Responding to HBC local plan

Dear Letchmore Heathens,

Should anyone wish to respond to HBC’s Local Plan along the same lines as LHVT, please feel free to cut and paste extracts from our responses.

Please ensure that you change some of the wording so that your views are expressed in your own way.

If you need further assistance, please feel free to contact any member of the Trust.

LHVT response to HBC local plan

LHVT RESPONSES TO HBC LOCAL PLAN
SPECIFIC SITE COMMENTS
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.

500 New houses in Letchmore Heath

HERTSMERE BOROUGH COUNCIL – LOCAL PLAN
500 NEW HOUSES IN LETCHMORE HEATH ?

You will probably be aware that the HBC Local Plan process is now at the stage of examining specific sites for development and new house building. Details are available on the HBC website: http://www.hertsmere.gov.uk (New Local Plan), or on their consultation portal: https://tinyurl.com/ycuoaxgv . HBC are inviting views from local residents on the selection and desirability of individual development sites.

The key site option affecting Letchmore Heath is fields to the right of Aldenham Road as you leave the village (Local Plan reference H3 ), and proposes the potential development of 500 new homes. The village currently has about 100 houses.

LHVT has submitted a response to this (and two other sites around Radlett, R2 and R1) proposal, the full details of which are available on our website (address above) and can also be seen if you click “View Comments” against H3 on the HBC Local Plan. A couple of extracts from the Trust’s response are:

“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”.

“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”

If you have an opinion that you wish to express, you should post this to the HBC Local Plan website (preferred route) or email (local.plan@hertsmere.gov.uk ) or write to HBC. The consultation period ends on 20th DECEMBER.

Your views matter, and will affect the outcome of the sites eventually selected for development. For assistance, LHVT has posted guidance notes on its website (above). If you wish please feel free to follow the Trust’s line of argument – but best in your own words. If required, please contact any member of the Trust for help.

So, if you are concerned about the future of your village, let HBC know. The more submissions from individual households, the more the planners will take note.

PLEASE MAKE YOUR SUBMISSION TO HBC BY THURSDAY 20TH DECEMBER
Thank You!

2017 – LHVT response to HBC paper

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!

 

LOCAL PLAN ISSUES AND OPTIONS 2017

 

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.

GENERAL REACTION.

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.

TRANSPORT

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.

VISION

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.

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:

    1. Roads

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.

    3. Character

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

November 2017

 

 

HB Planning for Growth

For all those that might have missed the flyer in the post, this is the pdf of the newsletter:

Hertsmere-Local-Plan-Newsletter-issue-3

The following website link explains the process and shows the timeline:

Planning for Growth – a new Local Plan for Hertsmere

REMINDER NEXT EXHIBITION IN RADLETT IS ON:
4pm-8pm
Thursday 22 November
Radlett Centre, Aldenham Avenue, WD7 8DH

This will provide a good opportunity to see what is being proposed and ask questions.

AGM ANNOUNCEMENT

Annual Village Meeting of the Letchmore Heath Village Trust 
Wednesday 19th September 2018 at 20.00
Aldenham War Memorial Hall

You are warmly invited to attend the Annual Village Meeting of the LHVT. The main objective of the meeting is to provide an opportunity to recognise and discuss issues of local concern.

Agenda

  • Apologies for Absence
  • Chairman’s Introduction
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Election of LHVT members
  • FASTER BROADBAND – Jane Darley (Community Fire Partnership Manager – Openreach) will attend the AGM and answer questions.
  • Brief reports on LHVT 2017/18 progress.
  • Open forum

Link to flyer: AGM_2018_Flyer

TO ALL DOG WALKERS

Dog owners in Letchmore Heath enjoy the opportunity to walk their dogs in the fields owned by Aldenham School. This facility is offered as a gesture of goodwill from the School to villagers.

Recent reports confirm a steady increase in dog mess left uncollected. This creates unacceptable health and safety issues to school pupils, staff and other users.

The Rules are simple. DOG WALKERS MUST ENSURE THAT:

  1. ALL DOG MESS IS IMMEDIATELY PICKED UP AND DISPOSED OF – BINS ARE PROVIDED IN COOKE’S FIELD. If you see uncollected dog mess, PLEASE COLLECT IT AND PLACE IT IN THE BINS PROVIDED.
  2. Dogs walked on or near Top Field, the Chapel or Button           Field (small field behind the Prep School), are kept on a     lead.
  3. Dogs walked on Cooke’s Field may be taken off the lead, but must be kept under control.

The School wishes to maintain unlocked gate access to Cooke’s (and other) Fields. HOWEVER……..if the amount of dog mess left uncollected does not reduce significantly in the immediate future, the School will be duty bound to consider locking the gate and removing access to all their playing fields.

The minority of offending dog owners are known. They are threatening access to School fields for all local dog walkers. So please, for everyone’s benefit, RESPECT THE RULES.

Janmashtami festival at Bhaktivedanta Manor – 2018

The annual Janmashtami festival at Bhaktivedanta Manor will be held Sunday 2nd and Monday 3rd September 2018.

Letchmore Heath Village Trust and the Temple are continuing to work together to ensure there will be no festival vehicle access through Patchetts Green, Round Bush and Letchmore Heath. Except of course for residents, friends/relatives/guests, carers, business traffic/employees, emergency vehicles etc.

Staffed road closures will be put in place from 10.00 until 22:00 hours on both the Sunday and Monday. Please see janmashtami_festival_2018.pdf for more details.

For additional passes: radha.moha@krishnatemple.com 01923 851003 / 07818815978 (leave a message)

Updated Traffic Information: 07497 696 346 (festival days only)