Bricket Wood homes scheme for HSBC site is rejected

Bricket Wood Sport Centre, located in the grounds of the HSBC training college, St Albans

Bricket Wood Sport Centre, located in the grounds of the HSBC training college, St Albans - Credit: Archant

A bid to get outline permission for a large new housing scheme has been turned down by district councillors.

Congar Land had submitted an outline planning application for over 175 houses on the former HSBC management training college in Smug Oak Lane, Bricket Wood.

But it was turned down by a meeting of St Albans council’s planning referrals committee on a number of grounds including its position and impact on the Green Belt.

The application attracted a lot of objections, both from residents and St Stephen parish council, which felt it was unacceptable.

In its comment, the parish council voiced concerns that although the scheme would be built on the footprint of the existing buildings, it would encroach into the Green Belt as well.

The council also questioned whether the applicants had grasped the traffic issues in the area, which was heavily congested when there were traffic problems on the surrounding motorways and A roads, the lack of school places and unavailability of shops in the immediate vicinity of the site.

Planning referrals committee chairman, Cllr Frances Leonard, said there had been quite a lot of questions and a reasonable amount of discussion on the application even though officers had recommended five reasons why it should be refused including inadequate provision for affordable housing.

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She said that it was likely that at some point there would be housing there because it was previously-developed land, but councillors were concerned to ensure that whatever was built there was the best possible development for the site.