Gas leak delays opening of new secondary school on temporary site near Luton

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Houstone School was due to open at the beginning of this term

The planned opening of a new secondary school in a temporary building in Houghton Regis has been delayed.

Houstone School was due to open at the start of the new term – but was delayed following a gas leak on the Kingsland Campus.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Other schools on the site, including The Chiltern special school, have also been closed.

Opening of the new Houstone School in a temporary building has been delayedOpening of the new Houstone School in a temporary building has been delayed
Opening of the new Houstone School in a temporary building has been delayed

The Houstone School was due to use the vacant UTC building after opening of its new £23m building was delayed until 2023.

Archaeological discoveries, drainage issues and a shortage of materials contributed to postponing the completion date with Central Beds Council confirming the school could move into the old University Technical College of Central Bedfordshire (UTC) premises.

Principal of Houstone School, Elizabeth English, confirmed the closure in a letter to parents, asking pupils be kept at home.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The letter states: “I am writing to confirm there have been issues with the gas supply to all institutions on Kingsland Campus, including Houstone School, over the past week or so.

“We were expecting this issue to be resolved and for us to be able to open as planned. Late today, we were told by Central Bedfordshire Council that the national grid workers had run into a complication.

“I am writing now to tell you that we cannot open to pupils as we had planned on Friday. We require you to keep your child at home.

“I am very disappointed, and I realise that this will be equally disappointing to you. We had been assured at every stage before today that we would be able to open and all issues would be resolved.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The issues with the temporary site for Houstone School, as we are new occupants of a building that requires written assurances of safety and a number of other documents, are slightly different from other buildings on Kingsland Campus.

“We are committed to being transparent. As such, I want to keep you as informed as possible.”

More than 200 pupils are enrolled at Houstone School which is due to be open for its first classes in September 2023.

The UTC college was closed in 2016 but refurbished as a temporary educational facility.

Central Beds Council has been approached for a comment.