Harpenden allotment site decision under review

A CONTROVERSIAL decision not to allow former allotment land to be used for affordable housing is to be scrutinised by councillors next week.

St Albans council’s cabinet decided in September that it would not be prepared to grant Harpenden town council a right of way across its land so that the Westfield allotments could be developed.

It revoked an earlier agreement in principle to allow the right of way without which the town council is unable to progress the scheme.

The decision was greeted with delight by local residents who had campaigned for the land to remain in allotment and community garden use, arguing that there was far greater demand for plots than there was when the town council first looked at the site for housing.

The council’s overview and scrutiny committee has now called in the cabinet decision and will discuss whether or not it was correct at a meeting next Tuesday, November 23, in the council chamber in St Albans.

Cllr Julian Daly, chair of the overview and scrutiny committee, said: “We will look at Cabinet’s decision to revoke the agreement to grant a right of way to Harpenden town council.

“The decision appears to be at odds with the officer report to cabinet. That report identifies that there is no shortage of parks and gardens in Westfield but that there is a shortage of affordable housing.”