe that a school would be more beneficial in an outer town area where it would benefit all, where kids can get to easily"

“Do not see the necessity for a school when buildings are available in nearby Stevenage.  Do not believe the claim that 56% of children would walk to new school and, therefore, disruption of local traffic would be inevitable.”

“I do not believe that there is a need for extra secondary school places in this area. Our local Infants/Junior school causes a lot of extra traffic already at school start and finish times so an extra 400+ vehicles is not acceptable.”

“Definitely no school. Enough congestion already. What happens when the next closure of the A1M occurs through accident or other? Total gridlock.”

“I am opposed to any further development on the Green Belt.”

“The proposal at a meeting in Knebworth to build a new school was firmly rejected by local residents. This latest proposal to build a free school appears to be yet another attempt to get a school which is not required or wanted.”

“I have a child currently at the village school and I do not support building secondary schools in rural areas.An 'ordinary field' ,as WNAS put it, is more valuable than a school (and lots of ancillary buildings).I choose to live here,and raise my child here,because it is rural and not developed.When the time comes I am happy for her to travel,by bus,to one of the existing schools but then return to a village community.”

"this appears to be just a money making exercise for WNAS ltd. And just as important no building on greenbelt land"

“This Free School must NOT go ahead.  I strongly appose it.”

“I strongly appose any plan of a Free School in and Woolmer Green and do not want this to progress any further.”

“I wish to register a NO VOTE for the proposed free school.”

“I wish to submit a NO VOTE for the proposed free school.”

“I wish to propose a NO VOTE for the proposed free school.”

"My whole household is against a huge secondary school at the expense of our precious green belt.”

New Comments (4th April 2011):

"The B197 is congested enough on a daily basis without any added school traffic and would be impassable if the A1(M) has it's traffic diverted through an accident or road works etc.  It is unbelievable that an already built school, Heathcote, is not used instead of taking green belt land and the expense of a new build."

"A free school not obliged to hire qualified teachers and not follow the National Curriculum is totally unfair to any pupils that would be educated at a free school."

"Heathcote School should be re-opened if more places are needed to accommodate the village children and green belt land should be saved. The expense of a new build in the present economic situation that the Country is in, is a criminal act."

"Unless there is some serious investment in infrastructure the increased traffic, as well as being dangerous, will be a nightmare for local residents. Parents parking at the bottom of Cannonsfield Road to deliver their offspring to  the local primary school create a serious road hazard and I am sure another 400-500 cars  daily trying to find parking will create a similar hazard.
PS How about campaigning for double yellow lines both sides of the bottom of Cannonsfield Road before someone is killed there."

"Feel there is no need for a new school as money and effort could be provided for existing schools.  Children need to experience all walks of life.  If people do not want to send their children to state schools there are always private education facilities availble. "

"There are plenty of school places available in Stevenage & WGC. Another school is not required."

"The five sites suggested are totally unsuited to the purposed and the increased traffic would be a major problem."

"We do not need a new school. We need to improve the schools that are currently available."

"We have enough congestion on the roads and stress upon local services already.  We don't need to add to it!"

"Strongly object to school being built.  My children are both at secondary school in Welwyn Garden which was their first choice and I do not know why we would need a second school to serve such small villages.  All our friends have got their children into their first choice schools, schools which are well established schools with good academic results.  It would take years to fill a school to make it viable?The areas being considered will destroy the green belt land and the village community around it. "

"The proposed plan to have a secondary school in the Woolmer Green area is something I object to.  I do not believe there will be enough children from such small catchment villages to fill a large secondary school, and to place children outside these areas would mean a huge increase in traffic conjestion on an already busy road.  My children both are at their first choice catchment secondary schools in Welwyn Garden City."

"This would be disastrous on the environment.  Beautiful views would be lost. Traffic on the B197 is already very busy.  Villages would be joined.  This is not a suitable place for a large secondary school.  Are schools in Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City over-subscribed.  Some schools in Welwyn Garden City  have been closed since my children attended schools in Welwyn Garden City.  Use existing schools and do not destroy green belt and ruin this area."

"Having read the leaflet I received recently I am opposed to a new school around Woolmer Green as we in this area are rapidly losing our countryside to one development or another all of which is adding to the volume of traffic on our roads. Consequently we are changing from a rural to urban area and I personally do not want this.  Apparently there is strong evidence that this school will either be under subscribed or take much needed revenue from existing schools. However, if this were not the case it appears very clear to me the obvious option is to re-open Heathcote."

"It is a ridiculous idea putting in a big Secondary school in this area when you look at the infrastructure the area has - it is incredibly choked as it is, and the extra traffic and congestion would be a nightmare!"

"Ridiculous idea!"

"The building of a school in this rural area is totally inappropriate. There are sufficient schools in the surrounding towns, some of which are in danger of closure due to insufficient numbers. There is no need for another school in this area."

"I strongly object to the opening of this school. I can't see the benefits of the plan but can see numerous downsides. We have swathes of empty properties in towns and cities that could be put to better use instead of wasting more government money. We should also take into consideration the immense impact on the green belt and the traffic impact. It is a nightmare driving into Knebworth from Woolmer Green, this will only increase the magnitude of the problem"

"I was born and raised in Datchworth and my family have lived there for generations before me; I am now living in Knebworth, but hope to move back to the village at some point.  A large secondary school has never been required by previous generations or residents - in fact many people live or move to our rural location because of the small community feel. It has always been accepted that once children reach year 7 they will need to attend school outside of the villages- usually in Stevenage or Welwyn. With families being increasingly mobile now, I would have thought that this would have become even less of a problem. My grandparents, parents, myself and my own children all attended the local town schools and although there was always a journey involved it was always expected to be thus. I feel very strongly that building a large school will steal the identity of our rural community and that the distress that would be caused to a majority of the long term residents and villagers, far outweighs the benefits to a number of individual families. Please note that I am also sending this email on behalf of several of my neighbours and my extended family who do not use the internet- this involved 32 individuals at the last count!"

"Ridiculous to situate it in a village - will cause huge traffic issues in the village and surrounding pre-existing traffic hotspots as people make their way from far and wide. Makes much more sense to keep secondary schools in towns as they are more centralised and better equipped to deal with traffic. Think how far ambulances have to travel when the inevitable emergencies arise, just for starters!"

"I have lived all my life in Knebworth village, three years ago me and my partner bought a house in Woolmer Green village for the reason it is a lovely small peaceful village with beautiful green belt countryside, it would be a disgrace to build a huge secondary school on our door step destroying the protected countryside and village community."

"The main attraction of purchasing my property in Woolmer Green is the fact it is situated in a charming small community village surrounded by protected countryside. It will be devasting if this green belt land is destroyed by a massive school!!!!!"

"Having lived in Knebworth for 26 years and Oaklands for 20 years I think that having a Secondary school in a small village would spoil the village and cause chaos with inappropriate infrastructure to cope with the volume of traffic etc. I have served as a local primary school Governor for 12 years. My family also agree that a secondary school in Woolmer Green is inappropriate and unnecessary."

"I have been resident here since 1984 during which time the countryside has diminished significantly due to infill and new development.  Mardley woods is a shadow of its former beauty for example. The local bird life , with the possible exception of raptors, has reduced in quantum and variety. We must stop encroaching on the wildlife heritsge of future generations."

"I am very concerned about the level of traffic already passing through Oaklands using the B197. We find it difficult to turn out of our road during peak traffic hours. The additional traffic introduced by a new large secondary school in the area would compound the current issues."

"When I heard about the proposal for a new school, I could not believe it.  The amount of traffic is bad enough, to open a secondary school, the amount of traffic would not bear thinking about.  To say most people would be in walking distance and would not use their cars is wishful thinking."

"I live in a VILLAGE, I want to keep it that way."

"Although my children are of the right school age, I have read and listened to the cases put forward and am not convinced of the need for another school given the 2011 acceptance levels. I am concerned about the level of teaching provision at the new school and do not feel it would be practical for my children to walk to school which was one of the original draws of the WNAS campaign"

"I have written to all the people suggested i.e.:  Gove, Gibson, McPartland & Shapps and have only received a response from Stephen McPartland who stated 'he is monitoring the situation - and that he understands that the latest suggestion as to the location of the proposed school would not even place the school in his constituency'. I will certainly be attending the meeting on Thursday and trust there will be people there i.e. the above mentioned, who can see how strongly a large number of people feel about this proposal. "

"Please add my name to the Save Woolmer Green Campaign as per Sunday 27th leaflet"

"Why would you build a new school when a school is sitting empty. Why would anyone spend money on something that is not necessary in these economic times. Aside from the jobs created in the school the exodus from the villages of people relocating would be immense. In the locations suggested there will be insufficient pupils who can walk to the school. For this augment to make any sense any proposed school would need to be located closer to more densely populated areas i.e. towns and not villages. Defies common sense"

"Money should be spent on existing schools see no need for a school here"

"Inappropriate site for a school save our green belt"

"Having a school for 800 pupils would take away the feel of the village, I have children of 13 and 10 that are more then happy to travel to school its part of living in a village , if we wanted large schools or super markets and leaisure complex we would live in a town. would children in the near by villages be forced to take up the empty places and have no choice?"

"Substantial loss of green belt, further overloading of the roads, the local's don't want it, the underwriting of the financial risk by the tax payer with the profit being for the developer - why on earth would anyone approve this nonsense - over to you councillors!."

"With the government needing to make dramatic cuts in public spending what justification can there be for building a new school so close to Stevenage when at least three secondary schools in that town have, or will be, closed."

"Area unsuitable. As a parent I would hate to be allocated the nearest school for my child. I would like to choose a school that is suitable for the child even if it is a long way away and I have to be responsble for the cost of transport. If a parent is not prepared to be put out for their children for a few years they should move or not have any. The parents are very selfish and thoughtless thinking of their own way of life. If an extra school is needed use Heathcote or would that meane the Council would loose too much money in selling the site for housing."

"The need for the school has not been established and it would be a serious incursion into the green belt in this area."

"I have 2 children and managed perfectly well with the existing schools"

"I lived in Knebworth for over 30 years before moving to Cornwall.  Slowly I saw Knebworth spread nearly reaching Stevenage and now growing the other way towards Woolmer Green.  A new school anywhere in Stevenage of Knebworth has been proved unnecessary because of the schools that have been closed over the last 5 to 15 years. This is greenbelt land which has already been poached to sell to builders for houses in return for land for a cemetery It's been given the status GREENBELT for a reason. Take that land away and what is left of the countryside.  Also I know for a fact that there is a wonderful lot of wildlife there that will disappear forever if this plan goes ahead. THIS SCHOOL IS NOT NEEDED OR NECESSARY.  Bin the plans PLEASE"

"I grew up in Knebworth, on the road which touches one of the proposed sites (the field at the end of Gun Road Gardens). This is a beautiful piece of farmland and woodland with the only access being a narrow road through two parts of a village that already struggle with traffic loads. Part of the beauty of North Hertfordshire is oases of Green Belt land like these, giving a much needed open land and woodlands for residents of the area to use. A school, with all its subsequent roads/access/traffic issues is an unnecessary addition tot he area - especially in light of the imminent closure of Heathcote School. A school I attended while living in the area with no issues over using existing transport networks."

"I am an opponent of 'Free Schools' and the eradication of the Greenbelt"

"Inadequate infrastructure and eradication of green belt between villages."

"Inadequate infrastructure.  Lack of a prescribed curriculum."

"A free school is a great idea to shake up the dreadful state of secondary school options for our villages.  Just build in a sensible place or convert one of the existing schools in south Stevenage."

"I fear the Roads will be unable to cope with the morning and evening additional traffic and when the A1(M) is closed due to accident it will be just chaotic."

"Only single lane traffic, Very busy with cars all day long. New school would cause traffic chaos."

"The high street traffic is already over congested and adding a school and additional housing on green belt land would massively increase an already established problem."

"Woolmer Green village is to small for a secondary school."

"I am currently in the process of moving to Woolmer Green hence my interest."

"Keep our villages free please, the roads are congested as it is."

"New to the subject in faraway Datchworth I was impressed by the meeting but feel that the strongest argument with which to hit WNAS is that of traffic. Other points have a certain validity in some quarters but the WNAS response to the effect on traffic is completely wrong. It is based on airy-fairy projections of what they would like. Reality may be observed at any school. 'Traffic' is the soft under-belly of the WNAS arguments and ought to be the first target."

"WE NEED TO PROTECT OUR VILLAGE AND COUNTRY SIDE"

"I find it dificult to believe that 600+ children will be found to attend the school within 2KM. The notion that teachers will actively not use individual cars to get to their workplace seems niaive. With that many people arriving and departing at the school at start and finish, it would seem that some major road changes would be required at the already busy junction of the B197 and Mardleybury Road and would make an already busy road very congested especialy when there are problems on tha A1(M). It does seem strange that if there is millions of pounds worth of investment available would not be better spent on improvements on the current schools in te area. Also would be interested in knowing what the pupil selection rules will be for an independant free school such as this.My children are almost finish there schooling but I can't agree that the proposals are in the best interests of the community."

"The additional traffic assumed by WNAS is ludicrous. Anyone who has to deal with the additional traffic at Oaklands Primary School at the times of the day mothers are commuting their children to and from school, because of fears for their safety, can calculate WNAS figures are 'pie in the sky'"

"WNAS traffic assumptions are very, very optimistic and verge on fiction. As a grandmother I would not let my grandchildren walk to the proposed site, particularly on dark mornings or evenings in winter. Is another school really needed? Where is the demographic proof on need?"

"I am concerned about the impact on traffic. The B197 already becomes very congested on weekdays. If there are problems on the A1(M) the road is nose to tail with traffic and the school will only exacerbate the traffic issues."

"Why not re use the Schools in Stevenage which are closing down .Please do not let them spoil our countryside."

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