More homes planned for village Green Belt
- Credit: Corinne Nash
Plans to turn a school car park into an access road for 45 homes on adjacent Green Belt land have been condemned by villagers.
Tarmac Ltd have submitted outline planning permission for up to 45 dwellings including new affordable homes, with areas of landscaping and public open space, including points of access, and associated infrastructure works, to the rear of 96 to 106 High Street, Colney Heath.
Corinne Nash, who lives nearby, is furious about the proposals: "No special circumstances exist to build on this piece of Green Belt, which is productive arable land, especially after 100 new homes on our village Green Belt were recently approved on appeal."
She says there is no infrastructure to support more development, with children from the village rarely getting the secondary school places of their choice, and no capacity at doctors or dentists.
"There are plenty of previously used brownfield sites available in St Albans, and Tarmac say they prioritise previously used sites, which this isn't.
"Parking is already a problem for school pick up, drop off and football matches converting the area currently used as a car park into a road will force cars and coaches onto the dangerously busy High Street. Tarmac even resurfaced the car park in 2015 as a gift to the village because it is such an important asset.
"Building on the Green Belt will not solve housing crisis or improve affordability. Colney Heath has recently been subjected to 100 additional homes - whereas there are 725 homes in the entire parish, which includes the village, Smallford, Sleapshyde and Highfield."
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Her comments were echoed by other residents.
Anthony Helm of Nelson Avenue said: "The proposal on this vast scale will exacerbate human and environmental problems. Green Belt should be sacrosanct now given existing climate and rapidly developing world resource problems."
Sarah Charrington of Heritage Close fumed: "Once again our Green Belt is under threat. The roads are already choked without increasing more local traffic to add to our poor air quality. We need to keep our green space in order to preserve ours and our children's present and future quality of life."
Lee Hinchcliffe of Colney Heath High Street explained: "Traffic is already an issue in the village. The High Street receives a large amount of HGV traffic and this additional access will make the problem even worse with additional housing adding more congestion to the village.
"I’m concerned about the safety at the school crossing with additional vehicles using the proposed access route. Public transport is practically useless which will mean people will have to use cars and it’ll add more congestion and pollution to the village.
"The school is already oversubscribed which will force families to take children out of the village. What’s the point? More traffic, less green space and an infrastructure already unfit for purpose. That’s no reason to make any of these issues worse."
Hill End Lane resident Alex Camenzuli added: "As if our services and infrastructure aren’t already stretched enough, [Tarmac are] planning to add a more significant burden on it. This ‘affordable housing’ in reality won’t be affordable to most and will be limited and will add nothing significant to
our local infrastructure.
"Added this is at the cost of our precious and diminishing rural land. These proposals are a disgrace."
A spokesperson for Tarmac said: “We have consulted widely on our proposals for Colney Heath and have sought to take all the feedback we received into consideration, wherever possible, before submitting this planning application.
“We are confident that this development will bring numerous benefits to the people who live in the area, providing much needed family homes, including affordable housing, at a time when there is a critical undersupply in the St Albans area.
“The site itself is in an accessible location, adjacent to existing residential developments and within easy walking distance of local shops and a school. It also has access to public transport links, pedestrian and cycle routes, and the road network, making this a truly sustainable new development, and we are immensely proud of the application we have submitted.”
You can comment on the proposal at https://tinyurl.com/57ee8d3u