St Albans playing fields housing plan is rejected again

PUBLISHED: 13:00 30 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:27 06 May 2010

A SECOND application to build housing on a controversial site has been turned down against the recommendation of St Albans planning officers. Hallam Land Management, which already has planning permission for a retirement scheme on part of the former St Al

A SECOND application to build housing on a controversial site has been turned down against the recommendation of St Albans planning officers.

Hallam Land Management, which already has planning permission for a retirement scheme on part of the former St Albans School playing field site in King Harry Lane, wants to build 150 more homes on the remainder of the site.

But even though planning officers recommended approval, St Albans plans central committee, turned down the outline scheme at its meeting on Monday night.

After a lengthy debate, all the members of the committee bar one who abstained, voted to refuse the application, primarily because of the traffic problems which would be created.

Among the objectors were members of Verulam Residents Association who raised numerous reasons for rejecting it relating primarily to highways and traffic issues. Although the application did not propose any measures to improve the King Harry junction which is already bottle-necked during a large part of the day, Hallam had accepted that some "mitigating measures" would be necessary there.

Barrie Mort, chairman of the residents association, said: "Many speakers at the meeting referred to the fact that no plan had been put forward to alleviate the already-massive traffic problems which exist in the conservation area, problems which in the council officer's report, even the developer acknowledged would be, "critical in determining whether development at this site would be acceptable."

St Albans planning portfolio holder, Cllr Chris Brazier, said that the committee felt that the side roads would not be able to cope with the traffic and they were also unhappy that the road through the new housing estate would be a cul-de-sac going nowhere.

He expects the application to go to appeal.

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