New homes must not be built before a busy Radlett junction which suffers “crash after crash” is dealt with, a councillor has said.

Quizzing planners over St Albans’ first housing masterplan since 1994, London Colney councillor Tony Lillico (LD) raised fears 274 new homes north of Radlett would cause problems in a “very difficult traffic area”.

At a St Albans City and District Council planning policy and climate meeting on Monday, June 26, Cllr Lillico warned the A5183 Watling Street junction with the B556 Harper Lane, which plugs into the M25 at junction 22, is an incident hotspot.

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In the draft list of development sites in St Albans City and District – which sets out where 11,826 homes could go before 2041 – site B8 features rough plans for the new units.

They would lie east of the Midland Main Line railway, south of Harper Lane.

There are four “key development objectives” for this land, which developers would have to work towards if they want to build there.

The council would look to secure a 50+-home nursing care scheme.

Access to Harper Lane would need to be agreed with Hertfordshire County Council.

The developer would also need to consider the setting – in particular a Grade II-listed Harper House nearby – and improvements to the footpath and cycle routes south into Radlett.

They would need to provide pedestrian routes to bus stops on both sides of the Watling Street A-road.

Herts Advertiser: The parcel of green land east (right) of the railway line could become an expansion to Radlett

Cllr Lillico said: “That is going to be sited near an already difficult traffic area where Harper Lane joins Watling Street – in the Radlett and Park Street area.

“Has any work been done to look at restructuring the junction there?”

Cllr Lillico added highways works have taken place at the junction over recent months.

He said: “There seems to be crash after crash. The barriers almost always seem to be smashed in.”

Responding, district council spatial planning manager Chris Briggs said: “The traffic challenges, getting over the railway line and so on – that is totally acknowledged.

“In discussions with the county council, that has been highlighted.

“In the spectrum of challenging sites, that is towards the upper end.

“One of the things that would help – it’s not a ‘get out of jail free card’ but it will help – is the potential for footpaths and cycle access which doesn’t really exist at the moment into Radlett, within Hertsmere.”

The junction has been the site of several serious crashes in recent months, including a fatal incident involving motorcyclist in August and a multi-vehicle collision in September last year.

Elsewhere in the district, Harpenden West councillor John Galvin (LD) raised concerns about infrastructure.

He said: “One of the things I would expect to see here is GP and health services, for example. How does all of this add up? Some of our towns are under real pressure.

“There are overall infrastructural settlements impacting these places.”

St Albans City and District Council’s planning policy and climate committee is due to meet again on Monday, July 10 – before a public consultation on the sites for new homes.

Cllr Galvin urged planners to bring traffic evidence to the next meeting.

Speaking about a selection of sites in Harpenden, in particular roughly 293 proposed homes at North West Harpenden – between the A1081 Luton Road and Ambrose Lane – he said: “The Luton Road regularly has several miles’ worth of tailbacks in the morning up to almost Slip End (in Bedfordshire).”

Cllr Galvin said he has heard fears about the impact of increased queues on the M1 at Luton Airport.

He said transport is a “real concern” for existing residents and said cycling may not be an alternative owing to the surrounding topography.