Watford Health Campus: Cardiff Road businesses face 'uncertain future'

Watford Health Campus: Cardiff Road businesses face 'uncertain future'

Watford Health Campus: Cardiff Road businesses face 'uncertain future'

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Businesses on a West Watford estate are facing an uncertain future as they are forced to relocate as part of the health campus scheme.

Companies are being moved from the Cardiff Road Industrial Estate after plans were approved to run a new road through the area and develop it with hundreds of new homes as part of the regeneration project.

Watford Borough Council, which owns the site, also has powers to compulsory purchase businesses under the scheme.

Watford Observer:

Some companies have received compensation as part of the deal, but others haven’t depending on their tenancy agreements.

However some business owners have hit out at the level of assistance they have received from the council to help them locate.

Glen Haysman, owner of Glen Windows, which employs around 30 workers, said his business faces a large scale relocation operation to the Penfold Trading estate, in Imperial Way, north Watford.

Watford Observer:

The company came to the Cardiff Road business park in 1995 and has since expanded its premises to include a windows showroom and extensive workshop area.

Mr Haysman, 60, said: "It has taken a long time to find a new location, and a lot of money - with no help from the council.

"My main issue is that even if you are not entitled to some compensation then you would expect some sort of help. A lot of people work for me and we have been here a long time, we have won national awards and have been a good company for the town. We would expect some help."

Chris Cooper, who runs Commercial Motors with his brother Robert, said his business needed to stay close to Watford and its customers.

The garage, which deals with large vehicles such as coaches, was founded by the brothers’ father Sidney in 1969.

Mr Cooper said: "We need to stay here as this is where our customer base is and if you move out of the area, even five miles, then you have to start again in someone else’s area. People have been with us for many years. The main issue has been finding new premises."

He added that he was looking a premises in Aldenham, but the site was still subject to planning permission.

Other businesses have fared better in the transition. Marcus MacLeod, the owner of Loxwood Contacts Ltd, said the electrical company had found better and bigger premises on the Watford Business Park, which is also owned by the council.

Watford Observer:

Yet he said the move had pushed his company, which makes components for everything from planes and cars to domestic switches, into its overdraft.

He said: "For the first time in many years we have had to go to the bank for support, which we hadn’t had to do for around eight years, as we have used our cash reserves and are operating in an overdraft. That is why we are hoping for help from the council."

Mr MacLeod added that the company had done well in recent years as it exports to emerging markets such as China and had been looking to move to a bigger site.

A spokesman for Watford Borough Council said: "The council has been working with the businesses in Cardiff Road since 2011 to help them relocate.

"This has included regular visits to the businesses, specialist help and support, drop-in sessions and flexible rents saving the each of the businesses between £7-10k per year.

"We are pleased that most of the businesses, including Glen Windows, have found new premises and that the majority have been extremely appreciative of the support we've provided."

Comments (19)

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7:12pm Tue 1 Apr 14

crazyfrog says...

Come on Watford Observer stop banging the councils "health campus" drum it should be known as Cardiff road housing development because that's exactly what it is ,nothing to do with Health.
Come on Watford Observer stop banging the councils "health campus" drum it should be known as Cardiff road housing development because that's exactly what it is ,nothing to do with Health. crazyfrog
  • Score: 10

10:03pm Tue 1 Apr 14

gusgreen says...

crazyfrog wrote:
Come on Watford Observer stop banging the councils "health campus" drum it should be known as Cardiff road housing development because that's exactly what it is ,nothing to do with Health.
Wealth Campus
[quote][p][bold]crazyfrog[/bold] wrote: Come on Watford Observer stop banging the councils "health campus" drum it should be known as Cardiff road housing development because that's exactly what it is ,nothing to do with Health.[/p][/quote]Wealth Campus gusgreen
  • Score: 9

10:36pm Tue 1 Apr 14

Cuetip says...

crazyfrog wrote:
Come on Watford Observer stop banging the councils "health campus" drum it should be known as Cardiff road housing development because that's exactly what it is ,nothing to do with Health.
Everyone seems to be overlooking that one of the aims of this housing development is to escalate the value of land which in turn will escalate the rental incomes and house prices to new ‘affordable’ levels.

With the inescapable rise in land values, businesses will not be able to compete with the financial returns from high density housing developments.

The danger with focussing too heavily on housing is that the knock on effects creates displacement of small businesses which alters the profile of businesses and tips the balance of employment opportunities towards larger ‘service companies’ who move in to pay the going rate.

Let’s hope that employment impact studies have been fully considered.
[quote][p][bold]crazyfrog[/bold] wrote: Come on Watford Observer stop banging the councils "health campus" drum it should be known as Cardiff road housing development because that's exactly what it is ,nothing to do with Health.[/p][/quote]Everyone seems to be overlooking that one of the aims of this housing development is to escalate the value of land which in turn will escalate the rental incomes and house prices to new ‘affordable’ levels. With the inescapable rise in land values, businesses will not be able to compete with the financial returns from high density housing developments. The danger with focussing too heavily on housing is that the knock on effects creates displacement of small businesses which alters the profile of businesses and tips the balance of employment opportunities towards larger ‘service companies’ who move in to pay the going rate. Let’s hope that employment impact studies have been fully considered. Cuetip
  • Score: -3

10:10am Wed 2 Apr 14

TRT says...

I hope that when the bulldozers start to roll over this lot, historical ironwork and other salvageable items will be removed to a place of safety and re-used elsewhere in the Borough.
I hope that when the bulldozers start to roll over this lot, historical ironwork and other salvageable items will be removed to a place of safety and re-used elsewhere in the Borough. TRT
  • Score: 5

10:49am Wed 2 Apr 14

D_Penn says...

One of the big issues I have with housing developments on brownfield sites is that whilst the developers make big profits, those forcibly shoved aside lose money.

There is something deeply sinister in the compulsory purchase system that allows one large business to make millions at the expense of small businesses, costing them thousands and pushing them into debt or even extinction.

What makes it even worse in this case is when you realise that the Council gets its own kickback from aiding and abetting the compulsory removal of businesses from Cardiff Road whilst handing over a pittance compensation that never covers the true costs of relocation.

Let me be clear. There is nothing wrong with developers making a profit, but the law should be changed so that they should be forced to directly compensate those being moved by sharing out the money the development provides. If the businesses being moved also made a profit, rather than losing money, then that would be fair. If providing such fair compensation means the added cost makes the project unviable then so be it.
One of the big issues I have with housing developments on brownfield sites is that whilst the developers make big profits, those forcibly shoved aside lose money. There is something deeply sinister in the compulsory purchase system that allows one large business to make millions at the expense of small businesses, costing them thousands and pushing them into debt or even extinction. What makes it even worse in this case is when you realise that the Council gets its own kickback from aiding and abetting the compulsory removal of businesses from Cardiff Road whilst handing over a pittance compensation that never covers the true costs of relocation. Let me be clear. There is nothing wrong with developers making a profit, but the law should be changed so that they should be forced to directly compensate those being moved by sharing out the money the development provides. If the businesses being moved also made a profit, rather than losing money, then that would be fair. If providing such fair compensation means the added cost makes the project unviable then so be it. D_Penn
  • Score: 9

11:13am Wed 2 Apr 14

ramage1996 says...

D_Penn wrote:
One of the big issues I have with housing developments on brownfield sites is that whilst the developers make big profits, those forcibly shoved aside lose money.

There is something deeply sinister in the compulsory purchase system that allows one large business to make millions at the expense of small businesses, costing them thousands and pushing them into debt or even extinction.

What makes it even worse in this case is when you realise that the Council gets its own kickback from aiding and abetting the compulsory removal of businesses from Cardiff Road whilst handing over a pittance compensation that never covers the true costs of relocation.

Let me be clear. There is nothing wrong with developers making a profit, but the law should be changed so that they should be forced to directly compensate those being moved by sharing out the money the development provides. If the businesses being moved also made a profit, rather than losing money, then that would be fair. If providing such fair compensation means the added cost makes the project unviable then so be it.
Is that a policy in the invisible Ukip manifesto?
[quote][p][bold]D_Penn[/bold] wrote: One of the big issues I have with housing developments on brownfield sites is that whilst the developers make big profits, those forcibly shoved aside lose money. There is something deeply sinister in the compulsory purchase system that allows one large business to make millions at the expense of small businesses, costing them thousands and pushing them into debt or even extinction. What makes it even worse in this case is when you realise that the Council gets its own kickback from aiding and abetting the compulsory removal of businesses from Cardiff Road whilst handing over a pittance compensation that never covers the true costs of relocation. Let me be clear. There is nothing wrong with developers making a profit, but the law should be changed so that they should be forced to directly compensate those being moved by sharing out the money the development provides. If the businesses being moved also made a profit, rather than losing money, then that would be fair. If providing such fair compensation means the added cost makes the project unviable then so be it.[/p][/quote]Is that a policy in the invisible Ukip manifesto? ramage1996
  • Score: 1

11:14am Wed 2 Apr 14

crazyfrog says...

What really annoys me is the contempt that watford council shows the taxpayers of watford by thinking we are daft halfwits that would fall for the "health campus" title when it actually is far from a health campus development it's basically a private housing developer that is in league with the council into using public powers to compulsory purchase land from private businesses and removing a long standing allotment amenity so a few people can make a lot a lot of money on the back of it why a lot of people will be in a worse off position because of it, compulsary purchase orders are there to be used for the greater public good and this development is not that at all.
What really annoys me is the contempt that watford council shows the taxpayers of watford by thinking we are daft halfwits that would fall for the "health campus" title when it actually is far from a health campus development it's basically a private housing developer that is in league with the council into using public powers to compulsory purchase land from private businesses and removing a long standing allotment amenity so a few people can make a lot a lot of money on the back of it why a lot of people will be in a worse off position because of it, compulsary purchase orders are there to be used for the greater public good and this development is not that at all. crazyfrog
  • Score: 10

12:58pm Wed 2 Apr 14

D_Penn says...

crazyfrog wrote:
What really annoys me is the contempt that watford council shows the taxpayers of watford by thinking we are daft halfwits that would fall for the "health campus" title when it actually is far from a health campus development it's basically a private housing developer that is in league with the council into using public powers to compulsory purchase land from private businesses and removing a long standing allotment amenity so a few people can make a lot a lot of money on the back of it why a lot of people will be in a worse off position because of it, compulsary purchase orders are there to be used for the greater public good and this development is not that at all.
Exacltly.

People need to ask the question of our Council...

Is Watford a better town for cramming ever increasing number of flats and people into a restricted space or is it time to say enough is enough?

I think we all know the answer. While the Lib Dem Council can see a buck can be made, they'll do whatever they can to keep the developers supplied with fresh pickings.

My view is that they unless we make an effort to stop them, they will never cease the non-stop flat building until Watford is as jam-packed as an inner city. If you don't want that to be Watford's future then we all have to change the makeup of the the council by getting rid of the current Mayor and the Lib Dem majority by not voting for them in elections.

A better Council mix with significant UKIP, Labour, Conservative and Green representatives would be much better for our town as we have lived under one party control for far too long.
[quote][p][bold]crazyfrog[/bold] wrote: What really annoys me is the contempt that watford council shows the taxpayers of watford by thinking we are daft halfwits that would fall for the "health campus" title when it actually is far from a health campus development it's basically a private housing developer that is in league with the council into using public powers to compulsory purchase land from private businesses and removing a long standing allotment amenity so a few people can make a lot a lot of money on the back of it why a lot of people will be in a worse off position because of it, compulsary purchase orders are there to be used for the greater public good and this development is not that at all.[/p][/quote]Exacltly. People need to ask the question of our Council... Is Watford a better town for cramming ever increasing number of flats and people into a restricted space or is it time to say enough is enough? I think we all know the answer. While the Lib Dem Council can see a buck can be made, they'll do whatever they can to keep the developers supplied with fresh pickings. My view is that they unless we make an effort to stop them, they will never cease the non-stop flat building until Watford is as jam-packed as an inner city. If you don't want that to be Watford's future then we all have to change the makeup of the the council by getting rid of the current Mayor and the Lib Dem majority by not voting for them in elections. A better Council mix with significant UKIP, Labour, Conservative and Green representatives would be much better for our town as we have lived under one party control for far too long. D_Penn
  • Score: 1

5:44pm Wed 2 Apr 14

ramage1996 says...

Well lets hope we get a new hospital and 1500 new jobs as well as affordable homes in west Watford.

Ukip are against all of those..
Well lets hope we get a new hospital and 1500 new jobs as well as affordable homes in west Watford. Ukip are against all of those.. ramage1996
  • Score: -4

5:53pm Wed 2 Apr 14

LocalBoy1 says...

ramage1996 wrote:
Well lets hope we get a new hospital and 1500 new jobs as well as affordable homes in west Watford.

Ukip are against all of those..
I agree with you entirely. I hope we get the promised package. Hospital, jobs, affordable housing, campus and more jobs? Will the current WBC controlling party honour that?
[quote][p][bold]ramage1996[/bold] wrote: Well lets hope we get a new hospital and 1500 new jobs as well as affordable homes in west Watford. Ukip are against all of those..[/p][/quote]I agree with you entirely. I hope we get the promised package. Hospital, jobs, affordable housing, campus and more jobs? Will the current WBC controlling party honour that? LocalBoy1
  • Score: -1

6:11pm Wed 2 Apr 14

D_Penn says...

ramage1996 wrote:
Well lets hope we get a new hospital and 1500 new jobs as well as affordable homes in west Watford.

Ukip are against all of those..
No UKIP are not against all of those.
[quote][p][bold]ramage1996[/bold] wrote: Well lets hope we get a new hospital and 1500 new jobs as well as affordable homes in west Watford. Ukip are against all of those..[/p][/quote]No UKIP are not against all of those. D_Penn
  • Score: -3

7:05pm Wed 2 Apr 14

LocalBoy1 says...

Whhoooooooooo This page is being seriously monitored by the WO. Us regulars can't even be rude to each other now. That's no fun!!
Whhoooooooooo This page is being seriously monitored by the WO. Us regulars can't even be rude to each other now. That's no fun!! LocalBoy1
  • Score: 1

7:43pm Wed 2 Apr 14

crazyfrog says...

ramage1996 wrote:
Well lets hope we get a new hospital and 1500 new jobs as well as affordable homes in west Watford.

Ukip are against all of those..
No good "hoping" sir when people are losing businesses and land and amenity space, "hoping" won't cut it because this new hospital isn't going to materialise it was just a vehicle for the council to sell this private housing development to the masses of watford.
[quote][p][bold]ramage1996[/bold] wrote: Well lets hope we get a new hospital and 1500 new jobs as well as affordable homes in west Watford. Ukip are against all of those..[/p][/quote]No good "hoping" sir when people are losing businesses and land and amenity space, "hoping" won't cut it because this new hospital isn't going to materialise it was just a vehicle for the council to sell this private housing development to the masses of watford. crazyfrog
  • Score: 3

8:34pm Wed 2 Apr 14

ramage1996 says...

crazyfrog wrote:
ramage1996 wrote:
Well lets hope we get a new hospital and 1500 new jobs as well as affordable homes in west Watford.

Ukip are against all of those..
No good "hoping" sir when people are losing businesses and land and amenity space, "hoping" won't cut it because this new hospital isn't going to materialise it was just a vehicle for the council to sell this private housing development to the masses of watford.
Hi crazyfrog you must be 'hoping mad' ;-)
[quote][p][bold]crazyfrog[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ramage1996[/bold] wrote: Well lets hope we get a new hospital and 1500 new jobs as well as affordable homes in west Watford. Ukip are against all of those..[/p][/quote]No good "hoping" sir when people are losing businesses and land and amenity space, "hoping" won't cut it because this new hospital isn't going to materialise it was just a vehicle for the council to sell this private housing development to the masses of watford.[/p][/quote]Hi crazyfrog you must be 'hoping mad' ;-) ramage1996
  • Score: 0

8:27am Thu 3 Apr 14

crazyfrog says...

ramage1996 wrote:
crazyfrog wrote:
ramage1996 wrote:
Well lets hope we get a new hospital and 1500 new jobs as well as affordable homes in west Watford.

Ukip are against all of those..
No good "hoping" sir when people are losing businesses and land and amenity space, "hoping" won't cut it because this new hospital isn't going to materialise it was just a vehicle for the council to sell this private housing development to the masses of watford.
Hi crazyfrog you must be 'hoping mad' ;-)
Not as "hoping mad" as many people will be in the near future when many many more people are crammed into west Watford and the infrastructure of public services hasn't been upgraded to cope with the added burden of more residents in west watford and when your waiting lists for school places,doctors appointments,hospita
l appointments,waiting times in A+E all grow longer and longer, watford General had to turn away casualties for A+E and ambulances were tied up outside waiting to drop off casualties because it couldn't cope with sheer numbers of people and that wasn't long ago so you think development is going to help that situation? Unless this Promised hospital is formalised in a proper written contract, then not one brick of this private housing development should be allowed to be laid.
[quote][p][bold]ramage1996[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]crazyfrog[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ramage1996[/bold] wrote: Well lets hope we get a new hospital and 1500 new jobs as well as affordable homes in west Watford. Ukip are against all of those..[/p][/quote]No good "hoping" sir when people are losing businesses and land and amenity space, "hoping" won't cut it because this new hospital isn't going to materialise it was just a vehicle for the council to sell this private housing development to the masses of watford.[/p][/quote]Hi crazyfrog you must be 'hoping mad' ;-)[/p][/quote]Not as "hoping mad" as many people will be in the near future when many many more people are crammed into west Watford and the infrastructure of public services hasn't been upgraded to cope with the added burden of more residents in west watford and when your waiting lists for school places,doctors appointments,hospita l appointments,waiting times in A+E all grow longer and longer, watford General had to turn away casualties for A+E and ambulances were tied up outside waiting to drop off casualties because it couldn't cope with sheer numbers of people and that wasn't long ago so you think development is going to help that situation? Unless this Promised hospital is formalised in a proper written contract, then not one brick of this private housing development should be allowed to be laid. crazyfrog
  • Score: 2

3:20pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Harry's Bar says...

There's too many people on here dreaming up conspiracy theories. Everything's going to be alright as long as Dorothy is in charge so rest easy.
There's too many people on here dreaming up conspiracy theories. Everything's going to be alright as long as Dorothy is in charge so rest easy. Harry's Bar
  • Score: -2

3:34pm Thu 3 Apr 14

LocalBoy1 says...

Harry's Bar wrote:
There's too many people on here dreaming up conspiracy theories. Everything's going to be alright as long as Dorothy is in charge so rest easy.
Now who's dreaming? Dorothy, queen of the Lib Dem/WBC bullies
[quote][p][bold]Harry's Bar[/bold] wrote: There's too many people on here dreaming up conspiracy theories. Everything's going to be alright as long as Dorothy is in charge so rest easy.[/p][/quote]Now who's dreaming? Dorothy, queen of the Lib Dem/WBC bullies LocalBoy1
  • Score: 0

6:55pm Thu 3 Apr 14

John Dowdle says...

At the end of Cardiff Road - after the industrial units finish - a road carries onwards to go underneath a railway bridge, carrying the Croxley Link line.
The other side of the bridge is Stripling Way.
Between the end of Cardiff Road and the railway bridge is a truly delightful walk through what must be about the only natural landscape left anywhere in west Watford or even elsewhere in Watford.
There is a lovely open field on the left hand side and, on the right hand side, a wonderful little naturally wooded area.
Does anyone know if this wooded area has a name?
Is it included in the overall plan for housing development in the area?
It will be a great shame if it is.
Losing these natural areas will represent a great loss for future generations.
At the end of Cardiff Road - after the industrial units finish - a road carries onwards to go underneath a railway bridge, carrying the Croxley Link line. The other side of the bridge is Stripling Way. Between the end of Cardiff Road and the railway bridge is a truly delightful walk through what must be about the only natural landscape left anywhere in west Watford or even elsewhere in Watford. There is a lovely open field on the left hand side and, on the right hand side, a wonderful little naturally wooded area. Does anyone know if this wooded area has a name? Is it included in the overall plan for housing development in the area? It will be a great shame if it is. Losing these natural areas will represent a great loss for future generations. John Dowdle
  • Score: 0

11:48pm Thu 3 Apr 14

#UKMum says...

"1500 new jobs" - I'm afraid this is absolute pie in the sky.
"1500 new jobs" - I'm afraid this is absolute pie in the sky. #UKMum
  • Score: 1

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