Conditions for the "controversial" Croxley Rail Link, which will create a "visible boundary" between Three Rivers and Watford were discussed at a council meeting last night.
Politicians and residents packed into Three Rivers House to receive an update on the rail link, which looks to connect Croxley station to Watford Junction, via two new stations and Watford High Street.
As permission for the Croxley Rail Link has already been granted by the government, under the Transport and Works Act Order, the district council cannot refuse planning permission, but has been charged with the task of approving certain conditions.
While there are a total of 18 conditions, the main aspects that Three Rivers will consider relate to the viaduct, which will connect Croxley station with a new station in Ascot Road, which will be called Cassiobridge.
The next phase of the line, which will run from the new Watford Vicarage Road Station, to Watford High Street Station before terminating at Watford Junction, will be discussed by the neighbouring borough councillors.
Croxley Rail Link will connect Croxley station and Watford Junction on the Metropolitan Line
The viaduct is designed to go over the roundabout with Rickmansworth Road and Watford Road. It will also travel over the children’s play area in Baldwins Lane.
The conditions that Three Rivers will be looking at are landscaping, highways access and the design.
If the council does not approve the conditions, then the applicant would be required to submit new plans and designs.
Councillor Phil Brading, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat-run council, chaired the local area forum last night.
The representative for Croxley Green South said that "it’s not a graceful design", but made the point that the applicants had to build it within budget.
He added that "fitting out the viaduct" would take about 12 to 18 months. Yet the council were unsure whether construction of the viaduct containers would take place on-site, or whether they would be built and positioned in place at a later date.
Work is due to begin on the Croxley Rail Link in September, and is scheduled to be completed in 2017.
Hertfordshire County Council is the lead promoter of the project and is being supported by Transport for London (TfL) and Network Rail, who owns the former railway land.
The viaduct is designed to go over Watford Road roundabout
Croxley Green Parish Councillor Wendy Jordan, who is chair of the planning and development committee, said: "The viaduct is the biggest thing to happen to Croxley since the railway. It’s quite controversial and some people don’t think it’s the right thing to happen to Croxley.
"I know how critical it’s going to be to the people of Watford, but it’s going to be the Croxley Rail Link."
Councillor Jordan said that the link will benefit the Watford and Croxley business parks, which also need to be developed.
She added: "My view is that the viaduct is actually a jolly nice boundary saying ‘this is Croxley and this is Watford."
Three Rivers officer, Peter Simons, is working on the council’s project team, which is headed up by Hertfordshire County Council.
Mr Simons said that Three Rivers would see "the most significant impact", particularly with road closures.
Viaduct to go over Baldwins Lane play area
He added: "There is going to be a period of time when Baldwins Lane will be closed but they (the applicants) won’t close the whole road, they will close one lane at a time and funnel traffic around."
The district council has to make a decision on whether or not to approve the conditions by March 17.
As a result, the application will not be going to Three Rivers’ planning committee, but will be discussed at the sustainable environment policy and scrutiny committee next Tuesday (March 11).