LHVT response to HBC local plan

H 3
Land west of Aldenham School, Letchmore Heath

The Letchmore Heath Village Trust (LHVT) strongly supports HBC’s comments that this site is “not suitable for development” and agrees with the Council view that the site should be categorised as one of the “sites not currently acceptable”. The principle drivers for this position are the impact on character and function of a small village and the issues of access and traffic.

Letchmore Heath is one of the smallest villages in Hertsmere – about a hundred houses and a population just over three hundred. It has no local facilities bar an excellent pub, a village hall and a duck pond. The village has been referred to as “the jewel in (Hertsmere’s) crown”. It is served by three lanes, two of which are single track with high banks – traffic congestion and grid locks are current and frequent events.

Any significant housing development in Letchmore Heath will fracture and possibly destroy the character and function of the village which has been built up over decades – indeed centuries. Building up to five hundred (five times the current size of the village) new homes on this land will effectively wipe out the village as it currently exists.

Without massive and unwelcome infrastructure and road investment, there is no prospect that Aldenham Road (let alone Grange Lane and Common Lane) could cope with any further significant increase in traffic density. A recent survey indicated that at peak times there are already over 400 cars per hour currently passing through the village, many headed to the adjacent Aldenham School and also to Haberdasher’s.

The H3 site is good quality crop producing green belt agricultural land with a pleasing rural and visual landscape – this should not be lost.

There are no services or shops located in the village. And as there are no public transport facilities, any and all local needs have to be accessed by road in other communities.

Development on this site would directly contradict HBC’s Policy 4: to “Preserve setting and character”.

R 2
Land south of The Ridgeway (Home Farm)

From an LHVT perspective, there are two significant concerns with development of up to 560 dwellings on this site.

The first is that, although not on the R2 designated site, the “Housing Promoted Sites” (in red) shows this scheme going up to Common Lane. Further traffic volumes emerging from this major development site onto Common Lane would be untenable. Anyone that has driven down this lane will be aware that current traffic volumes cause frequent grid locks – more housing and more cars could make Common Lane unusable.

Secondly, development of this major site increases the likelihood of Letchmore Heath becoming merged with greater Radlett (contrary to Policy 2: to “Prevent towns merging”).

The adjacent potential development of Brickfields (198), Rear of Ridgeway (213) and West of Watling Street (367) offer a total potential of 280 new houses. Given existing road and adjacent infrastructure, these would seem to be preferential sites ahead of R2.

R 1
Kemprow Farm, Crown Estate

Apart from the further loss of green belt, and the negative visual impact there would need to be a serious review of impact on local traffic flows and density. Apart from the narrow Oakridge Lane, traffic into and out of Radlett could be severely affected.
Watford Road already struggles to cope with traffic volumes at peak times, and without significant road investment this situation will further deteriorate.