Cuffley homes plan has caused widespread fears, meeting hears

PUBLISHED: 09:28 30 May 2013 | UPDATED: 09:28 30 May 2013

A photograph published on Lands Improvement Group's website showing where a proposed development could go

A photograph published on Lands Improvement Group's website showing where a proposed development could go

Archant

PLANS to build a new housing estate on Green Belt land to the west of Cuffley have provoked widespread fears, a meeting has heard.

Last week a politician said options for the 12-acre site are currently being looked at – but played down claims a planning application is imminent.

It comes after developers Lands Improvement Group published details of a potential housing estate online.

But question marks remain over how a bid, which would extend the village toward Potters Bar, would be received if it was lodged, with planning chiefs drawing up a housing strategy.

At a parish council meeting last week, Cllr Colin Couch said: “I can understand people’s fears but it’s quite false. There’s nothing doing for Northaw and Cuffley at the minute but options are being looked at.

“Lands Improvement has approached Welwyn Hatfield with the idea of making a planning application but it’s in the very early stages.

“It’s in the Green Belt and it’s not in the emerging core strategy.”

James Stone, from Lands Improvement, agreed nothing was in the immediate pipeline, said: “If it is found the council does need to provide more housing requiring a Green Belt review then the land at Cuffley provides the most sustainable option for a modest housing development that would go to meet the local housing need in Cuffley.”

A page on Lands Improvements Group’s website shows green fields where the development could be placed, and states: “The site extends to about 12 acres on the western edge of Cuffley within walking distance of the town centre and railway station.

“The land is considered suitable for a well designed high quality residential scheme with affordable housing and good quality open space set within a mature landscape.”

A spokeswoman from Welwyn Hatfield Council said: “This site lies in the Green Belt and is one of the many such sites which have been submitted to the council to consider as a potential location for housing.

“The council’s emerging core strategy did not propose development around the villages and therefore the landowners proposed this site as part of their representations to the consultation earlier this year.

“Along with other representations, the council will need to carefully consider their representation before deciding what changes need to be made to the core strategy.”


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