An application to build 150 new homes on Green Belt land next to a much-loved reservoir has been refused.

Developer Liberty Aldenham submitted new plans for the homes to be built on Green Belt Land near Aldenham Reservoir, in Watford Road, Elstree, in July after withdrawing a previous application.

At the planning meeting tonight, Hertsmere Borough Council refused the application – meaning Aldenham Reservoir is saved from development.

Watford Observer:

What the application would look like.

Suzanne Alford, representing Elstree and Borehamwood Resident’s Association, who have been campaigning to save the reservoir, said: "This is good news for now, and I'm glad that the planning committee voted unanimously in support of the recommendation to have this planning application refused. 

"However I believe it is now down to Liberty Aldenham, who chose to purchase the reservoir and greenbelt land surely knowing that their plans were a gamble prior to this purchase, to move on and away from this planning application and it's green belt location  and fully explore other options asap to focus on raising the necessary monies for the CIC trust fund.

"Any future housing development plans need to be dealt with separately to the reservoir's needs.

"Liberty Aldenham are now landlords and guardians of the reservoir and need to behave appropriately with this jewel in Hertfordshire's crown and not attempt to sabotage or taint it with threats of fencing it off and turning it into a tip.

"We expect Liberty Aldenham to deliver on, and be fully responsible in,  keeping this key community asset open and operational and in good keeping for everyone to enjoy.

"Along with other interested stakeholders we hope a a focus group / working party can be set up soon to discuss the way forward with Liberty Aldenham, to address these points and explore other options, to ensure a speedy response to raise the £5m needed for the CIC trust fund so that the reservoir can finally have a certain future again."

READ MORE: Future of loved Aldenham Reservoir to be decided.

READ MORE: New application submitted to build homes on green belt land near Aldenham Reservoir.

Liberty Aldenham bought the land from a company called Safari after Hertsmere Borough Council did not renew their lease of the reservoir.

In September 2015 Liberty Aldenham submitted an application to build 150 homes on the land but subsequently withdrew the plans after officers recommended it for refusal.

At the meeting managing director Mahesh Gosrani said: “Aldenham Reservoir is a beautiful amenity which neighbours have enjoyed for generations including my own family.

“Both Hertfordshire County Council and Hertsmere Borough Council do not want to own, lease or manage the reservoir.”

READ MORE: Live blog: Hertsmere planning meeting.

The company also previously pledged to save the reservoir if it was granted planning permission.

Mr Gosrani also said at the meeting the Elstree ward councillors have aligned themselves with EBRA to oppose the application.

However cllr Thomas Ash said the two Elstree cllrs’ involvement in the past and present applications is irrelevant to the meeting and said he will be refusing the application.

Watford Observer:

The reservoir has been used for generations.

Cllrs Caroline Clapper and Martin Worster also verbally stated they are in agreement with the planning officer’s recommendation to refuse the application.

The application was unanimously refused by the planning committee.

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