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Vet college plans approved

Welwyn Hatfield Council has approved plans for a three-storey building at the Royal Veterinary College in Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms.

When built, the development will house the main admin functions, the library, information technology area, a shop and a café. There will also be increased car parking with 22 extra spaces, bringing the total to 92.

Some trees will have to be cut down to make way for the new building but the plans include the planting of replacement trees on the site.

Nearby residents have been concerned about the likely increase in traffic, but chief planning officer Chris Conway is quoted as saying that he does not think the proposal significantly increases the amount of traffic visiting the site. However, it is thought a 30mph speed limit might be introduced.

John Fisher of the Royal Veterinary College adds…

The College is very grateful to Welwyn Hatfield Council for approving the details of its plans for a new building to accommodate learning resources and other facilities: essential to support the College’s broadening mission.

This proposed project has been approved under the College’s long-standing principal planning consent: it does not constitute “additional development” at the College’s Main Site.

Although the College could proceed to develop broadly from the existing arrangements, it is pleased that a number of its suggestions for neighbourhood and other improvements are finding favour.

For example:

  • to try to reduce traffic speeds in Hawkshead Lane
  • to offer the opportunity for improved safety etc by improving the entrance arrangements in to the Main Site
  • for additional landscaping and for incorporating the College in to the visual amenity of the area - rather than (say) just maintaining old close-boarded fencing etc

The College read the various representations and objections sent to WHDC with great interest. Equally it was interested to hear the proposal discussed at the WHDC Planning Board.

The College’s next task is to seek to raise the necessary resources to implement this scheme in the future.

According to John Fisher, the College has completed an analysis of its latest “spot census”: a sample of weekday traffic between the hours of 7am and 10 am in Hawkshead Lane. Broadly the results seem to correspond with those from comparable appraisals.

For example:

  • The substantial flow of commuter traffic westwards along the Lane from 7.30am.
  • The substantial flow of school-related traffic eastwards.
  • The arrivals of staff and students at the Main Site “spread” over a two hour period.
  • The significant majority of traffic to the Main Site arriving from the east.
  • The number of non-saloon-car vehicles… unconnected with the College …. but running through the whole Lane.
  • The significant proportion of wider-bodied cars of higher value … unconnected with the College … but running through the whole Lane.

July 5, 2000

Recent news:
Bridge repairs completed - April 2, 2000

Bridge: No weight restriction needed - March 3, 2000
Hawkshead Lane bridge begins to crack - February 27, 2000
Vet college: assurances demanded - February 14, 2000
Bypass: society urged to consult locals - February 6, 2000
Local resident's e-mail opposing bypass plan - February 6, 2000

NMGBS's e-mail supporting bypass plan - February 4, 2000
Green Belt Society backs bypass
- February 4, 2000
Anger over bypass plan
- February 1, 2000
Hawkshead Lane bypass bid - January 30, 2000
Vet college expansion plans submitted - January 26, 2000
Green belt vets expansion plan - Dec 10, 1999
Vet College expansion opposed - Nov 13, 1999
Vet College plans to expand - Sept 29, 1999
Golf club 'rumours' spark green belt fears - July 27, 1999
Golf club housing plan opposed - July
6, 1999

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