In the early 1970's Hertfordshire County Council built Cherry Tree School on the playing fields next to the remaining allotments. as this was all HCC land there was no fence between Leggatts School and Cherry Tree School.
In 1985 Leggatts School closed and in 1990 converted the old school buildings and added extra to open the Leggatts Campus of West Herts College and in a joint partnership with Watford Borough Council built a new sports hall, used the existing gym and swimming pool to create the Bill Everett Community centre.
In 1992 West Herts College became independent from Hertfordshire County Council and took over ownership of the college buildings and playing fields but not the Bill Everett Community Centre.
at this point HCC put up boundary markers for Cherry Tree School. See image below. Note these markers have now been moved several metres to the West of the original position.
In 2005 Hertfordshire County Council gave itself planning permission to erect a 2 metre high palisade fence along, quoting the application, “the western boundary” . Assurance was given that the boundary of the school and the subsequent fence would not compromise the kissing gate from the woods.
HCC Application number 9/0148-05 WBC Application number05/00148/CM
April 2011. Hertfordshire County Council decided to expand Cherry Tree School ( planning application here ) and move the palisade fence which which took approximately 2000 sq metres of the playing fields and completely obstruct the long established path and kissing gate from Harebreaks Wood.
January 2012. A new planning application was submitted which still blocked the kissing gate and was revised to create a narrow corridor onto the field. many people in the community objected to this The only acceptable compromise being to change the fence line to that shown below as a red dotted line.
A further planning application was submitted for a larger temporary classroom. This application still did not address the problem of restricting the kissing gate, and in fact was the worst option as the narrow corridor was removed and the existing kissing gate was blocked.
Sadly the compromise was not accepted and HCC destroyed the boundary flora with Harebreaks Wood moving the kissing gate 8 Mtrs to the west of the boundary accepted in 1985.