Harpenden housing plans

PUBLISHED: 12:05 24 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:27 06 May 2010

SIR – We understand that the Council would like to have farmland north of Harpenden taken out of the Green Belt and used for housing, as part of its environment and planning policy . We also hear that Luton and South Bedfordshire have a similar scheme in

SIR - We understand that the Council would like to have farmland north of Harpenden taken out of the Green Belt and used for housing, as part of its "environment and planning policy".

We also hear that Luton and South Bedfordshire have a similar scheme in mind - how brilliant it would be for them to pass on their responsibilities for education, rubbish collection, etc., to another local authority! There are irresponsible and totally stupid ideas.

Councils need to consider, very seriously indeed, not only the undoubted need for "affordable" housing but also the impact on the environment and on the inhabitants of the proposed dwellings that such a development would have. That is why there are environmental plans.

In this area people have more trouble than most in two vital ways; secondary school education and, if they have to commute, travelling to London. The scandal of inadequate secondary school provision still needs curing, certainly not exacerbating. The closure of the secondary school in Wheatham-pstead was foolish. This is not a personal issue: our grandchildren live in Cambridgeshire, south London and Essex. There is insufficient parking at or near Harpenden station, and we're told that trains are over-crowded at peak times (which we avoid when possible, being retired).

Now people are being asked to travel less, local authorities should vow only to allow large areas of new housing where schools, shops, etc. are within easy walking/cycling distance, and preferably with decent transport links.

We do need more affordable housing but these days new housing should be in small centres with a post office, bank, secondary school, chemist, local shops and preferably a supermarket.

Have Park Street, Brookman's Park, Tring and Flitwick been considered? If there is no existing small centre suitable for more inhabitants some must be made suitable before, or at the latest while, the houses are being built.

We must not have more people in an area which is not quite able to meet the needs of its current population. We do need to keep the Green Belt. Good quality farmland should be used for housing, industry, etc., only as a last resort.

DR RD & MRS GM MULLEY

Claygate Avenue

Harpenden

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