Councillors claim victory in fight against Bowmans Cross

The proposed site of Bowmans Cross garden village.

The proposed site of Bowmans Cross garden village. - Credit: Colney Heath Parish Council

Have we finally seen the back of plans for 6,000 new homes on the doorstep of the Colneys?

Hertsmere council shelved its draft Local Plan during a meeting last week, including a garden village of 6,000 homes on Green Belt land to the south-east of St Albans district, which it was feared would “coalesce” with both Colney Heath and London Colney.

It would have seen the population of the area increase by around 14,000 people – more than double the 10,000 residents living in London Colney today.

Hertsmere council leader Cllr Morris Bright warned shelving the plan would leave the council open to speculative planning applications, but said he believed it was a risk worth taking in the wake of local opposition to the proposals.

The news is being celebrated by London Colney and Colney Heath Parish Councils, who have been working with local residents to put pressure on Hertsmere over Bowmans Cross, which aside from the loss of natural habitat, would have put untold pressure on local services, schools and road networks.

Cllr 'Dreda Gordon said: "This is fantastic news, along with the emerging London Colney Neighbourhood Plan, now drawing to its final stages. London Colney Parish Council is committed to protecting our environment against inappropriate development and the negative impacts that can have on the London Colney community."

An approximate outline of where the Bowmans Cross development would be built.

An approximate outline of where the Bowmans Cross development would be built. - Credit: Google

Chair of London Colney Parish Council and its planning committee, Cllr Malcolm MacMillan added: “I am pleased that all the hard work we did with encouraging people to send in their individual objections, has paid off so I congratulate the villagers who were part of the 20,000 responses."

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But the chairman of Colney Heath Parish Council is less confident of long-term victory.

Cllr Peter Cook said: "This increases the likelihood of Bowmans Cross being developed to the detriment of Colney Heath and London Colney. It would be an easy political solution to dump Hertsmere's major housing delivery area in the quarry where no voters live.  

"It would also benefit the voters of Bushey, Radlett, Elstree and Potters Bar as there will be less development on their Green Belt, if the housing number formula reduces Hertsmere’s allocation."