Politicians and business owners meet in Vicarage Road stadium to celebrate launch of Watford health campus

'It is going to happen, a significant part of West Watford will be regenerated'

'It is going to happen, a significant part of West Watford will be regenerated'

First published in News
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Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Web content editor

Politicians and business owners met in Vicarage Road stadium last night to celebrate the official launch of the Watford health campus.

The event, which marks the publication of the scheme’s masterplan, took place in Watford FC’s Elton John Suite.

The plans include building 700 homes, a new business park and a hospital in West Watford.

Speaking at the event mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill said: "We’ve all been here before, we’ve launched things, but this evening is saying ‘it is going to happen, a significant part of West Watford will be regenerated’.

"We will have the infrastructure, the road, the new facilities, it will be a place people are proud to live. It will uplift the whole area around it.

"But we have to win the hearts and minds of the people of Watford. If you can’t build on derelict land where can you build?"

An exhibition of the plans will take place on Friday and Saturday in the football club’s corporate lounge, and Thursday January 30 in the Town Hall.

The extent of the development’s use of the Farm Terrace Allotments was also revealed by the new masterplan.

The use of the allotments will be subject to a separate planning application, due to the site’s "sensitivities".

Last year, the Department of Communities and Local Government gave Watford Borough Council permission to build on Farm Terrace for a second time.

The initial permission had been revoked after a legal challenge from allotment campaigners.

Farm Terrace had initially been protected in the development, but council said it was needed to make the project economically viable.

Sara Jane Trebar from the Farm Terrace Community Association described the separate application as "another very positive thing" but described the masterplan as "very hurtful".

She added: "Originally the council wanted the top part of the allotment to build the larger houses on it.

"[The masterplan] is a perfect example of what we said all along, there will be no hospital building on the allotments.

"It’s adding insult to injury building a car park on the top terrace. They didn’t mention that in the legal papers they sent to the secretary of state.

"They are paving paradise and putting up a parking lot. The community space they are promising is diminishing with every plan, it is getting smaller and smaller.

"Some people don’t care about the allotments but they do care about the extra traffic and the pressure of infrastructure. Firstly this was for 600 homes, then 650, now 700."

Kathryn Robson, from Watford Borough Council, refuted the claims and suggested up to 40 per cent of the allotment site could be used for possible hospital development.

MP for Watford Richard Harrington said: "From my point of view it is my job to look for the whole of Watford and the way it develops. It is going to be a 21st century town. A world class town.

"Dorothy and I might not be Boris Johnson and David Cameron but we are Watford’s equivalent."

You can view the masterplan image here: Plan PDF.pdf

Comments (16)

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4:29pm Tue 14 Jan 14

TRT says...

"But we have to win the hearts and minds of the people of Watford. If you can’t build on derelict land where can you build?"

Pff... errr... I dunnon, Dottie. On allotments, perhaps?
"But we have to win the hearts and minds of the people of Watford. If you can’t build on derelict land where can you build?" Pff... errr... I dunnon, Dottie. On allotments, perhaps? TRT
  • Score: 11

4:33pm Tue 14 Jan 14

TRT says...

"Dorothy and I might not be Boris Johnson and David Cameron but we are Watford’s equivalent."

*EYES ABOGGLE*

The truth outs at last! Boris U-turns over ticket office closures. Cameron doesn't have a clue and proposed selling off the woods and fields of England to private companies.
"Dorothy and I might not be Boris Johnson and David Cameron but we are Watford’s equivalent." *EYES ABOGGLE* The truth outs at last! Boris U-turns over ticket office closures. Cameron doesn't have a clue and proposed selling off the woods and fields of England to private companies. TRT
  • Score: 12

4:34pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Sickening to hear Dotty and RH going on about this huge overdevelopment and hiding behind a new hospital which may not even get built.

They both need replacing and quick!

I like SJ's reference to Melanie's song as well. very nice.
Sickening to hear Dotty and RH going on about this huge overdevelopment and hiding behind a new hospital which may not even get built. They both need replacing and quick! I like SJ's reference to Melanie's song as well. very nice. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 9

4:34pm Tue 14 Jan 14

TRT says...

Oh, and that graphic in the article doesn't seem to match the masterplan. Was it taken from the completely different, now abandoned as economically unviable, 2007 plan?
Oh, and that graphic in the article doesn't seem to match the masterplan. Was it taken from the completely different, now abandoned as economically unviable, 2007 plan? TRT
  • Score: 7

4:36pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Phil Cox (UKIP) wrote:
Sickening to hear Dotty and RH going on about this huge overdevelopment and hiding behind a new hospital which may not even get built.

They both need replacing and quick!

I like SJ's reference to Melanie's song as well. very nice.
My mistake, not Melanie but Joni. Still good.
[quote][p][bold]Phil Cox (UKIP)[/bold] wrote: Sickening to hear Dotty and RH going on about this huge overdevelopment and hiding behind a new hospital which may not even get built. They both need replacing and quick! I like SJ's reference to Melanie's song as well. very nice.[/p][/quote]My mistake, not Melanie but Joni. Still good. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 2

5:12pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Andrew1963 says...

TRT wrote:
Oh, and that graphic in the article doesn't seem to match the masterplan. Was it taken from the completely different, now abandoned as economically unviable, 2007 plan?
its a graphic which shows two elements that have been abandoned - A new hospital on the Willow Lane allotments and a retained Farm Terrace allotments. The former wont happen because the Hospital is unlikely to ever get Foundation Trust status and therefore unable to sell off its St Albans and Hemel hempstead sites for housing to be able to finance a new build at Watford. The latter has been abandoned as the Council need a quick cash cow of selling housing by building on Farm Terrace to finance the road. No road no regeneration. Tthey need that money because they have given the Hospital an unsecured £7 million loan in lieu of the NHS grant given to the hospital to build the Link road. The hoispital have' spent' that grant money running their normal activities and have no longer enough cash in the bank to pay for the link road, which is needed to serve the AAU and allow better access to permit the complete closure of its faciulities at Hemel and St Albans. In effect the Farm Terrace allotments have to go because of cash flow problems within the whole redevelopment plan. They are the catalyst that finance the road, and to get Watford general off its short term capital budget deficit.
[quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: Oh, and that graphic in the article doesn't seem to match the masterplan. Was it taken from the completely different, now abandoned as economically unviable, 2007 plan?[/p][/quote]its a graphic which shows two elements that have been abandoned - A new hospital on the Willow Lane allotments and a retained Farm Terrace allotments. The former wont happen because the Hospital is unlikely to ever get Foundation Trust status and therefore unable to sell off its St Albans and Hemel hempstead sites for housing to be able to finance a new build at Watford. The latter has been abandoned as the Council need a quick cash cow of selling housing by building on Farm Terrace to finance the road. No road no regeneration. Tthey need that money because they have given the Hospital an unsecured £7 million loan in lieu of the NHS grant given to the hospital to build the Link road. The hoispital have' spent' that grant money running their normal activities and have no longer enough cash in the bank to pay for the link road, which is needed to serve the AAU and allow better access to permit the complete closure of its faciulities at Hemel and St Albans. In effect the Farm Terrace allotments have to go because of cash flow problems within the whole redevelopment plan. They are the catalyst that finance the road, and to get Watford general off its short term capital budget deficit. Andrew1963
  • Score: 6

5:41pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Mrs Droftaw says...

1. A new building will make little difference unless the entire West Herts Trust Management leave and they bring in people who can actually run the hospital - so people get tests when they are supposed to get tests, people don't get stuck on wards opposite deceased people, discharges can be done promptly. More nursing staff, less management, decent facilities for families. A car park with spaces that normal cars can fit in and you can open the doors! (without needed to re-mortgage)
2. It would make a difference too if the Mayor and MP would actually come clean and admit Watford has become one of the 'dumping' grounds for London Councils who won't house their undesirables - so we are getting them - by the 100s. This campus is for the current residents of West Herts not this influx of 'Broken Britains'.
1. A new building will make little difference unless the entire West Herts Trust Management leave and they bring in people who can actually run the hospital - so people get tests when they are supposed to get tests, people don't get stuck on wards opposite deceased people, discharges can be done promptly. More nursing staff, less management, decent facilities for families. A car park with spaces that normal cars can fit in and you can open the doors! (without needed to re-mortgage) 2. It would make a difference too if the Mayor and MP would actually come clean and admit Watford has become one of the 'dumping' grounds for London Councils who won't house their undesirables - so we are getting them - by the 100s. This campus is for the current residents of West Herts not this influx of 'Broken Britains'. Mrs Droftaw
  • Score: 3

6:57pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Andrew Turpie says...

"Dorothy and I might not be Boris Johnson and David Cameron but we are Watford’s equivalent."

I have never heard of such narcissistic guff in all my life. Looks like they're blowing their own trumpets as the voters are too polite to provide honest feedback.

So sad, its hilarious, have Jongleurs signed up 21st century's answer to little and large? ;-)
"Dorothy and I might not be Boris Johnson and David Cameron but we are Watford’s equivalent." I have never heard of such narcissistic guff in all my life. Looks like they're blowing their own trumpets as the voters are too polite to provide honest feedback. So sad, its hilarious, have Jongleurs signed up 21st century's answer to little and large? ;-) Andrew Turpie
  • Score: 9

9:27pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Kimbles says...

When we lived in St James Rd and had an allotment on Farm Terrace, I was quite excited about the regeneration scheme. This proposal is monstrous on many levels. I wish I still lived in Watford so I could campaign against it.
When we lived in St James Rd and had an allotment on Farm Terrace, I was quite excited about the regeneration scheme. This proposal is monstrous on many levels. I wish I still lived in Watford so I could campaign against it. Kimbles
  • Score: 7

12:16pm Thu 16 Jan 14

TRT says...

Kimbles wrote:
When we lived in St James Rd and had an allotment on Farm Terrace, I was quite excited about the regeneration scheme. This proposal is monstrous on many levels. I wish I still lived in Watford so I could campaign against it.
There's an online consultation form as well. See previous news articles for the link.
[quote][p][bold]Kimbles[/bold] wrote: When we lived in St James Rd and had an allotment on Farm Terrace, I was quite excited about the regeneration scheme. This proposal is monstrous on many levels. I wish I still lived in Watford so I could campaign against it.[/p][/quote]There's an online consultation form as well. See previous news articles for the link. TRT
  • Score: 3

4:31pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Cuetip says...

This idea of selling off allotment land assigned for ordinary people and used by the people that leaves a nasty taste.

Do the means always justify the end product and in this case the 'health campus' seems to be lost amid the forest of housing.
This idea of selling off allotment land assigned for ordinary people and used by the people that leaves a nasty taste. Do the means always justify the end product and in this case the 'health campus' seems to be lost amid the forest of housing. Cuetip
  • Score: 4

5:05pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

I'm beginning to think the LibDems are wrong on this development, betraying the people of west Watford.

The LibDems are also very big on the EU (The biggest fans in the UK) and a poll predictions today has the LibDems losing ALL their seats in the EU in May's elections. That is because as a party they are so out of touch and arrogant as regards the EU. They are so right and we are so wrong they will lose every single EU MEP seat in 2014. Most other politicians would consider that a disaster.

If they don't want the same to happen in Watford I suggest they look at how they treat the people of Watford and respond to their concerns.

I recently received their Cassiobury Focus newsletter. It's a real giggle. They criticise the County for selling off land that is now needed for schools, yet a just a few weeks ago they were all over this paper saying how awful it was the County pays for maintenance and security on sites that could have been sold off. The LibDems seem to be a party that thinks it can have it's cake and eat it.

They say they are calling for an £800 tax cut. Read the story and we realise they are counting money twice. £700 is already in the pipeline, they are now just calling for £100 cut. To read the rag you would think it is all down to them and the Tories are not even in power. Arrogance? Deceit? There's more.

Apparently UKIP would put British jobs at risk by leaving the EU. What rot. If anything we would keep the jobs that rely on trade with the EU (after all it is in the interests of the EU to trade with us as we buy more from them than they do from us), and we would be able to then go further afield and agree our own trade agreements with countries outside of the EU, giving even more jobs. Half-truths? Misleading the public? Scare stories?

Apparently the EU has created over 200,000 jobs. No mention of where that money came from (us) or whether had we spent it ourselves we would have spent it better (yes) and in all likelihood created far more useful jobs than Brussels ever could (yes).

They crow about the new bins and recycling. No mention of how much this cost us. Those bins all have to be purchased, the cost comes to all of us somehow. That must have been about half a million just on bins alone.

I would say that unless the LibDems change their spots, and quick, their time in Watford is limited. A party that does things against the interests of residents just because they can, having overwhelming majority in council, and hides their development schemes behind the false facade of a new hospital is deluding themselves and short-changing the people that they represent. It will not be tolerated forever.
I'm beginning to think the LibDems are wrong on this development, betraying the people of west Watford. The LibDems are also very big on the EU (The biggest fans in the UK) and a poll predictions today has the LibDems losing ALL their seats in the EU in May's elections. That is because as a party they are so out of touch and arrogant as regards the EU. They are so right and we are so wrong they will lose every single EU MEP seat in 2014. Most other politicians would consider that a disaster. If they don't want the same to happen in Watford I suggest they look at how they treat the people of Watford and respond to their concerns. I recently received their Cassiobury Focus newsletter. It's a real giggle. They criticise the County for selling off land that is now needed for schools, yet a just a few weeks ago they were all over this paper saying how awful it was the County pays for maintenance and security on sites that could have been sold off. The LibDems seem to be a party that thinks it can have it's cake and eat it. They say they are calling for an £800 tax cut. Read the story and we realise they are counting money twice. £700 is already in the pipeline, they are now just calling for £100 cut. To read the rag you would think it is all down to them and the Tories are not even in power. Arrogance? Deceit? There's more. Apparently UKIP would put British jobs at risk by leaving the EU. What rot. If anything we would keep the jobs that rely on trade with the EU (after all it is in the interests of the EU to trade with us as we buy more from them than they do from us), and we would be able to then go further afield and agree our own trade agreements with countries outside of the EU, giving even more jobs. Half-truths? Misleading the public? Scare stories? Apparently the EU has created over 200,000 jobs. No mention of where that money came from (us) or whether had we spent it ourselves we would have spent it better (yes) and in all likelihood created far more useful jobs than Brussels ever could (yes). They crow about the new bins and recycling. No mention of how much this cost us. Those bins all have to be purchased, the cost comes to all of us somehow. That must have been about half a million just on bins alone. I would say that unless the LibDems change their spots, and quick, their time in Watford is limited. A party that does things against the interests of residents just because they can, having overwhelming majority in council, and hides their development schemes behind the false facade of a new hospital is deluding themselves and short-changing the people that they represent. It will not be tolerated forever. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 2

5:24pm Thu 16 Jan 14

TRT says...

I must say I agree absolutely with Mr Cox. However, I do feel that a party, or rather its candidates, will say exactly what the people wish to hear in order to win votes. There's no-one more rational and sensible than someone trying to win the popular vote. When the real test of their mettle comes, when they are in power, will they then still show the same common sense and resolve? Or will they U-turn and water-down almost everything they stood for? We've seen it with the mayors of London and Watford, we've seen it with the LD in local and central government (they call it compromise), we've seen it with the police commissioner. We've seen it with the EU.
So, Mr UKIP, what guarantee of integrity do the public have after a UKIP vote? Remember, no matter who you vote for, the government always wins.
I must say I agree absolutely with Mr Cox. However, I do feel that a party, or rather its candidates, will say exactly what the people wish to hear in order to win votes. There's no-one more rational and sensible than someone trying to win the popular vote. When the real test of their mettle comes, when they are in power, will they then still show the same common sense and resolve? Or will they U-turn and water-down almost everything they stood for? We've seen it with the mayors of London and Watford, we've seen it with the LD in local and central government (they call it compromise), we've seen it with the police commissioner. We've seen it with the EU. So, Mr UKIP, what guarantee of integrity do the public have after a UKIP vote? Remember, no matter who you vote for, the government always wins. TRT
  • Score: 1

9:46pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

TRT wrote:
I must say I agree absolutely with Mr Cox. However, I do feel that a party, or rather its candidates, will say exactly what the people wish to hear in order to win votes. There's no-one more rational and sensible than someone trying to win the popular vote. When the real test of their mettle comes, when they are in power, will they then still show the same common sense and resolve? Or will they U-turn and water-down almost everything they stood for? We've seen it with the mayors of London and Watford, we've seen it with the LD in local and central government (they call it compromise), we've seen it with the police commissioner. We've seen it with the EU. So, Mr UKIP, what guarantee of integrity do the public have after a UKIP vote? Remember, no matter who you vote for, the government always wins.
TRT

What sort of guarantee would satisfy you after so many broken promises from politicians from the other parties when elected?

There are many reasons why something I believe in will not happen if elected to council.

For instance, it may not be possible (illegal), it may not be cost-effective (far too expensive for the benefits it brings) or it may be that a majority of the council may outvote me.

However, one reason it will never be is because I say one thing and do another once elected. If elected I promise, as I have said before, to put constituents, residents, Town before party. EVERY TIME.

Also, I promise to work together with all the other parties, where appropriate, to get the best results for Watford. EVERY TIME.

UKIP is the only party likely to cast into doubt your saying "It doesn't matter who you vote for, the Government always gets in". The other parties guarantee it to be true.

We are holding a public meeting on Thursday 30th January at the Town and Country Club, Rosslyn Road, Watford (Town Centre, behind the Parade) at 7:15 and should finish about 9. There's even a bar during and after. Come down and speak to me, you can see what kind of person I am. UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttal will our guest speaker.

I hope you can make it.
[quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: I must say I agree absolutely with Mr Cox. However, I do feel that a party, or rather its candidates, will say exactly what the people wish to hear in order to win votes. There's no-one more rational and sensible than someone trying to win the popular vote. When the real test of their mettle comes, when they are in power, will they then still show the same common sense and resolve? Or will they U-turn and water-down almost everything they stood for? We've seen it with the mayors of London and Watford, we've seen it with the LD in local and central government (they call it compromise), we've seen it with the police commissioner. We've seen it with the EU. So, Mr UKIP, what guarantee of integrity do the public have after a UKIP vote? Remember, no matter who you vote for, the government always wins.[/p][/quote]TRT What sort of guarantee would satisfy you after so many broken promises from politicians from the other parties when elected? There are many reasons why something I believe in will not happen if elected to council. For instance, it may not be possible (illegal), it may not be cost-effective (far too expensive for the benefits it brings) or it may be that a majority of the council may outvote me. However, one reason it will never be is because I say one thing and do another once elected. If elected I promise, as I have said before, to put constituents, residents, Town before party. EVERY TIME. Also, I promise to work together with all the other parties, where appropriate, to get the best results for Watford. EVERY TIME. UKIP is the only party likely to cast into doubt your saying "It doesn't matter who you vote for, the Government always gets in". The other parties guarantee it to be true. We are holding a public meeting on Thursday 30th January at the Town and Country Club, Rosslyn Road, Watford (Town Centre, behind the Parade) at 7:15 and should finish about 9. There's even a bar during and after. Come down and speak to me, you can see what kind of person I am. UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttal will our guest speaker. I hope you can make it. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: -2

11:22am Fri 17 Jan 14

analyst99 says...

What I don't understand is if we are so short of housing, why are we taking people from Luton?
See
http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-england-bed
s-bucks-herts-257109
40
"Labour councillor Tom Shaw, in charge of housing, said: "The housing need in Luton is so bad now.... in a perfect world we wouldn't even be looking at these sites.

"We have over 900 people living in unsuitable accommodation .... we've got people living in Watford, Enfield and Milton Keynes"

So apparently Watford is "unsuitable accomodation" - the cheek!
What I don't understand is if we are so short of housing, why are we taking people from Luton? See http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-england-bed s-bucks-herts-257109 40 "Labour councillor Tom Shaw, in charge of housing, said: "The housing need in Luton is so bad now.... in a perfect world we wouldn't even be looking at these sites. "We have over 900 people living in unsuitable accommodation .... we've got people living in Watford, Enfield and Milton Keynes" So apparently Watford is "unsuitable accomodation" - the cheek! analyst99
  • Score: 1

11:33am Fri 17 Jan 14

TRT says...

"So apparently Watford is "unsuitable accomodation" - the cheek!"

Translation - "Housing we can't make money from."
"So apparently Watford is "unsuitable accomodation" - the cheek!" Translation - "Housing we can't make money from." TRT
  • Score: 1

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