Hertsmere Local Plan 2017 - Our Views on Hertsmere's Proposals
The responses from both Neighbourhood Plan Questionnaires overwhelmingly indicate that residents highly value Shenley Green Belt and clearly want Shenley Village to remain a rural village. Shenley Parish Council fully supports these views.
New Garden Village
It is important for everyone to realise that if everything goes ahead not only will we have an extra 500 to 1,000 homes, but part of the new Garden village with 4,000 homes will be in Shenley Parish. If you stand on Black Lion Hill and look to the right across the current open fields you would see the housing of the proposed new village as it would start at Salisbury Hall/Mosquito Museum!
Construction of a new Garden Village as close to us as is proposed would have a huge impact on the existing road infrastructure which is, as we all know, struggling already. We have looked at the traffic figures provided by the County Council and know that currently we have 10,000 plus car movements daily through the village. The traffic generated from the new village with 4,000 homes would generate 8,000 extra cars but this assumes that each household only has two cars when many households have more than two cars these days! Also, if we had to have 500 homes, or supposing we have to take the bulk of the 1000 homes to be built in Shenley and Elstree, that would mean another 1000 or 2000 cars.
Then we have to think of the imminent new development at Harperbury Hospital which has planning permission. Construction will start soon that will generate an extra 1,000 cars.
Finally, we have to also think about the extra traffic which will either come from the Freight Terminal or a 2000 home housing estate on the site. The latter would mean an extra 4,000 cars on local roads. There could be 10,500 to 11,000 extra cars potentially travelling round Bell Lane/Harper Lane, Shenleybury/Black Lion Hill and London Road towards Borehamwood Station or the A1!!! How on earth will the current infrastructure and local services cope?
Hertsmere is saying that the new village will be a Garden Village. That promise, however, was made when the Hospital site was redeveloped into Porters Park which, rather than being a Garden Village, is a very dense urban development. If you drive up the road to Napsbury Park which was redeveloped after Shenley Hospital you can see better design and re-use of existing buildings and it is a lower density development more in line with a garden village, however that site is just over the border in St Alban District Council patch! We have seen the over-development of Porters Park so what guarantee do we have that the proposed new Garden Village would not be the same bearing in mind the pressures on Hertsmere to build 9,000 new homes?
The proposed new Village would be about four times the size of Porters Park and that would just be the start as the plan is for the new Village to be allowed to expand to provide around 8,000 homes. Our concern is that the new Village would soon march across to meet Black Lion Hill and our village would be 'consumed' by development.
It is our understanding that Hertsmere have chosen this area because it is owned by one land owner. You may know it by the various names – Willows Farm/Bowman’s/Legerton. We do not understand why Hertsmere has only put forward one option for the new Garden Village. We would have expected them to be putting forward several options for such a major change in the Borough. We think they need to explain why there is only one option.
Extra homes in Shenley
Hertsmere is also suggesting we have development on Pursley Farm fields. We do not think the suggestion is appropriate. The land is good arable land successfully farmed by the Hunter Family. Having 500+ homes close to the Farm hub would not work. New residents would complain about the noise. Development would affect local footpaths and bridleways.
This would impact on Community leisure pursuits and those of the wider community who enjoy our lovely scenery. The landscape is highly valued and should be protected. The same applies to the fields next to Radlett Lane.