Existing Site – Context and Heritage

Aerial view of existing site

St Luke’s land as of 2024

The Existing Site

The site is located to the northern edge of Redbourn Village, in a residential area off Dunstable Road. It is bounded to the South by residential properties, the Recreation Centre to the East and open green space to the North and majority of the West.

St Luke’s School sits on the periphery of Redbourn within the designated Metropolitan Green Belt therefore retaining the openness of these designated land areas is essential. The design of our proposals will focus on one of the 5 purposes of the Green Belt – encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land [NPPF, chapter 13, paragraph 138(e)].


Redbourn is a historical village and civil parish in Hertfordshire, lying on Watling Street, three miles from Harpenden, four miles for St Albans and five miles from Hemel Hempstead. Redbourn has been continuously settled at least since Saxon times with farming being the historical focus of the community. The local characteristics of Redbourn are documented in a Conservation Area Character Statement (CACS), published in January 2011, outlining the designations within and around Redbourn.

The document describes the significant development of Redbourn to is village status, from its extensive farming in the late Bronze Age and Roman period to its earliest settlement in Saxon times through to the High Street forming a key route northward to the Midlands during the 16th/ 17th centuries. This route had a major influence on the quality of the residential building stock, beyond its typical farmsteads, with further housing developments occurring to the northern boundaries after the Second World War.

Crouch Hall Farm, 1914-15

A Redbourn Coaching Inn, late 18th Century

The North End of Redbourn High Street, c1950

St Luke’s School

The school was originally opened in 1963 as Secondary School to serve the village and surrounding areas but closed in 1981, with remaining pupils moved to other schools. The building remained empty until 1984, when St Luke’s Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) School took over the site, moving from London Colney.  In 2019, St Luke’s School became a founding member of The Blue Tangerine Federation of special educational needs schools.

Entrance to the site from Blackhorse Lane

View of the school buildings from the lawn adjacent to Blackhorse Lane

Hardstanding and other buildings within the site

Equipment storage

Hard surface playground

Crumbling garden shed

Aerial view of the rear of the school

Current livestock and outdoor teaching classroom

Since St Luke’s School’s occupation of the site, the needs and complex issues of its pupils have increased significantly and the requirements for many of the external buildings and spaces around the school has changed. This means that the school has structures that are no longer fit for purposes and playgrounds and playing fields that don’t support the needs of the pupils.

With the replacement of redundant external buildings and the re-purposing of vacant external spaces there is the opportunity to improve the facilities that support the current and future needs on the pupils.