Little Furze - Gone

Bob Maddox

Little Furze, pedestrian entrance
Bob Maddox

At the beginning of January 2021 Three Rivers District Council announced plans for
the redevelopment of the Little Furze School site. We were told two local care homes
would be replaced by a single one plus flats.

A year later cabins appeared along with temporary fencing. There was also a
low plastic fence which we were told for the benefit of slow worms. The
access was quite clear which is more than could be said for the pedestrian
entrance further along which was almost hidden by undergrowth.

By the end of September the building was virtually flattened by Squibbs’
diggers and all that could be seen was a pile of twisted metal and a lot of

Next to arrive was a stone crusher which, in a matter of just a few days, had
reduced the rubble to little more than a pile of gravel with most of the school
site almost as level as a football or cricket pitch.

It’s hard to imagine the strip of land against Gosforth Lane having once been
the school’s sports ground. Nor is it easy to imagine the rest of the sloping site
being levelled enough to build on let alone carry a stream which will need to
be piped to prevent any flooding.

This is what the pedestrian entrance looks like at the moment. I thought it might disappear but the contractors say they will renew it. They also intend to create a new main entrance leading to the care home and the planned flats. They will also have to deal with the (underground?) stream and will make good the pavement beside the site.

I’ve read that a brown cow used to stand guard near the entrance. I wish someone
had a photo of this as I’d love to see what it looked like. Maybe a local artist could
visualise it for us!

This page was added on 29/06/2023.

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  • Since I wrote the above comment quite a lot has happened. The new entrance is now open and the internal roads surfaced so there is room for the staff to park their cars and delivery lorries can go in one way, drive as far as necessary and leave by the other entrance.
    Several cranes have been used to install piling to make the foundations firm and also to lift the components into place for the floor. This worked fine until a crane arrived accompanied by a heavyweight lorry carrying weights for the crane. This was so heavy it sank into the road surface and the road had to be closed for 24 hours. This concerned me because the bus couldn’t get through and I found myself having to walk up from the stop near the Methodist church.
    Of course kori were suitably apologetic as their lorries had already been told to come in from the top end of Gosforth Lane. This was working well until they started surfacing their new roads which required a large number of lorries carrying tarmac to wait in line until it was their turn to empty their load. Once again I found myself in the middle of the confusion as a lorry was parked just where my bus driver needed to pull in. That never happened again either.
    We’re now into November and kori have brought out the latest of their monthly newsletters. Mountains of earth (actually London Clay) have been moved and hundreds, probably thousands, of bricks laid in preparation for the laying of concrete planks for the first floor
    The existing fence (the one the council spent £800,000 securing despite the fact it was not complete) will not last much longer. Special barriers have been put around it for the benefit of slow worms and other wildlife. I’ve yet to hear that Three Rivers council have caught anything. If they did I’m told they would be taken to Chorleywood House grounds. I was particularly interested to hear that the replacement will be a ‘deer fence’. In other words it will be possible to see through it easily, another example of the benefits the eventual residents will be able to enjoy.
    In a few days time (as I write it’s November 10th) representatives of Hertfordshire County Council and invited guests will gather for the Ground Breaking Ceremony when – as long as the rain holds off – we will be taken on a tour of whatever part of the site is accessible. Completion though will still be many months ahead. As for the housing planned for the other part of the site no doubt many discussions and decisions have yet to take place. Already questions are being asked about whether this will be more flats or individual houses. The government’s demand for more housing suggests flats are more likely. Traffic and parking issues will increase but at least we’re to get a new surface on the nearby pavement and the overgrown pedestrian entrance will be renewed. I notice there’s now a third doctor’s surgery by the health centre and I hope the existing schools will prove adequate.
    I’ve also noticed new yellow lines near the new swimming pool but I thought cars were already prevented from parking on corners.
    As far as others are concerned I can only say that, according to a story that appeared on my phone, they should be very grateful they don’t live in places like Liverpool or Manchester where cars parked on the pavements will be taken to the car pound.
    Robert Maddox
    Gosforth Lane.

    By Robert Maddox (09/11/2023)