On Thursday 15th December Three Rivers District Council’s Planning Committee made the decision to approve our planning application to build new, permanent school facilities at a site accessed from Long Lane, in Mill End.
The plans will create a state of the art new secondary school building, as well as a new sports hall and outdoor sports pitches, with capacity for up to 840 students.
The new school will be located at a site accessed from Long Lane, between Mill End and Maple Cross. The successful planning application means our school has a permanent home, and the space and facilities we need to grow and continue to thrive. The new location will also mean that the school is located at the centre of its catchment area, which covers Mill End, Rickmansworth and Maple Cross.
The plans will mean major investment in local highways infrastructure, including on-site parking spaces, new walking routes and safe crossing points, as well as a large drop-off area within the site that will help to prevent congestion on local roads. We hope to offer the new sports facilities for use by sports clubs and local residents outside of school hours.
Thanks to the approval of the application, the new school is due to be built in time for an opening in September 2018.
We would like to thank all the parents and community who took the time to write in to the Council in support of the application, and the many supporters at the Planning Committee meeting.
We cannot wait to move into our new home, and will be watching its construction with excitement.
Our Permanent Site
The Education Funding Agency (an executive agency, sponsored by the Department for Education) is responsible for managing the permanent build project. The Education Funding Agency have purchased the Long Lane site and will lease this to the school on a 125 year lease. The site is just over 45 acres and is at the heart of the community we have always sought to serve. There will be ample space for school buildings, sports facilities and playing fields.
The latest update on progress made in this EFA project to complete the school’s permanent site is:
- Exchange of contracts has taken place on Long Lane
- An agreement has been reached with Hertfordshire County Council re the positioning of The Reach Free School on the site
- The surveys are ongoing (archaeological, traffic, etc)
- Pre-app discussions have taken place with Three Rivers District Council
- The Education Funding Agency have been working with Hertfordshire Highways to agree the highways improvements required to access the site.
- The design of the school is complete
- The contractor’s bid to build the school is currently being assessed by the Education Funding Agency
- A planning application has been submitted to Three Rivers District Council
The maps below shows the location of the site, just off Junction 17 of the M25:
We are immensely grateful for the patience shown by parents, pupils and other members of the local community whilst the Education Funding Agency have been working on the plans for our permanent home. We are thrilled to be moving to the centre of our targeted community, and look forward to creating a school at the heart of that community.
Our Temporary Site
The Reach Free School is temporarily situated at Unit 3, Wolsey Business Park, Tolpits Lane, Rickmansworth, WD18 9BL . The school will be based here for at least three years while our permanent site is under construction. We have arranged a subsidised bus service through Peter Reynolds Coaches. We have refurbished more of Symbio House to provide additional learning space, which allows us the freedom to design and create a temporary home with a long-term feel. While we are based here, the central point for admissions will remain the Mill End Sports and Social Club, so that the school upholds its commitment to serving the community of Mill End, Maple Cross and Rickmansworth.