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Harts Farm housing development is ‘not sufficient’

 Published on: 17th December 2018   |   By: News Desk   |   Category: Uncategorized

Residents are worried that the proposal to remove Harts Farm fields from Green Belt land to build 400 homes is ‘insufficient’.

The pressure group Little Bushey Community is fighting the proposal by conducting surveys to see if the land is suitable to build on. 

The group have identified three issues with the land. There are protected wildlife species, public transport links are not sufficient and the fields are in a flood zone. The group also conducted a traffic survey of vehicles using Little Bushey Lane. 

The 18-hectre site is situated in flood zones two and three, meaning the land is at medium-high risk of flooding according to The Environment Agency. Aerial footage shows that farmers have dug drainage channels to prevent flooding. 

A survey into traffic on nearby roads shows that over 1,600 cars travelled through Little Bushey Lane in a three hour period between 7.30am and 10.30am. The report did not include vans, lorries or busses. If the proposal was to be approved they expect an extra 800 cars would be using the road. 

Nik Oakley, committee member for the group, said that their public transport survey has identified a major issue. 

She said: “If the land around Harts Farm becomes part of a larger garden village, then the Campaign for Better Transport says that half the journeys from these developments should be on foot or by bike or public transport.

“The 306 route takes 13 minutes to Elstree and Borehamwood station and 11 minutes to Bushey station and only offers a half hourly peak service that reduces to hourly in the evening. As it receives no county council subsidy, the last bus leaves Watford before 10pm and on Sundays the service is two-hourly.

“This lack of accessible public transport makes any development entirely car dependent and goes against the recommendations in the National Planning Policy Framework that states that new developments should have access to high quality public transport.”

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