Bypass: society urged to think again
The North Mymms Green Belt Society has been urged to consult local residents before backing a proposal for a bypass to be built south of houses in Hawkshead Lane.
The bypass was suggested after members of the society visited the site of the soon to be extended Royal Veterinary College. Society members agreed that a bypass was needed to relieve the projected extra traffic travelling to and from the RVC if the plans are approved. Click here for that story.
That decision brought an angry response on this site from one local resident, Paul Large, who resigned as a member of the Green Belt Society because of the proposal. Click here to read that story.
The chairman of the NMGBS, Craig Rees, responded to that criticism by setting out the societys reasoning for backing plans for a bypass. Click here to read that e-mail and click here to read that story.
Mr Large has followed that up with another e-mail to this site's 'Have Your Say' section, explaining what he feels are the main considerations the society needs to take onboard before taking the matter further. He says a bypass to the south of houses in Hawkshead Lane would have several negative implications for the area.
The ease of use will encourage more traffic to pass through our rural area as many commuters actually avoid using Hawkshead Lane already simply because they find it hard to negotiate. As the society is aware, when roads are constructed they tend to make areas of existing farmland isolated from the main farmland with the resulting area being abandoned and mostly pronounced untenable by the farmer. Historically these areas then become targeted as areas for development by local authorities and therefore this area of green belt land is lost forever, he writes.
He also raises the issue of crime prevention.
Having a public road to the rear of property in Hawkshead Lane then leaves it open to encourage the opportunist criminals to target domestic homes. It is far less likely for a burglar to walk a mile across ploughed farmland to target property then just stop their vehicle in the newly constructed bypass for a quick exit from the area, he writes.
Mr Large is also concerned about the financial and environmental issues.
The whole area, as most people are aware, has an unsettled water table, which has caused flooding and extortionate amounts of damage to property in Warrengate Road in recent years. Any construction on this flood plane will have consequences, which will affect this level.
Extensive research was conducted with the Environment Agency (Formerly N.R.A.) by one resident who pointed out that the cost of preparing defences against the "run off" from any road would be astronomic to the tune of many millions of pounds. The road construction itself would obviously need to be funded, he writes.
To read all Mr Larges concerns and the full text of his e-mail click here.
An alternative has been suggest by another local resident and is backed by Mr Large, and that is to build a private road on RVC land for use only by their traffic.
If an entrance was made to the North of Hawkshead Lane at the expense of the RVC leading from Warrengate Road, without having to build across farmland to join Swanland Road, this may solve some of the problems there would obviously be no "encouraged" extra commuter traffic, there would be no farmland made "dead" by being isolated as this land is already owned by RVC, he writes.
The mere fact that this would be a private road would deter the criminal activity, as they would have to give proper account as to their being in the area. There would be no risk of our community being invaded by heavy goods vehicles wishing to visit the Industrial estate in Potters Bar at all hours of the day and night. I believe this option if any should be taken, is a more realistic proposal however in order for it to work properly a "pinch" may still need to be introduced, he concludes.
The RVC expansion plans, number S6/2000/39/FP, are available for inspection at Welwyn Hatfield Council until Tuesday, February 15, the last date for local residents to make objections.
The North Mymms Green Belt Society's views are set out on its website
February 6, 2000
Have your say: Should the Royal Veterinary College expand into green belt land? Have Your Say