‘Once Green Belt land disappears, that’s it’

Land surrounding the Green Belt area in west Hemel Hempstead.
Land surrounding the Green Belt area in west Hemel Hempstead.

A Sunday summit about the proposed development of west Hemel Hempstead was attended by around 130 concerned people.

The meeting at Chaulden Infants’ School was only the third held by the West Hemel Action Group, who are opposed to the LA3 development on Green Belt land between Pouchen End Lane and Chaulden.

The group claims not enough people are aware of the proposals to build 900 homes including a school and doctors surgery as part of Dacorum Borough Council’s core strategy for growth over the next 20 years.

The group’s joint secretary Julie James said: “To destroy Green Belt land is terrible because once it has gone, that’s it. It’s too big for an area that only has one road in and out, and traffic is going to be a huge problem.

“We understand they have got to build, and it wouldn’t be as bad if it was providing council housing for our children’s futures, but it isn’t that. They are doing away with a beautiful area of Green Belt land and then we have to deal with potential issues of flooding and traffic.”

Leader of Dacorum Borough Council Andrew Williams said: “Because of the level of development needed, some Green Belt land has to be used. It is a balancing act.

“We have offered to meet with the group to get them involved in the process and keep them briefed. We want to engage with them to get the best outcome.”

The development, which was first discussed in 2004, has been agreed in principle and will be re-opened to public consultation in an exhibition starting next month.

To contact the action group email whag1000@gmail.com, or to be involved in consultation email strategic.planning@dacorum.gov.uk.