Un-Pleasant news for Hatfield anti-homes protestors

DEFEATED plans to build more than 100 new homes on a disused highways facility are back on the table, reigniting a war between Hatfield residents and Hertfordshire County Council.

Homeowners living near a former supplies depot in Mount Pleasant Lane thought they had won a famous victory last year, when an application by the county council to build 116 homes on the site was turned down by members on Welwyn Hatfield Council’s planning committee.

But now, the county council has lodged an appeal against the decision with the Planning Inspectorate.

And residents have accused the council of once again ignoring their concerns over the safety of the project and the threat it could pose for schoolchildren.

Under the plans, the homes would only be accessible from Mount Pleasant Lane, closing off a second entrance from the A414.

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Residents argued that closing off the A414 access would cause more tarffic and more accidents, impacting on the safety of children at nearby The Ryde School.

Welwyn Hatfield councillors agreed, and turned the application down last July.

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This week, a county council spokeswoman said: “We were surprised by the decision to refuse planning permission on highway grounds, as an independent highway consultant and the highway authority support our plans.

“We expect a decision from the Planning Inspectorate by June 2011.”

But Pleasant Rise resident Sanjay Chibber said: “We understand the council is under pressure to make money, we’re not opposing that.

“But if something happens to one of the children at the Ryde school, who’s going to be accountable for that?

“It makes one wonder whether views of local residents matter.”

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