On this page we seek to provide a response to the pressing FAQs we have been asked by local stakeholders and residents. If you have any further questions, please call or email the team on 0800 232 1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Highways, Connectivity & Access
We have noted comments some residents have raised in respect to highways. One of the main benefits of the land being promoted for an allocation for residential development in the emerging Local Plan is its sustainability credentials. Our site is in a very accessible location and is a 10-minute walk from Borehamwood and Elstree main line Train Station and the town centre, with various bus routes stopping nearby on Allum Lane.
The site includes provisions for road improvements including a new ghost island from Allum Lane. We would also propose creating a new right turn on Allum Lane into the recycling centre reducing the safety risk from HGV manoeuvres. An independent road safety audit was recently completed of the access proposals and the recommendations from this audit have been incorporated into the latest design. Financial contributions from the development could be provided to HCC to improve access to the station, by improving the Station Road/Theobald Street/Shenley Road roundabout.
In addition to this, early consultation with the local bus operator has been undertaken to understand their own plans for route and fleet improvements. Service 306 currently runs at a frequency of a bus every 30 minutes. However, the bus operator has an ambition to enhance the frequency of the service to every 20 minutes on Mondays to Saturdays and every 15 minutes during peak hours. The site presents a potential opportunity to work with the local bus operator towards enhancing the frequency of the service, promoting alternatives to car travel in Borehamwood and Elstree.
It must be noted that a proportion of residents in the Local Plan consultation supported this site due to its excellent transport links and proximity to local amenities. This site enjoys excellent connections to the London Loop public footpath network. Routes 15 and 16 are conveniently located in Elstree and are easily accessible, giving residents the opportunity to enjoy the ‘M25 for walkers.’
We recently commissioned a recreational strategy to understand the local opportunities in the area to make public rights of way and leisure routes in the area more accessible. Through providing better access to green spaces, this can potentially benefit the health and wellbeing of both existing and future residents.
We have also commissioned a cycling strategy to review the opportunities to promote the use of bicycles and electric cycles in the local area. Please see our cycling strategy video here.
Character/Loss of Green Belt
We understand there is some concern about the loss of Green Belt and as a result we have given careful consideration to the location of the proposed development within the site. The site benefits from being well contained, due to the influences of landform, woodland, tree belts and the adjoining cemetery and recycling centre. Additional tree planting and green space would be used to further strengthen the new Green Belt boundary. The intervening valley would be retained as a substantial green space between the two settlements. This would enable the retention of the separate identity and character of the existing settlements.
A ridgeline follows the western fringe of the site, with the site facing towards Elstree and Borehamwood. This land is already affected by the edge of Elstree and Borehamwood and views over the urban character of the town, as well as its proximity to the cemetery and recycling centre, reducing a sense of rural character. The more sensitive open valley would remain as part of the Green Belt separating Elstree Village from Elstree and Borehamwood, with no built development proposed within the south-eastern field of the site.
The character of the proposed development is defined by the retention of the existing woodland, mature trees and hedgerows to form a strong landscape feature within and adjacent to the site. This would be strengthened with additional planting, biodiversity enhancements and the creation of green corridors to provide new habitats for the benefit of wildlife. Recreational footpaths will also create a new durable Green Belt boundary. An independent study commissioned by the Council states that development to the north of our proposed site would have a limited impact on the Green Belt. Endurance Estates has demonstrated in their considerations of the site that the retained area of separation would maintain the separate identity of communities and features of the existing settlements. A substantial green separation between the two settlements will remain following the development of the site.
Positive collaboration with stakeholders, such as local businesses and interest groups has enabled us to put sustainability at the forefront of proposals and we are engaged in constructive dialogue to ensure that impact on the Green Belt is controlled and kept to a minimum.
We are also committed to providing significant areas of high quality public open space including a village green and a range of play areas, to improve publicly available green space.
There were also comments regarding the provision of a doctors surgery in the area. We are exploring the possibility of facilitating a GP surgery in the locality of the site.
We are working with Haven Health Properties Ltd who have a first-class record, over 20 years, of providing high quality bespoke NHS Primary Care premises. They have been appointed by the Schopwick Practice to deliver a state-of-the-art new building which will provide at least nine consulting rooms, two treatment rooms, including a minor operations suite as well as upgraded technology suites and additional facilities. The Project is part of a two site premises solution with a further Hub Healthcare Centre proposed for Central/Eastern Borehamwood.
Haven Health have submitted an initial document to the Herts Valleys CCG which was approved in June 2020 as the first part of a three-stage NHS Business Case approval process.
This means that the site is now the preferred location for a new GP facility to the West of Borehamwood.
The next Outline Business Case has been submitted and, with some amendments, will be submitted to the Herts Valley CCG Primary Care Commissioning Committee meeting on 17th November 2020 who are responsible for commissioning GP services within the borough.
As part of this process, the GPs of the Schopwick Practice, together with Haven will engage with residents and the Patient Liaison Group to ensure that the local patient population are aware of and involved in the scheme.
Drainage and Flood Risk
A Flood Risk and Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) Appraisal has been submitted to Officers on Hertsmere Borough Council. The whole site falls within Flood Zone 1 according to the Environment Agency’s maps, which is appropriate for all types of development including residential (which has a low probability, 0.1%, of river flooding annually). The proposed masterplan for the site has been developed to consider the existing surface water flood extents and to ensure there is no detriment to offsite areas. It is anticipated that SuDS features will be widely dispersed across the site attenuating and treating the developments general surface water runoff and where possible, to enhance biodiversity.
The importance of the Recycling Centre to existing residents is recognised. There were fears that the Recycling Centre would be closed as a result of this development. We would like to categorically confirm that we do not own the land at the Recycling Centre and would not have the ability to close the centre. We have confirmed with the relevant stakeholders that through appropriate mitigation that both the recycling centre and the proposed development can co-exist without compromise to either.
Some respondents to the Local Plan felt that there was a lack of school places locally. The nearest primary school is St Nicholas Elstree COE Primary School, which has capacity for 210 pupils. The school currently has spare capacity but has limited places and it looks to have limited potential to extend as it is on a tight site.
Even though there is some capacity in the wider catchment area, it is likely that as a result of housing growth in the area further primary school places will need to be planned for. It will be important that the provision of new places considers the spatial strategy for growth to ensure places are accessible to residents of new homes as well as existing residents. In this regard, a site in the west of the catchment area would serve not only the residents of the proposed development site but also other homes in the west of the town.
Irrespective of the final location of new educational provisions, the location of the propose development site adjacent to a busy bus route, puts it in an ideal location to access new and existing provision sustainably.
As there is more capacity at secondary level, the need for new places to accommodate housing growth is less certain. However, it would be expected that further growth at the Hertsmere Academy would be the logical response.
In both cases, it would be expected that Endurance Estates would make the requisite CIL payment to cover the impact of the proposed development, with appropriate contributions being allocated to educational provision.