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Plans for housing development on Crossways and Eric Shepherd Unit in Abbots Langley withdrawn
Plans for a major housing development on the Crossways and Eric Shepherd Unit in Abbots Langley have been withdrawn, leaving residents in limbo over what the future holds for the site.
Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust put in plans to Three Rivers District Council to demolish Crossways and the Eric Shepherd Unit, in Sunnyside and to build 14 houses and 10 affordable flats.
The Crossways is part of the old Leavesden hospital and plans were met by fierce opposition from residents in Woodside Road and Harlech Road because of parking concerns, confined space and the history of the site.
In a letter from David Lane, at DLA Planning to Alice Eggeling from the council, it read: "I confirm that the above planning application is withdrawn forthwith.
"In doing so I would be grateful if your Ms Eggeling could contact me to arrange a convenient time when we can discuss the way forward as also previously discussed."
The letter from October, 5, has prompted concerns from residents who live near to site because they fear the suggestion of talks with Alice Eggling will mean further proposals are likely to be put forward.
Micky Harvell, who has lived in Harlech Road for five years, said: "Even though plans have been withdrawn, this letter suggests it is not the end.
"I don’t think they took in to consideration what it would be like for us to live in such a confined area if these houses were to be built.
"The area is always jam packed and there is always a problem with traffic and parking, which would have been made worse by more houses.
"We have such a lovely wildlife area here, with birds and trees. The trees would have had to be cut down and surely this area can be used for something that could benefit the community.
"Plans will definitely be put forward again and I just hope when they are residents of Harlech Road and Woodside are informed, so we can fight against it again."
Martin Brooks, chair of the Leavesden history association, said he believed further proposals would be put in and a ‘better use could be made of the Eric Shepherd Unit’.
He said: "As a resident I would love to see something there that could benefit the whole community, such as a community centre.
"As a historian I am always approached with old memorabilia from residents linking to Leavesden hospital with nowhere to store it, so I have to turn people away.
"It would be great to have a local musuem in the Eric Shepherd Unit, where we can celebrate this area’s history."
Councillor Stephen Giles- Medhurst, said despite the withdrawal it was quite likely the NHS would put forward further plans for the site.
The Liberal Democrat councillor for Leavesden who has been strongly opposed to the plans, said: "The initial plans were totally unacceptable to the council, councillors and residents due to the size, the lack of car parking and the garden depth.
"The plans to demolish the Crossways, the old cottages belonging to Leavesden Hospital, are totally unacceptable.
"If they were to put forward new plans, they should consider keeping the Crossways to upkeep with the other houses in the area and downscale the project.
"If they are to come back, they will have to radically re-think their plans."