Arsenal v Shenley

A David-and-Goliath-style battle has kicked off in Shenley, as residents take on football giants Arsenal to oppose a planning application for new buildings on their training ground.

Homes in Bell Lane, on the outskirts of Shenley, back onto the training ground and residents fear new buildings would be an invasion of privacy, inappropriate in the Green Belt and cause more traffic.

The Premiership champions currently have a warehouse holding equipment, just one metre from the neighbours' back gardens.

They plan to demolish this and create an access road to a new equipment site, plus a 70m by 50m indoor training facility, which at its highest point is ten metres.

Michelle Chandler, of Bell Lane, said: "When Arsenal originally moved there they organised a meeting for us to see plans, but this time we've heard nothing.

"The first time they said there would be no further building and they would put money into restoring Shenley's footpaths and get involved in the community but we have seen none of that, so why should be believe them this time?"

Neighbours complain that extra trees that have been planted and the new building will restrict their views of the Green Belt.

Residents of Bell Lane gathered at a meeting of Shenley Parish Council earlier this month to express their discontent and Shenley councillor, Rodney Saunders is trying to arrange a public meeting.

He said: "The neighbours have a lot to put up with and residents parking signs should be erected, as often they can't even park in their own street as there are so many autograph hunters."

An Arsenal spokesman said: "The local community is extremely important to us and in order to enhance the local environment we have already planted trees in over 45 acres of the land surrounding our centre."

Hertsmere Council has received the application, and are expected to consider the application at the planning committee meeting on March 10.

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