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TO: pauline.dun@planningInspectorate.gov.uk
SUBJECT: Objection to appeal ref App/B1930/W/23/3331451

MESSAGE BODY:
Dear Madam,

I urge you dismiss appeal reference App/B1930/W/23/3331451 for the following reasons.

 

The developer has not made a valid argument that “exceptional circumstances” exist – that would outweigh the damage to the Green Belt.

The Council has an outdated local plan and is still using this plan, with its completely out of date claims of local housing requirements, to approve developments on Green Belt. The result is annihilation of the character of the village we are in, laying waste to biodiversity.

This is a speculative development proposal in response to the call for sites. However, it does not meet the ‘very special circumstances’ required before building on greenbelt land can be considered.

The development would “tarmac over” what is now open, green space, beneficial to the wellbeing of of Ragged Hall Lane residents.

Green Belt is ‘designed to prevent urban sprawl’. The proposed development would cause actual harm to the openness of the Green Belt. Development in any form (affordable or otherwise) cannot be justified.

There is an attempt to claim that the development would improve biodiversity, when in fact it would be an urbanisation of open land, which would have the opposite effect on species that are not amenable to a more urbanised environment.

Biodiversity in the Green Belt has not yet had a standard way of measuring it, we believe a development would result in Biodiversity being laid waste but no one has ever measured the extent of the loss.

 

Even more cars from new occupants of the proposed development will mean more wear and tear to the already sorry state of the lanes, with pot holes and flooding.

As the bus services are unreliable and there are no direct links to mainline train stations, the new occupants of the proposed development would have to use cars to get anywhere at any time. Ragged Hall Lane is already busy, and Watford Road is oversubscribed. The increased traffic will cause greater congestion and with traffic at a standstill for much of the time, the already alarming levels of pollution in the area will be exacerbated.

High levels of pollution from traffic from M25, M1, busy Watford Road and now even more cars from a proposed new development can only bring about further health issues for the residents of Chiswell Green.

The access to the proposed new houses will cause significant disruption to existing residents and road users.

Building estates of any size in semi-urban villages like Chiswell Green will invariably increase vehicular traffic. The roads are already congested and suffer when there are accidents on any of the main roads that surround the area (the M1, M25, A405, A414). The country lanes, such as Ragged Hall Lane, become clogged and the main roads (Watford Rd, King Harry Lane, Bluehouse Hill etc) become gridlocked. The infrastructure is currently ill equipped to deal with the current levels of traffic but additional houses will mean additional cars on our roads.

 

Thank you.

 

Yours sincerely

 

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—END OF MESSAGE BODY—

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One of the Greenbelt’s purpose is to prevent urban sprawl – this development would go against this aim. Chiswell Green would have no defining green boundary separating it with St Albans.

The NPPF states that if Green Belt land is used for development, various compensatory improvements need to be made. These may include improvements to infrastructure, woodland planting, landscaping, and green spaces for residents to enjoy. More importantly, it expects an uplift of 10% to biodiversity, which would have to be provided ‘off site’ – meaning that the 100% of green belt land destroyed in the process of building new homes must be fully compensated and increased by a further 10% – how and where do the developers propose to increase biodiversity by 110% and how would it be beneficial to current residents?

Green Belt is ‘designed to prevent urban sprawl’. The proposed development would cause actual harm to the openness of the Green Belt. Development in any form (affordable or otherwise) cannot be justified.

Allowing this development, would result in the scenario as has happened in other areas, of a “domino effect”, where it acts as a model, facilitating many local developments to be permitted.

There is an attempt to claim that the development would improve biodiversity, when in fact it would be an urbanisation of open land, which would have the opposite effect on species that are not amenable to a more urbanised environment.

The developer has not made a valid argument that “exceptional circumstances” exist – that would outweigh the damage to the Green Belt.

Biodiversity in the Green Belt has not yet had a standard way of measuring it, we believe a development would result in Biodiversity being laid waste but no one has ever measured the extent of the loss.

 

Building estates of any size in semi-urban villages like Chiswell Green will invariably increase vehicular traffic. The roads are already congested and suffer when there are accidents on any of the main roads that surround the area (the M1, M25, A405, A414). The country lanes, such as Ragged Hall Lane, become clogged and the main roads (Watford Rd, King Harry Lane, Bluehouse Hill etc) become gridlocked. The infrastructure is currently ill equipped to deal with the current levels of traffic but additional houses will mean additional cars on our roads.

Ragged Hall Lane is not only used by motor vehicles but also by horse riders, cyclists, ramblers, runners, and children learning to ride their bicycles. Much of the lane does not have a paved footpath causing pedestrians to walk in the road. An increase in traffic would escalate the risk to those road users.

Residents of Ragged Hall Lane will experience disturbance resulting from the entrance to the new development.

The roads of Chiswell Green are already running at capacity. When accidents or events occur that close any of the local trunk roads, the side roads and lanes in Chiswell Green such as Ragged Hall Lane are used to try and bypass the stationary traffic, causing gridlock on the lanes and enormous inconvenience to residents.

Ragged Hall Lane is used as a rat-run by motorists. The national speed limit of 60 miles per hour applies to the more rural parts of the lane, but some road users will continue to drive too fast along the built-up section where the limit is 30 miles per hour. The road can be dangerous and with 53 additional households trying to get on and off the lane safely, there is a far greater change for accidents.

 

The Neighbourhood Plans of St Michael and St Stephen Parish do not support this development. The Site being within the St Stephen Parish.

St Albans needs starter homes, retirement properties and affordable 2 and 3 bedroomed family homes as well as social-rented accommodation. This development would destroy some of our valued Green Belt and do nothing to ease housing need in the St Albans area.

The developer has not made a valid argument that “exceptional circumstances” exist – that outweigh the damage to the Green Belt.

 

The NPPF states that if Green Belt land is used for development, various compensatory improvements need to be made. These include things like new infrastructure, woodland planting, landscaping, green and recreational spaces for residents to enjoy, enhanced infrastructure to include walking and cycle routes and improvement to biodiversity. How and where will these compensatory developments be delivered?

Chiswell Green village will be merged as part of main urban St Albans city if this development is approved. Ragged Hall Lane is currently the north end of Chiswell Green. Approving this development may lead to a domino effect where other developments are prospected.

The size of the development is not in keeping with the small site, the openness of the views enjoyed by Ragged Hall residents would be significantly impaired.

The charm and character of Chiswell Green will be lost if there is no green boundary, to keep the area from becoming part of the main urban St Albans city.