Letters September 23, 2010, part three

Developers are not welcome here!

SIR – I read with a strong feeling of rage your last article and editorial (Herts Advertiser, August 19) about the intentions of developer HelioSlough to bring their case about the rail freight depot to the High Court next January.

It is really amazing the way developers have applied and then appealed repeatedly for schemes that have been previously rejected until they achieve their goals, without any concern for people’s will, the advice from rail experts, the decision of the policy makers and even worse, with absolute indifference to the aftermath of their projects over nature and the environment.

I watch this entire situation with disbelief and I think that, once a planning application has been rejected, there should be no second chance for companies with the same project, albeit slightly modified.

I strongly believe that the rules regarding planning applications need to be revised to revoke these points contrary to the needs and aspirations of the residents and families of every town in this country.

Definitely that law has to be changed, because to permit these kinds of situations is unacceptable; and furthermore, it is a moral issue.

As a citizen of a very different country, I often make jokes about some of these unfair projects and the law and government implementations that protect and support companies and developers against the will of their communities, which have to create groups like STRiFE to combat and prevent these predators. We need leaders committed to their constituents. We need planning officers and decision makers who are able to say no to improper projects and propositions from unfair companies and profit seekers.

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We need the people who can face these situations unflinching; otherwise we will have to clear up after them, or better, “we will be continuously stepping on the dung of their horses”.

We have to strongly oppose these companies, because they are threatening our way of life, driven largely by self interest. We don’t need them; we don’t want developers like HelioSlough, Astringham, Tesco, etc., in Hertfordshire.

We don’t want to hear about their schemes; we don’t want the problems they would bring in, from the alteration of train schedules, to the increase of traffic chaos, rubbish or debris, large amount of stress and the negative impact these changes would surely generate to commuters, citizens and to this historic city and district.

I cannot understand why our institutions accept the demands of these greedy companies.

My personal view is that they just ignore the traditions and heritage of this country in favour of their future profits. I really regard them as a contagious virus, like the 12 plagues of Egypt or something even worse.

We have to frighten them off as far as possible, because applications like the 300 million 40-acre proposed rail freight terminal, would only bring a huge disaster of terrible consequences to this town and the surrounding areas, just as terrible as the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, an accident that increased the progressive degradation of our planet; incidentally very near to collapse. But we all know that, don’t we? And if we don’t, at least we should have some kind of premonition about it, and not simply take them lying down.

I am pretty sure that the residents of St Albans and others towns and cities in this country, want their towns clean, free of noise and pollution, without artificial changes or modifications that could affect our health and our environment.

HelioSlough’s owners have to understand at once that there is just an overwhelming opposition in St Albans regarding their ambitious plans, public opinion that has to be respected; that is something they must recognise. Hopefully, this opposition will be the main reason for the refusal of their allegations at the High Court next year.

So the time has come to get rid of these persistent companies and their planning applications.

They have to understand and accept that they are not welcome around this town. We have to cut away this “viral infection” from our lives.

We don’t need them; we don’t need their money and projects. We want them out of Hertfordshire, and the sooner the better!

Let’s hope we can rise to this challenge. Get out of here please!


Stanhope Road, St Albans

Empty shops “not a problem”?

SIR – Last week, the St Albans political parties got together and recognised the dire state of the shops on the north end of St Peter’s Street.

A motion was proposed to set up a working party to think of ways to tackling this problem. To my amazement, Liberal Democrat councilors tamely voted to block this move with some even stating that: “There is no problem!”

I went to St Peter’s Street today, and between numbers 67-79 only half the units are occupied! Those units which are occupied are mostly discount stores and the area looks a state.

Do the Lib-Dem councillors shop in St Albans? Why was this party line towed so obediently by these councilors?

Why is there no review of the Lib-Dems’ expensive parking, permanent traffic jam and high business rates policies?


Lemsford Road, St Albans

Historical shortfall is not acceptable

SIR – I received recent feedback from a Marshalswick resident who called at the Tourist Information Centre to obtain some information on the history of St Albans.

Reportedly none was available, other than a free booklet called ‘Enjoy St Albans, visitor guide 2010/11’. There is a bit in there but it’s quite limited, else they had to purchase a book.

This resident remembers obtaining a leaflet some years ago which was A4 in size but opened out to a larger document which gave a chronological history of the city.

They didn’t necessarily expect to find the same information still to be available but were at least hoping for something that detailed the history of the city.

This is a bit sad when St Albans has so much history.

This includes Celts, Romans, the first and only English Pope, a medieval Abbey, Civil War battles, Francis Bacon, the film industry and Stephen Hawking plus more our leader can inform us and is well shown in the St Albans Museum.

The Lib-Dem controlled SADC’s not ungenerous development and tourism budget is �221,000, the Tourist Information Centre budget is �143,000, the public relations department is �181,000 and the information technology budget is a massive �1,040,000 but there is only an extremely brief history on their website.

Perhaps you need ask over-taxed residents to also write their ciity’s proud history.


Conservative District Councillor

Oakfield Road, Harpenden

Grateful donations to Open Door

SIR – In spite of the gloom and despondency we hear so much about these days, I’m pleased to report that there was a good response to the recent street collection held in aid of the local charity for homeless people, Open Door – St Albans.

Our volunteer collectors spent the morning of Saturday, September 11, in the centre of Harpenden and raised �575.

This will enable us to continue helping to fund the emergency night shelter and weekday drop-in facility in Bricket Road which gives service users access to services such as education, health and employment.

As a result, over 60 per cent of our service users are able to move on to more settled housing when they leave Open Door.

So I’d like to use your columns to say a big thank you on their behalf to those who helped to fill our collecting boxes on the day. For those who missed us then and would like to find out more about our work, or help financially, please contact me c/o Open Door, 8 Bricket Road, St Albans, AL1 3JX. Cheques should be made payable to Open Door – St Albans. Thank you in anticipation.


Company secretary and trustee,

Open Door – St Albans

Recycling bad guys

SIR – I was shocked to read the letter from James Fitch regarding the lack of recycling in the pub/restaurant business (Herts Advertiser, September 9) but have just read an article along the same lines.

It would seem that, according to the Environment Agency, three million tonnes of food are wasted annually and 600,000 tonnes of glass bottles go to landfill from restaurants and that the hotel and restaurant sector has the lowest level of environmental awareness of all British businesses.

The Sustainable Restaurants Association (SRA) aims to help businesses take positive action in the way they source, transport and produce their meals and can guide restaurants and pubs on how to improve their green credentials. Their website is www.thesra.org

St Albans is the eatery of Hertfordshire. Perhaps we could lead the way in this greener direction and with some encouragement and guidance from the council, we could succeed.


College Street, St Albans