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150 DWELLINGS: Residents speak up about proposed development threatening vital green belt land in St Albans

 Published on: 22nd March 2021   |   By: Holly Bullen   |   Category: Uncategorized

A planning application proposing to build 150 dwellings on land to the north of St Albans has come under fire from residents for the detrimental impact it could have.

Residents fear the development located on Harpenden Road would destroy valuable green belt land, contribute to terrible air pollution levels, and increase road traffic which is already pushed to capacity.

These concerns are coupled with fears that the approval of this application submitted to St Albans City and District Council (SADC) would open the floodgates to further development on the site. 

Gee Smedley from local action group CLASH spoke to StAlbansNews about the threat posed to vital green belt land up to 1,000.

“We are very conscious that if there were to be an acceptance of this proposal that would just open the door to more development.”

Gee added there are concerns about access to the site and the potential use of Sandridgebury Lane, a narrow lane with stunning views.

She said: “It is a country lane and if you walk down it there’s clear sight across it so it would really impact the views of open green belt and countryside.”

Cllr Helen Campbell and cllr Karen Young of the Marshalswick South ward, said: “This application doesn’t seem to be taking into account the already-heavy traffic and congestion along Harpenden Road and towards the Ancient Briton junction. 

“The claim by the applicant that the junction being already used to over-capacity means the impact will be minimal is laughable and is deaf to residents’ genuine and justifiable concerns about this application.”

A spokesperson for DLA Town Planning said: “There is a huge need for new homes in St Albans. The Local Plan for the area is one of the oldest in the country and with very few new sites coming forward, St Albans is now one of the worst performing areas in England for housing delivery. 

“The Sewell Park site is part of a wider area of land previously earmarked by the Council for growth in the draft Local Plan, which was withdrawn late last year. 

“Forty per cent of the homes delivered on site will be affordable, either for rent or shared ownership.

“In response to the County Council’s focus on sustainable modes of transport, the development will contribute in excess of £1m towards walking and cycling schemes, primarily on Harpenden Road.”

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