Developer appealing against 16-home Bricket Wood project refusal

PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 May 2019

Lye Lane in Bricket Wood

Lye Lane in Bricket Wood

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A developer is taking a second stab at building a cluster of new homes on Bricket Wood Green Belt.

Lye Lane in Bricket WoodLye Lane in Bricket Wood

St Albans district council (SADC) last year declined an application by Axess Development to build 16 new houses and a community forest off Lye Lane.

Described as land that "seems to have been unmanaged for some time", the homes would have sat on a 4.86ha site which is 400m south of Chiswell Green, bordering the North Orbital Road and M25.

The community forest was planned to be 21.23ha and include wetland, grassland, and heathland alongside foot and cyclepaths.

However, some residents objected to the proposal - one woman said developers are "queueing" to seize Bricket Wood and "destroy the pleasure of what is left": "Sixteen dwellings is going to create a lot of extra traffic on roads in this village which are already at breaking point.

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"To placate us there is the creation of a community forest. What I would like is for the village to retain as many of the existing trees as possible instead of cutting them down and planting ineffective saplings which are going to take years to grow to any useful size."

Another woman said: "In so rural an area, abounding in plants, trees and other wildlife, I fail to see how the creation of a so-called 'community forest' can be deemed necessary when it would be of little benefit to local residents, who greatly value the natural beauty of one of the few true remaining country lanes."

Both cite the 100-home Lancaster Grange development, on Bucknalls Drive adjacent to Building Research Establishment (BRE) in Bricket Wood, as evidence for a perceived overbearing influx of development in the area.

SADC refused the Lye Lane application back in March last year because the site is on Green Belt, the houses were not at least 35 per cent affordable, and there is not enough infrastructure included, such primary or secondary schools.

In its appeal, Axess argues the land is "degraded", with "zero public benefit".

Adding: "The viability evidence has confirmed that it is not possible to provide onsite affordable housing, and thus a financial contribution of £1.29 million towards affordable housing is proposed."

Comments on the appeal should be sent to east2@pins.gsi.gov.uk by June 7.

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