Green belt

PUBLISHED: 11:56 15 May 2008 | UPDATED: 13:15 06 May 2010

SIR, — I see that St Albans District Council may not be able to protect its Green Belt policy (Herts Advertiser, May 8). We can see this quite clearly from the latest planning application submitted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LS

SIR, - I see that St Albans District Council may not be able to protect its Green Belt policy (Herts Advertiser, May 8). We can see this quite clearly from the latest planning application submitted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in association with Beaumont School and Herts County Council.

The proposal, if adopted, would see the current Beaumont playing fields disappear under 78 houses, and a field - within the Green Belt - belonging to LSHTM absorbed into Beaumont sports facilities.

This seems convenient to both parties and a quick way for them to make a fast profit. The field belonging to the LSHTM together with another that they own to the rear of Wynches Farm Drive has been something of a liability for them. In the last two years the fields have been invaded by travellers' horses and presumably cost the LSHTM a considerable amount to have them removed and secure the boundaries.

So with one fell swoop they can dispose of one field and, if successful, apply to have the second field removed from the Green Belt and sell it off at a fat profit for building development. Is that a cynical view or just fatally realistic?

This week I received a copy of the Beaumont Life newsletter - funny I've never had one before - trumpeting their "delight" with the proposal "following public consultation with local residents". Yes we were consulted, but as far as I can see there have been few if any alterations from the original proposal which will still lead to:

1.) Serious erosion of the Green Belt.

2.) Removal of a distinctive line of poplar trees.

3.) A new housing development which will be turned into a twice-daily car park for parents' vehicles.

4.) A pedestrian rat-run opening into Wynches Farm Drive via Kay Close creating a line of strewn litter between the Oaklands shops and the school.

5.) Yet more traffic emptying out onto an already-congested Hatfield Road.

Couple this with developments proposed for the Oaklands College site and we have a recipe for gridlock on Hatfield Road at peak times and a local Green Belt policy in tatters.

I recall that Beaumont School recently received high marks for its language teaching. I'm afraid I would have to give them 0 out of 10 for "green credentials" on this proposal.

RICHARD YOUNG,

Wynches Farm Drive, St Albans.

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