For information, this was the response sent by the Letchmore Heath Village Trust (LHVT) in NOVEMBER LAST YEAR (2017) to Hertsmere Borough Council’s paper entitled Issues and Options which was posted to all households in Autumn 2017.
LHVT will shortly be responding to the latest specific site proposals in HBC’s Local Plan. This will be posted on this website together with encouragement and advice to respond to HBC’s proposals. Watch this space!
This response to the recently published “Issues and Options” paper is submitted on behalf of the Letchmore Heath Village Trust. Due to tight timescales it has not been possible to consult and receive feedback from all local villagers, but the Trust is keen to make this response before the 30th November deadline.
The HBC paper is a well argued and logical document. As we are not in a position to challenge presented facts and most assumptions, the proposed vision and way forward seems justified.
If the Borough is to address the number of new houses required, then the option of building a Garden Village / Town is an attractive – probably essential – piece of the plan. This will clearly need to be supplemented by some of the other significant development proposals identified in your paper.
Use and expansion of rail capacity will be an essential part of any development plan. Apart from the many national pieces of this challenge, the Borough must make better use of rail hubs – both within and outside its boundaries (e.g. Stanmore tube station) – rail users take no notice of Borough boundaries. This will require regular bus services to and from rail hubs, and investment in increased (double decker?) car parking capacity at stations such as Radlett.
We would strongly endorse two principles within the Vision statement:
“Making sure our towns and villages retain their own distinct and separate identities” – p 11.
“Ensuring all new homes are built in places where there are or will be, roads, schools, cycle routes, shops and other services and facilities nearby” – p 12.
In this context, we would like to comment on small villages, and specifically Letchmore Heath.
There may be some small, individual house building opportunities in and round Letchmore Heath.
However any significant development and building opportunities in and around the village are likely to be severely constrained.
The principal reasons for this are:
The village is accessed by three roads – Common Lane, Grange Lane and Aldenham Road. All have severely limited capacity, with the first two being narrow winding single track lanes with high banks.
2. Services and Facilities
The village has two community assets – the pub and the village hall. There are however no local services, shops, schools or facilities of any sort that would meet the needs of an enlarged village. Current residents access these services by road in other towns, villages and communities.
The character and nature of Letchmore Heath is well established and recognised. The village green, duck pond, war memorial, Victorian / Edwardian (or older) housing stock and local pub create a unique atmosphere and environment – indeed, the village has been referred to as “the jewel in the (Hertsmere’s) crown”.
This long established character and attraction needs to be preserved, protected and enhanced for future generations.
Letchmore Heath Village Trust