MP Bim Afolami supports opposition to Southdown Industrial Estate development

MP Bim Afolami supports resident opposition to Southdown Industrial Estate development

MP Bim Afolami supports resident opposition to Southdown Industrial Estate development - Credit: Penny Bird

Harpenden MP Bim Afolami has backed residents in opposing a new proposal for development on the Southdown Industrial Estate.

It comes after a previous proposal submitted last year was withdrawn, and has raised concerns amongst neighbours over the impact on their properties of noise and visual amenity, as well as the increase in HGV movements on Harpenden’s residential streets.

Bim had supported residents by objecting to the previous – now withdrawn – application on similar grounds and has once again joined local residents in calling on St Albans district council to reject the scheme.

He said: "I have received representations from my constituents who have expressed concerns similar to those raised about the previously withdrawn application at this site. I was particularly concerned about issues relating to noise and disturbance, visual amenity and HGV traffic.

"Residents have expressed concerns that, whilst businesses currently on the site have restricted hours of working; Unit 1 with the open-air service yard is located closest to nearby houses and would be active 24 hours a day, creating noise all through the day and night. This would have a serious detrimental impact on neighbouring residents. Residents tell me that the proposed acoustic barrier offers no guarantees or even suggested noise reduction figures to protect the residents and at 5.5M tall it would also impact the visual amenity of residents.

"There are no major roads that serve the industrial estate and there is significant concern that HGV traffic could create problems on small residential roads in Harpenden which do not have sufficient capacity to cope. This would likely lead to air pollution and traffic congestion."

He added that it should be noted that the Southdown Industrial Estate is a key employment site in Harpenden and it is of course right that such a site should retain an industrial use.

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He added: "I have no objection to the principle of this site being redeveloped in a way that is compatible with that aim. I do, however, believe that any such development should not come at the expense of neighbouring properties or the wider Harpenden community.”