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Councillors to vote on new Watford General Hospital road tonight
Proposals for a new road to Watford General Hospital have been recommended for approval by council planners.
Watford Borough Council’s development control committee is due to vote on the plan to build an access road from Dalton Way to Willow Lane today (Thursday).
The scheme will see the road cut through the Oxhey Park playing fields, the across Wiggenhall Road, through the Cardiff Road Industrial Estate, which is due to be redeveloped.
Council officers said some of the buildings on the estate contain asbestos, and invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed. There may also be a risk of "unexploded ordnance".
Outline planning permission was granted in 2010 for a masterplan for a large scale redevelopment of the hospital site, Cardiff Road industrial estate and former Carriage Sheds site as part of the health campus. The road was identified as "integral" to the plan.
Letters were sent out to 115 properties in the area and eight replies were received, raising concerns about the loss of playing fields and damage to the river.
The road will plough through a Gaelic football pitch and single football pitch, as well as the changing rooms in the Irish Centre building, a hard court used for tennis and basketball.
One complainant said the road was being built to "serve a commercial development which may not be economically successful" and would result in the loss of Irish Centre.
A lake will also have to be created to negate the effects of building the road in a flood plain.
The location is the north of the River Colne, and part of the access road crosses a small tributary of the river.
A report into the road said it could "increase flooding both on and off the site" and would results in the loss of significant areas of habitat.
Watford General Hospital will lose 585 of its 695 car parking spaces for staff, and 73 visitor spaces.
New temporary parking spaces will be provided during the construction phase and on completion of the road.
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