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Developer Bellway Homes to include play area in 425-home development on Horsefield site
A new children’s play area is to be provided as part of plans to build 425 homes in Leavesden.
Developer Bellway Homes put in proposals to build a play park on the Horsefield site, adjoining the Leavesden Aerodrome via South Way roundabout, as part of outline plans to build 425 homes on Aerodrome Way.
Bellway Homes bought the 25,000 sq ft site from MEPC in March after outline planning permission for the development had been formally granted by Three Rivers District Council.
The play area is one of the outline planning requirements and is a "public amenity".
However residents have raised concerns of the new play area because it is located between South Way and Langley Lane, which they claim is a ‘rat run for the M25 and Watford’.
Peter Scott, chairman for the Hillside Residents association, said: "The play area would be in the middle of a rat run from the M25 to Watford.
"South Way and Langley Lane are very busy roads and cars are always speeding down them.
"It is too dangerous to put a play area on that site, so close to these busy roads."
As part of outline plans for the housing development and play area, the applicant has also put forward proposals to install two pedestrian crossings on South Way, with one included to be one of the park entrances, to make access to the play area safer.
These plans are subject to agreement by the Highways Department at Hertfordshire County Council.
Edna Williamson, who has lived in the Graylings for eight years, said despite having two sons, she believed there was already enough play parks in the area.
She said: "This is extremely dangerous.
"I am surprised they have even put these plans forward, considering it is so so dangerous.
"I am not against play areas because I have two sons myself, but I believe we already have enough play areas around." The play area will be built by Bellway but maintained by the Three Rivers District Council, with funds from Bellway.
Although the play area site is owned by Bellways, the land will be passed on to the council in the future for ongoing management and maintenance.
The council has confirmed their leisure team will work with Bellway to ensure that the playground is built to the highest standards of safety and said traffic calming measures and an island are in place in Langley Lane, in regards to access to Leavesden Country Park from the public open space across the road.
A spokesperson from Bellway Homes, said: "Bellway Homes has purchased this site with the benefit of outline planning permission.
"This permission has already established that a Neighbourhood Equipped Area of Play(NEAP) will be provided at Horsefield with the exact location of that NEAP also agreed prior to Bellway’s interest in the site.
"Bellway is now working with the Council to deliver this NEAP in accordance with the requirements of the outline planning permission.
"We are also aware of residents concerns about the impact of the development on local infrastructure such as schools and traffic generation.
"Again, these are issues that were addressed through the determination of the outline planning permission with the Council securing a package of financial contributions to offset these impacts, which will be paid by Bellway to the Council as the development is brought forward."
Outline plans for the housing developments have been formally agreed by the council and the first two phases of the plans will be considered in a committee meeting in late autumn.