St Albans Strategic Plan - Town society fears new affordable homes in Harpenden

Green Belt land for St Albans' SLP at Chiswell Green Farm

Green Belt land for St Albans' SLP at Chiswell Green Farm - Credit: Archant

“Deep concerns” have been expressed about the district council’s plans to pave the way for hundreds of homes - including affordable - to be built in Harpenden’s Green Belt.

As St Albans district council prepares to release its revised draft Strategic Local Plan (SLP) for public comment, The Harpenden Society has warned of the document’s ‘deficiencies’.

It said: “If the SLP is allowed to pass in its present form it will seriously diminish the quality of life in Harpenden.

“We are concerned that the draft is full of inconsistencies about sustainable development and bland assurances about provision of compensating infrastructure. There appears to have been only token regard to local democracy.”

Saying it was deeply concerned, the society added: “The majority of the population [in Harpenden] do not want further development. The adverse impacts to Harpenden would outweigh the benefits, in terms of road congestion and pollution, pressure on public services such as schools, GP surgeries and impact on water shortages.”

Furthermore, the group warned, the council’s push for 40 per cent affordable housing on the edge of Harpenden “is not sustainable as it is out of character with the area and too far from the town centre for those without cars.

“A development on the Rothamsted Research site would be more appropriate as it is near the shops and station.”

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The society questioned statements in the SLP, including that new schools, health facilities and other community infrastructure have been provided, asking, “where are these in Harpenden?”