Harpenden MP Peter Lilley steps into row over Heartwood Forest car park site

OBJECTORS to a proposed car park and access road serving the new Heartwood Forest in Sandridge have got their MP on the case.

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Peter Lilley has taken up their concerns about the positioning of the car park close to Pound Farm off the B651 with Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles.

He has raised the issue of why an alternative proposal for a car park on a triangle of land bordered by the B651 and Coleman Green Lane to the north of the village, without a long access road, was turned down by the county council on safety grounds.

The Heartwood Forest Action Group, set up to fight the car park and access road in the village which has been given planning permission, has met with both Herts Highways and the Woodland Trust, which is creating the forest, to talk about the issues around their preferred alternative site.

The county council is concerned that because it is on the opposite side of the road from the forest, it would result in large numbers of visitors crossing a B road to get there.

But one local resident, who has not been named, was not convinced that the county council was correct in its safety concerns and mitigation measures could be put in place to help alleviate uncontrolled crossing of the road.

He wrote to Mr Lilley who has now passed on the concerns of the action group to Mr Pickles.

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The Woodland Trust has offered to help identify any improvements to the current site for the car park should it not be possible to find an alternative site which is acceptable to Herts Highways.