Plans to build nearly 55,000 square metres of commercial floorspace on open land near the M1 has been given a boost by councillors.
A planning application for The Prologis Maylands Gateway development would see up to seven new business units built on land just north of Breakspear Way.
And, despite objections from residents living nearby, who say the building would be ‘ugly’, the scheme has been delegated to a council development manager with the view to approving the scheme.
The area was formerly used as the sports grounds for Lucas Aerospace and Kodak, although it has been unused for nearly a decade.
The proposals will also mean new distribution warehouses and investment in the local road infrastructure.
The scheme will secure more than £80million of private sector investment and when fully delivered would support around 750-1,000 jobs in the manufacturing and logistics sectors.
But a number of residents are far from happy. Bill Jahn raised objections to the scheme at the council meeting on Thursday evening.
He later told the Gazette: “The proposed development is ugly. It will totally surround the residential areas of Woodlane End, Hales Park and Wood End Close by industry.
“It will isolate the cemetery and nursery on Buncefield Lane, with the old and young crossing a busy road.
“Scant regard seems to be given to the current residents in terms of increased pollution, noise, visual intrusion increased traffic and loss of amenity.
“If it has to be used for industry, so be it. These issues could be solved, but Prologis need to engage the local community to make it happen in a sympathetic manner.”
Paul Weston, senior vice-president at Prologis said: “Prologis has been an investor in Hemel Hempstead for over 15 years and we take our relationship with the local community very seriously.
“Maylands Gateway is within the town’s enterprise zone and our development plans, which include investment in local highways, could bring 750-1,000 jobs to the town. We will continue to liaise with local people.”