Consultation opens for major housing development on Redbourn borders

Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning and St Albans MP Anne Main on the Crown Estate land near Redbourn.

Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning and St Albans MP Anne Main on the Crown Estate land near Redbourn. - Credit: Archant

Don’t miss the opportunity to have your say on plans for 2,500 new homes on land near Redbourn.

The Crown Estate, which owns assets throughout the UK, is seeking residents’ input on the proposals before submitting a planning application to St Albans district council.

As well as new homes and jobs, the scheme includes new local infrastructure, green spaces, schools, community facilities and walking and cycling routes. The full quota of homes will come out of St Albans district’s new housing requirements as set out in government guidelines.

A previous consultation was held in October 2016 on the initial vision for the land. At that time the proposal caused dismay to residents of Redbourn who have long feared the impact on their village.

They fear it will result in a huge increase in traffic in and around the village and add to the problems created for Redbourn by 1,500 of the new homes which will be built north east of the oil refinery Buncefield on fields separating the village from Hemel Hempstead.

The remaining 1,000 homes are earmarked for land near Leverstock Green which forms part of the Gorhambury Estate.

Cllr David Mitchell, chair of Redbourn parish council, said then that people in the village were up in arms about the proposal.

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The Crown Estate will hold three consultation events over different locations on three separate days, to give as many people as possible the chance to have their say.

The first will be held at Woodhall Farm Community Centre from 5pm to 8pm on Tuesday, June 20, the second at Redbourn Village Hall from 4pm to 8pm on Friday, June 23, and the third at Leverstock Green Village Hall from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, June 24.

Steve Melligan, strategic land manager for the Crown Estate, said: “This scheme offers a fantastic opportunity to create family homes and jobs at East Hemel, alongside major improvements in the local roadwork, new country parks and extra community facilities.

“Building on the feedback we received at our earlier consultation in October last year, we have further refined our proposals and are now delighted to share our draft masterplan.

“I’d encourage everyone in the area to come along to learn more about our proposals and have their say, so we can ensure our plans for East Hemel reflect the needs of local people.”

Tracy Harvey, head of planning and building control for St Albans council, said: “We encourage all potential planning applicants to engage with the community and consult widely on any plans they have for a new development.

“It gives them a chance to gauge the public’s reaction to their proposals and gives residents the opportunity to look at them in detail as well as raise any issues they might have.”

St Albans MP Anne Main said: “For many years now I have been of the view that should a large piece of land become available, like the Crown Estate, then it must deliver the necessary housing, infrastructure, schooling, jobs and community facilities that we need.

“The most important community facility of all is of course a hospital. Funding a new state-of-the-art hospital is an extremely expensive undertaking. It can only be facilitated if the space and money is available and this site has the potential to deliver that.

“[Hemel MP] Mike Penning and I have been calling for a new major hospital that is not based in Watford. There are going to be very few opportunities to fulfil that dream and I hope serious consideration is given to this proposal over the course of the consultation and beyond.”