Fight to prevent Park Street merging with St Stephens due to Green Belt development
- Credit: Paul King
A fight has been launched against plans for 95 homes on Green Belt land to the south of St Albans.
Developers M Scott Properties want to build on 11 acres of arable land dividing Park Street from St Stephen's. Situated south of the old M10 roundabout - opposite the BP garage - the land has long since been regarded as an important separator of the two communities.
Local resident Paul King, who established pressure group Greenbelt to fight such developments, is opposing the application.
“This land isn’t just part of the rural gap between Park Street village and St Albans, it is the gap. Approval of this scheme would therefore eliminate Park Street as a separate village. In 2014 a government inspector, on appeal, ruled that the loss of a much smaller piece of land adjacent to the land in question would represent unacceptable encroachment. Yet now we are faced with the elimination of something 11 times the size.
"Once again local residents are being forced to fight developers and opportunistic land owners, in order to retain a pleasant environment in which to live.”
District Cllr Richard Curthoys, who represents Park Street, has called-in the application.
He said: "If this application were successful, it would confirm that the south side of St Albans has been disregarded when it comes to the retention of open space for a quality living environment.
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"This would be the first of many green spaces in Park Street and St Stephen's that would be eliminated.
"Building 95 houses, would generate an enormous amount of additional car movements along Watling Street, which is often gridlocked in any case.”
M Scott Properties have refuted any suggestion of facilitating coalescence between the communities.
"This narrow strip of land can be released from the Green Belt for development without substantial harm to the remaining Green Belt areas, on the basis that it is well contained and lies separated from the surrounding open countryside.
"The retention and enhancement of the existing vegetation structure will preserve the separation of settlements and the integrity and character of the surrounding rural landscape."
Anyone concerned about the development can email Paul on firstname.lastname@example.org and object by March 26, via the SADC's planning portal, searching for planning application 5/2022/0267.