Historic London Colney may be “swamped” with housing from neighbouring Local Plan

The 30 mph speed limit sign on Shenley Lane. Picture: Danny Loo

The 30 mph speed limit sign on Shenley Lane. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Historic villages in the south may soon be killed in a “swamp” of housing proposed to be built just over the district border, a councillor has warned.

Hertsmere Borough Council (HBC) are currently consulting on including at least 4,000 homes on the Tyttenhanger Estate in its Draft Local Plan.

The Green Belt site neighbours London Colney, close to Junction 22 of the M25 and by Coursers Road.

Coined the Redwell Garden Village, the proposal includes a secondary school, four primary schools, cycle routes, 60 per cent open space, new doctor’s surgeries,and space for offices, shops and hotels.

Colney Heath St Albans district councillor Chris Brazier has called for the St Albans community to rally against overdevelopment by the border, warning it will “kill off a historic settlement”.

He said: “The potential growth around London Colney and Colney Heath bordering on St Albans must be resisted. It would mean the loss of huge areas of Green Belt, the loss of woodland and potential coalescence between Shenley, London Colney and Colney Heath.”

Cllr Brazier noted that Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council is also planning to develop the former Hatfield Aerodrome.

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He said: “The emphasis must be on retaining local character, strengthening our shopping centres, securing economic growth, reinforcing neighbourhoods and creating new small neighbourhoods with the necessary infrastructure.

“There should not be a loss of character, an erosion of London Colney’s identity, the loss of Colney Heath and Smallford as Green Belt settlements.

“Welwyn Hatfield need to raise the profile of the University of Hertfordshire as a cultural asset, Hertsmere must look at their plan again. Both councils should not be trying to change the borders and encroach into St Albans district.”

A countywide infrastructure deficit will exacerbate any issues, Cllr Brazier said.

London Colney Parish Council has also railed against the plans, distributing a leaflet to every house in the area outlining numerous negative outcomes to the HBC proposal such as a gridlocked bypass and flooding from the River Colne.

Parish council chairman Malcolm MacMillan said: “Such a massive proposal will mean 20 years of disruption with detriment to the quality of our lives; air quality will worsen and noise levels will increase.

“We are facing the biggest planning crisis in the history of London Colney.”

He noted development is also planned for the Park Street Strategic Rail Freight Interchange site and already underway on the Harperbury Hospital site.

There will be two meetings to discuss the plans - at 6.30pm on November 21 in the London Colney Caledon Community Centre and at 7.30pm on November 29 at Colney Heath JMI School.

A spokesperson from HBC said: “We are seeking views on potential sites for housing and employment for Hertsmere that have been put forward by landowners and house builders. At this time no decisions have been made.

“This is the latest phase of public engagement for the new Local Plan and we are encouraging people to get involved. There is a dedicated section about the new Local Plan on our website which includes more information on the proposals and sites put forward for consideration.”

As part of the HBC call for sites, landowners also proffered 1,860 new homes in Radlett, including a 500 home 35.86ha settlement to the north west of Watford Road and a 560 home 41.6ha development south of The Ridgeway.

She said the council will carefully consider all consultation responses after December 20.

A spokesperson from Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council said: “We rigorously assessed all sites to ensure only the most suitable went forward for inclusion in our Draft Local Plan.

“Part of this involves working closely with our neighbours and other bodies to plan for growth across the county, ensuring we deliver infrastructure improvements to transport, healthcare and other local services to support development.”

To respond to the HBC consultation, visit www.hertsmere.gov.uk/newlocalplan Let us know what you think at HertsAd@Archant.co.uk