Potters Bar residents against Green Belt threat
PUBLISHED: 15:59 16 September 2011
RESIDENTS are gearing up to stop Potters Bar Golf Club being turned into a huge housing development.
"Potters Bar Golf Course has been designated Green Belt land for many years and the policy document we are due to publish later this year does not change this."
Leaflets have been circulated by the Golfwatch Residents’ Association to homes surrounding the Darkes Lane course, which is a designated Green Belt site.
The leaflet publicises Hertsmere Borough Council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, a report issued last year, which stated the golf course could support a development of 508 homes.
The association’s leaflet says it understands any proposals could utilise The Avenue and Heath Drive as access points to any new development.
The leaflet adds: “The effect on the homes in this area will be massive with regard to traffic, noise and demand for local resources such as education and health care, plus the loss of an amenity that has been in the town since 1923.”
But residents’ fears may be short-lived, with the council this week confirming it had no plans to allow any Green Belt sites in the borough to be used for new homes.
The council is currently finalising its Core Strategy – a document that will shape development in the borough over the coming years – which will go out to public consultation later this year.
Cllr Charles Goldstein, planning portfolio holder, said: “Potters Bar Golf Course has been designated Green Belt land for many years and the policy document we are due to publish later this year does not change this.
“Under Government requirements, we have identified potential housing sites for the next five years and none of them require the release of undeveloped land in the Green Belt.
“This means housing will be focused on previously developed land.”
He added: “It is extremely difficult to predict whether we will ever need to consider allowing building on undeveloped land in the Green Belt, but it would be a last resort for the council, when all other possibilities had been exhausted.
“In any case, proposals for any new housing developments are subject to the usual planning process which includes a period of public consultation before any decisions are made.”
A council spokeswoman added the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment did not take into consideration whether sites were in the Green Belt or not, but merely identified all sites that could potentially be developed.
The report detailed 28 sites in the Potters Bar, South Mimms and Ridge area which could support new homes, if necessary.
Nobody from Potters Bar Golf Club wanted to comment when questioned on the matter by the Potters Bar Edition.
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