St Albans Strategic Local Plan - Redbourn residents urged to join fight to protect village

Green Belt land for St Albans' SLP in Harpenden next to Sauncey Wood school

Green Belt land for St Albans' SLP in Harpenden next to Sauncey Wood school - Credit: Archant

Villagers were being urged this week to show the strength of feeling over housing proposals in the Strategic Local Plan (SLP) which could ‘swallow up’ Redbourn.

Cllr David Mitchell, chair of Redbourn parish council, was due to address the extraordinary meeting of St Albans council tonight (Wednesday) opposing the proposals for a major housing development on two Green Belt East of Hemel Hempstead sites which fall within this district’s boundaries.

A petition opposing the East of Hemel Hempstead proposals has been signed by 230 Redbourn residents amid fears that the 2,500 new homes proposed by St Albans council with additional housing being considered by Dacorum Borough Council could result in a total of 4,000 new houses on the outskirts of the village.

That would mean around 10,000 new residents, making the development, should it go ahead, twice the size of Redbourn with little explanation of how the additional housing would impact on infrastructure such as roads and schools.

Cllr Mitchell, who was given three minutes at last night’s meeting to address the concerns raised in the petition and called on as many villagers as possible to come out in support, has described the proposal as having the potential to destroy Redbourn as a village.

He has also criticised the district council for pushing the development as far outside St Albans as it possibly can while still remaining within its boundaries.

The site in question in Redbourn parish which the district council is proposing to release from the Green Belt for housing is roughly between Cherry Tree Lane and Tullochside Farm - land which most people would assume to be in Hemel Hempstead but comes within the St Albans boundary.

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A report to tonight’s council meeting admits the development would ‘accommodate a major urban extension of Hemel Hempstead’ and is ‘well related to the urban area of Hemel Hempstead’.

Cllr Mitchell has called on anyone in the village with expertise or knowledge in planning law and procedure to contact him should the plans be submitted to a government inspector next June.