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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.

 

Permitting development of the application site would cause a precedent, under the guise of “consistency of decision making”, for further development of other Green Belt sites within Chiswell Green.

Chiswell Green’s charm is that is has pockets of green. We do not want to live in Chiswell Grey.

An approval for development of green belt areas in Chiswell Green (and consequential damage to biodiversity) would be an abhorrent act of wilful destruction by the council whose current draft local plan uses outdated claims of housing need to overthrow National Policy on building on green belt land without ‘exceptional circumstances’ being met.

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.

The developer has not made a valid argument that “exceptional circumstances” exist – that would 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 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?

This development would spoil the rural outlook for residents already living on Ragged Hall Lane, who currently enjoy views over open greenbelt.

 

The nature of the area’s roads will not be able to cope with more traffic, especially the country lanes, such as Chiswell Green Lane and Ragged Hall Lane. The main roads, eg Watford Road, are already very busy. More houses will mean further cars and traffic.

With inadequate public transportation and infrastructure for cyclists, new residents along Ragged Hall Lane would inevitably have to use motorised vehicles to travel to and from their homes. With Ragged Hall Lane already being used by residents and non-residents as a cut through, the lane is busy and ill equipped to deal with an increased volume of traffic.

Ragged Hall Lane is by nature limited in width. With cars parked along its sides and people using it as a by-pass to the traffic on Watford Road, it may not provide access for emergency services.

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.

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.

 

Thank you.

 

Yours sincerely

 

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—END OF MESSAGE BODY—

Some ideas for your email:

 

If one the fundamental aims of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open, development on Ragged Hall Lane would flout that aim by effectively merging Chiswell Green with St. Albans?

Ecological snuffing out of endangered wildlife species, skylarks, red kites, owls, muntjac deer, bats, butterflies, moths, voles, badger, and Muntjac deer. Biodiversity takes years to generate. Removal of it destroys the existing structure, wiping out fragile ecosystems.

An approval for development of green belt areas in Chiswell Green (and consequential damage to biodiversity) would be an abhorrent act of wilful destruction by the council whose current draft local plan uses outdated claims of housing need to overthrow National Policy on building on green belt land without ‘exceptional circumstances’ being met.

The charm, feel of Chiswell Green would be lost if the Green Belt is dismantled around Chiswell Green. Part of the reason people chose to live in Chiswell Green is because of its rural essence.

The proposal to build on Ragged Hall Lane will not only damage Green Belt land (eradicating the biodiversity that already populates the area) but would cause a precedent for any other building developers to gain approval for more housing estates to be built on local Green Belt.

This development would result in the loss of significant but unquantified amounts of biodiversity which has not been measured through a recognised biodiversity metric.

There were good reasons for a Green Belt to have been created. It is up to each generation to uphold these protections, and in our generation, up to us.

 

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.

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.

Ragged Hall Lane is a narrow road which is used as a cut through for people trying to avoid the gridlocked traffic on the Watford Road. There are often cars parked on either side of the road, making the lane even more narrow. As a result, should emergency services be called, access for their vehicles would be greatly compromised.

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

 

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

The affordable starter homes that the area needs are not what this development offers. Local residents are against this development.

 

This development would be over-bearing for this site and location. It would also destroy the open views currently enjoyed by many of the residents along Ragged Hall Lane.

Ragged Hall Lane by its nature has not enough width to allow for possible walking or cycle lanes to be added to it, as a compensatory improvement.

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?

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.