Recently, I visited Shenley Hill in Radlett. Many local residents and I are concerned about proposals to erect 195 houses on green belt land, brought by developers, Fairfax Acquisitions Ltd.
One of the great pleasures of living in our part of Hertfordshire is the countryside we have right on our doorstep. I grew up enjoying the green fields around Radlett and love the space and freedom it provides. It makes our towns and villages distinct and special places to live. We of course need more homes for our children and grandchildren, but this must not be at the expense of what makes our area special.
Since I was first elected in 2015, I have made protecting our local green spaces one of my major priorities for the area and I am continuing to do so, including on the Shenley Hill development. I remain firm that we should not be building on green belt land, except in exceptional circumstances. In this instance, I do not believe there are exceptional circumstances and was therefore pleased that earlier this year the development was unanimously rejected by the then Conservative run Hertsmere Borough Council.
At the end of August, a public inquiry took place, following an appeal of the Council’s decision. Many residents previously raised their concerns that the development could increase traffic levels. The Planning Inspector was due to visit the site in August, when the schools are closed and many residents are on their summer holidays, meaning the roads have significantly lower levels of traffic. I therefore lobbied the Planning Inspector before he was due to visit to register these concerns and request that he reorganise his visit to get a more accurate account of the traffic at Shenley Hill.
The inquiry has just finished and the Planning Inspectorate is expected to make a decision by 3 October. I am waiting with anticipation that this appeal will be rejected and our green belt protected. In the meantime, I will continue to champion the maintenance of our green open spaces.