I would like to express my concern and opposition to the planning application submitted by Legal & General for North Harpenden.
Having considered all the documentation I do not support the position that there are ‘special circumstances’ which should allow this development to proceed. There are clear reasons why permission should be refused. According to The National Planning Policy Framework ‘significant development should be focused on locations which are or can be made sustainable, through limiting the need to travel and offering a genuine choice of transport modes.’ (105) In my view this plan immediately fails to meet that criteria. Furthermore, a planning application can be refused on highways grounds if there is ‘an unacceptable impact on highway safety or ‘the residual cumulative impacts on the road network would be severe.’ (111) I believe this development would have a major impact on traffic on the already congested Lower Luton Road.
The Legal & General plan to build in excess of 550 homes would -
· Increase traffic and congestion on the A1081.
· Have a significant impact on road safety and pollution.
· Put extra pressure on local services particularly schools and doctors’ surgeries.
· The proposed cycle path infrastructure plan appears entirely inappropriate and not fit for purpose.
· It will have a significant impact on 2 listed buildings.
· There will be a permanent adverse effect on Ambrose Wood, an Ancient Woodland.
· It will inevitably put extra pressure on the sewage system in Harpenden, with flooding in the town already a problem. The existing system would need to be upgraded. (Thames Water)
‘Harpenden has a strong sense of community that is treasured by local residents.’ (HNP)* I believe a project of this nature will change the character of the town for ever and could lead to further speculative developments in Harpenden’s green spaces.
*Harpenden Neighbourhood Plan (2018-2033)