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  • Writer's pictureHertford and Stortford Labour Party

Old River Lane cross-party working group seeks your views

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

The cross-party Old River Lane (ORL) Working Group, established by local progressive parties earlier this year to investigate the feasibility of developing a Further Education College in Stortford, has started work with a 'call for evidence'.

Elif Toker-Turnalar, Chair of the Working Group, explained: "For the first phase of the study we are asking the residents, businesses, schools and community groups of Bishop's Stortford and the surrounding villages for their initial thoughts on the council’s plans for ORL and on our alternative proposal.”

The survey asks for views on the following questions:

  1. Do you agree with the proposal to build a 5-screen cinema on the Old River Lane site?

  2. Do you support the alternative proposal to retain Charrington's House (instead of demolishing it) and use it for mixed retail, commercial and educational purposes?

  3. If a college is established on this site, what subjects or types of courses and qualifications do you think should be offered, and to what age-groups?

To take part in the survey people can either email the working group at or by completing the online survey at

The survey will be open until Sunday 14th March.

About the Old River Lane Working Group

The ORL Working Group was set up by local progressive parties (Greens, Labour and Liberal Democrats) earlier this year to investigate possible alternative uses for the ORL site and in particular the proposal that an FE college be developed on the site. It hopes to report later this year. The members of the working group include:

  • Daniel Barnett, 6th form student TBSHS

  • Peter Brady, Planning law solicitor

  • David Jacobs, IT Business Engagement Manager

  • Adrian Mee, Lecturer and researcher in education at UCL Institute of Education

  • David Middlemiss, Advisor, ARC Centre of Excellence, Monash University

  • Richard Philipson, mature student

  • Jane Skinner, Facilities manager (retired)

  • Stephen Skinner, marketing professional

  • Councillor Jill Sortwell, Meads Ward

  • Elif Toker-Turnalar, Interdisciplinary Lecturer and Researcher. Regent's University, London

  • Oya Wilkes, BA (Hons) Journ, BSc (Hons) Psych, MA Social Work

  • Yvonne Estop-Wood, planner and urban designer



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