Q1: Do you oppose L&G’s plan and will you do all you can to stop it happening?
A: L&G’s plan is an example of what I consider to be inappropriate development of Green Belt land. There is no sufficient justification for building on this land. I agree that the residents of the area and of Harpenden as a whole (including myself) are right to try and stop it.
Q2: Will you oppose any future attempt to expand Harpenden by building on Green Belt, eg through Local Plan housing targets?
A: The local plan includes a huge area and I cannot see any reason why Green Belt in Harpenden should be eroded to the benefit of developers and land owners, and to the detriment of residents and the environment. Green belt areas are protected for good reason and unmet housing need is not, according to law, an exception to the requirement to demonstrate “very special circumstances” which clearly outweigh the harm that is otherwise caused by the proposed development. Whilst I appreciate that there is a balance to provide homes, small towns should not be host to hundreds more houses and cars, thereby damaging the fabric and nature of the area.
Q3: (For Town councillors only) Do you commit to holding a large-scale public meeting immediately after the election (eg May 12th) at which local residents can share their concerns about L&G’s planning application?
A: A public meeting is essential in my view. I would encourage residents to consider engaging collectively in order to commission a traffic survey, a report on biodiversity impact and planning consultant report which can be used to bolster opposition.
Q4: (For Town councillors only) Do you commit to urgently sending a strong letter of objection from the Town Council to St Albans District Council about L&G’s planning application in time for this to be considered as part of the public consultation?
A: I cannot speak for town councillors as I am not one at present but, if I am voted in to represent you, I shall certainly write to whomever we consider is most influential in order to assist the constituents of Harpenden North (and I believe Harpenden as a whole).