Historic haulage firm makes way for homes

A bird's eye view of the planned development of 10 three-bed homes on the JR Smith site in Langdon Street, Tring
A bird's eye view of the planned development of 10 three-bed homes on the JR Smith site in Langdon Street, Tring

A Tring transport company which has been on the same site for eight decades is selling up to make way for a new housing development.

JR Smith, which was founded by Joseph Smith in the 1940s, will leave its site on Langdon Street by the end of July next year so that developers can demolish the office building and construct 10 three-bed terraced homes.

Elevations and floor plans of the ten three-bed homes being built on the JR Smith site on Langdon Street, Tring

Elevations and floor plans of the ten three-bed homes being built on the JR Smith site on Langdon Street, Tring

Co-director Jim Smith said the reason behind the move was the difficulty in getting large wagons in and out of the site with cars parked either side, so the office will move to a larger base in Leighton Buzzard.

Mr Smith, who grew up in Tring and now lives in Gubblecote, said: “Ever since Friars Walk had yellow lines painted, Langdon Street has been a lot busier because people park there and walk into town to go shopping.

“Because we’re a 24/7 business we’re bringing lorries back here in the early hours of the morning, and we felt the environmental impact was starting to get a bit too much.

“Our volume of work has increased and it was only a matter of time before we start upsetting people, so we feel it’s our time to go.

“All the old Tring people who remember the yard from years ago have gone, and now new generations moving in from London don’t want it on their doorstep.

“They’ve been sold this ideal market town image by the estate agents.

“We would have loved to stay in Tring but there just wasn’t anywhere suitable.

“We will miss being able to walk into town, to pick up a nut or bolt we needed from Graces or Metcalfes.”

Developers WE Black snapped up the brownfield site, which is in the heart of the town’s popular conservation area and much sought-after by families moving from London for countrylife.

The design and access statement says: “The scheme aims to preserve and enhance the conservationarea while integrating housing into a well laid-out and detailed scheme.

“The existing use, with large vehicles constantly arriving and departing, has a negative impact on the area generally.

“It is both visually and environmentally detrimental to this part of historic Tring.”

As part of the plans, 20 on-site car parking spaces will be allocated and the homes will be built using local materials wherever possible.

Architectural plans have been designed to allow for maximum daylight – using large windows etc – and where possible, internal bathrooms and landings will be lit via sun-tubes.

Artificial lighting will meet current standards for low energy fittings, and approaches to the houses will have 
low-energy lighting with time-delay sensors.

The installation of low level bollard lighting in the car park will prevent any light pollution to neighbouring properties.