London Colney Garden Village: Residents not consulted over plans for 8,000 homes, claim Liberal Democrats

PUBLISHED: 11:11 19 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:11 19 October 2017

Shenley Lane. Picture: Danny Loo

Shenley Lane. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

London Colney Liberal Democrats have criticised Hertsmere council for the lack of consultation over plans to triple the village’s population.

Hertsmere Borough Council is consulting on how best to develop the borough. Photo supplied by Hertsmere council.Hertsmere Borough Council is consulting on how best to develop the borough. Photo supplied by Hertsmere council.

Plans have been revealed for up to 8,000 new homes in the 4,000-home village.

Lib Dems claim Hertsmere Borough Council consulted Shenley residents, who border the development, last week, but they say neither London Colney nor St Albans council (SADC) have been informed.

The homes will be built on the other side of the A1081 to London Colney, around Willows Activity Farm.

Resident and campaigner Tony Lillico said: “I am furious neither Hertsmere Borough Council nor St Albans council had thought to talk to London Colney residents about this proposal.

A photo of the areas which will be affected if the proposals for the London Colney Garden Village go ahead. Photo supplied by the Liberal Democrats.A photo of the areas which will be affected if the proposals for the London Colney Garden Village go ahead. Photo supplied by the Liberal Democrats.

“It seems to me completely bizarre residents as far away as Bushey could be told about this plan before we knew about it.

“London Colney has major traffic issues, particularly around the Bell and London Colney roundabouts and along the High Street and Barnet Road.

“If the village is going to potentially triple in size, local infrastructure has got to be majorly improved.”

A Lib Dem councillor on SADC planning development committee, Rob Prowse, said: “It is complete madness neither London Colney residents or the district council were aware of these plans earlier.

“There clearly is a shortage of affordable homes locally but real thought needs to be given to infrastructure when planning something of this scale.”

The party has started a petition, which can be seen at www.stalbanslibdems.org.uk/london_colney_petition, and Mr Lillico has called for a cross-party campaign to make sure London Colney’s interests are heard by the council.

St Albans MP Anne Main said: “I am aware of the issue, and have spoken to St Albans council (SADC) about this matter.

“It is absolutely vital Hertsmere fully cooperates with SADC, as this will give St Albans the chance to flesh out concerns they have, and how they can work together to find a mutually-agreeable solution.

“The best solution to the need for housing, while at the same time protecting our green spaces, will be healthy dialogue between the two councils.”

SADC head of planning Tracy Harvey saying: “We have been consulted by Hertsmere Borough Council and will respond in due course.”

SADC portfolio holder for planning, Mary Maynard, said: “We are looking into this very closely as some of the potential development option appears to be located within our administrative area.

“I have a meeting arranged for tomorrow with my counterpart in Hertsmere when I will be seeking more clarity on their Local Plan.

“I will give feedback to next month’s meeting of our Planning Policy Committee and seek the views of all the members.

“I will also seek the views of London Colney Parish Council.

“We will then give a detailed and considered response to Hertsmere’s consultation that takes account of our planning officers’ professional judgments as well as local views and opinions.”

Hertsmere council’s portfolio holder for planning, Cllr Harvey Cohen, said: “Our issues and options report, a key stage of the development of our new Local Plan, outlines the scale of growth needed in Hertsmere over the next 15 years.

“At the heart of the debate about appropriate approaches and locations is ensuring that the right infrastructure, such as schools, GP surgeries, public transport and roads, is in place to support that growth.

“As our new Local Plan takes shape, we will continue to liaise with a number of key consultees both within the borough of Hertsmere and across the borders.”

“People who live outside the borough but near our boundaries are welcome to attend any of the drop-in sessions in the coming weeks.

“Comments received during those sessions will be considered as we draw up our new Local Plan.

“We are at an early stage of preparing this plan, and the issues and options report sets out suggested options for how we could meet the need for new development in the borough.

“We welcome any views that people may have on these options, and people can let us have their views by completing an online response through our website.”

For more about the drop-in sessions, visit tinyurl.com/y7xqrkuy

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