Fears Leverstock Green could ‘double’ in size following housing development

The proposed site of the housing development
The proposed site of the housing development

Residents of Leverstock Green claim their village could double in size as a result of a major housing development.

They are also worried the development, on designated green belt land, would ruin the character and community spirit of their village.

St Albans City and District Council’s local plan 2020-2036 includes the development of 5,500 new homes including 2,400 on the edge of Leverstock Green.

John Baldwin, trustee of Leverstock Green Village Association (LGVA), claims the development would almost double the size of the village.

“We believe that almost doubling the population would have a seriously detrimental effect on the village’s character while the whole infrastructure would have to change, possibly beyond recognition.

“The original purpose of the green belt was to prevent urban sprawl and to preserve forested and agricultural land.

“LGVA believes it is important to preserve this but SADC appear to be paying little heed to it.”

Although the new homes would be in Dacorum the huge increase in population would be expected to have a significant impact on the area’s local roads, public services and schools.

St Albans City and District Council have however said it intends to build 5,500 homes on green belt land at the very edge of Hemel Hempstead.

This represents approximately 37 per cent of its entire target of 14,600 new homes between now and 2036. Additional homes will be built to the north, straddling both sides of Redbourn Road.

Despite objections Peter Ingram, chairman of HertsValleysHospital says the development could bring a new hospital to the area.

He added: “At our recent public meeting in Leverstock Green it was clear that residents could support the building of a new ‘planned care’ hospital on the site near Leverstock Green. The housing and hospital debate, and responsibility for the supporting infrastructure, is something councils and the NHS must work together on to ensure it is in everyone’s best interests.”

A Dacorum Council spokesman told the Gazette: “DBC is considering the impact of the proposals for new building at East Hemel Hempstead as set out in the draft St Albans plan.

“DBC will be submitting its views by the October 27 deadline.”

To see the full plans visit stalbans.gov.uk/planning/thelocalplan.aspx