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56 New Houses Proposed on Land Off Aspenden Road

In early September, Buntingford Civic Society wrote to East Herts Council to object to the proposals to build 56 houses off Aspenden Road. The letter is reproduced here.

“On behalf of Buntingford Civic Society, we ask that East Herts Council rejects this planning application for the reasons set out below:

1. The proposed development is, to a large extent, on land that is designated by the Environmental Agency as being in Flood Zone 2.

2. Aspenden Road is too narrow to be a suitable road from which to provide access to a development of 56 dwellings. This fact was recognised in the adopted Local Plan to 2011 in Policy BUN7 which states that ‘No further planning permission for significant traffic generating developments will be granted on the Watermill Industrial Estate until improvement works have been carried out on Aspenden Road’. In addition, recent new developments at the junction of Aspenden Road with London Road have made that junction more hazardous; this situation will only be made worse by the introduction of yet further traffic using Aspenden Road. There is also the possibility of even more London Road traffic if either of the planning applications for Land North or South of Hare Street Road proves successful, and this will only further compound the dangers.

3. The proposed development removes a green buffer between Buntingford and Aspenden whose value was recognised by East Herts Council in their preparatory papers for the forthcoming Local Plan to 2031. Green space is an issue in Buntingford with more and more infill development having been approved and no or very limited green space being provided in recently approved developments.

4. In recent times, planning permission has been given for the building of approximately 200 houses in Buntingford over and above those planned for in the adopted Local Plan covering the period to 2011. Further large scale development in the town should be the result of proper technical study and consultation regarding the nine development sites that have been proposed. Ill-considered piecemeal development that serves only to partially satisfy the local authority’s requirement for a five year building land supply and purely commercial interests will put Buntingford in danger of becoming a ‘planning disaster’ in which the overall effect of such development is neither socially or environmentally sustainable nor will such development be something of which the planning authority will be proud."

It is also worth bearing in mind that there may be a planning application put in by the same people for the land between the Bovis Estate/Monks Walk and the by-pass; this will also result in more traffic using the junction between Aspenden and London Roads.

Derek K Cooper,

Chairman, Buntingford Civic Society

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