An Extraordinary Public Meeting has been called over a proposed 57-home development near the A41 in Watford.

The meeting, organised by Courtlands Residents' Association (CRA), will be held on Monday, November 20.

Prompted by the recent submission of a formal planning application to Watford Borough Council, residents will discuss the plans to build dozens of three-, four- and five-bedroom homes on land to the north of Russell Lane.

A group of local residents are opposed to the development, with concerns raised about a number of potential issues that will be discussed at the upcoming meeting.

Trish Froy, secretary of the CRA, said that the development "is wrong on so many levels", pointing to particular worries about the number of parking spaces, the potential increase in traffic on "already congested" roads, and the noise and air pollution that may be experienced by residents of the proposed development.


Lisa Robinson, a nearby resident, added that it is "shocking to think that this piece of land would be the subject for new housing considering the position on the corner of an extremely busy huge roundabout", and described the current access plans as "ludicrous".

Tracy Watson shares Lisa's concerns about congestion, describing it as "a nightmare in the making".

The current plans for the site mean it would only be accessible from Hempstead Road - according to the newsletter sent to residents, this is because discussions with Hertfordshire County Council ruled out any access to the A41 or the A411 Hempstead Road on safety grounds.

There are 87 car parking spaces planned for the site, which would include 24 three-bedroom, 25 four-bedroom and eight five-bedroom properties. Fourteen of the homes would be "affordable housing", according to the government definition of the term.

Acoustic screening would be installed to reduce noise for existing residents.

Proposals for the site concluded: “Unlike the majority of the recent housing provision in the town, this scheme will provide housing for families.

“In particular the application delivers fourteen affordable family housing units within Watford, which will go some way to meeting the high demand for these units in the town.

“We consider that this scheme will contribute to the emerging character of this part of Watford.

Watford Observer: The field that would be built on is currently home to these ponies.The field that would be built on is currently home to these ponies. (Image: Courtlands Residents' Association)

The site was allocated for residential development in the Watford Local Plan, which expected that it would be able to accommodate 93 homes.

The Plan, approved in October last year, identified 61 sites that were deemed appropriate for meeting the target of 13,000 additional homes by 2038.

National targets were set to be imposed in the forthcoming Levelling Up Bill, but a rebellion by Conservative MPs led to a change of stance.

The government position is now that "housing targets remain, but are a starting point, with new flexibilities to reflect local circumstances".

Nationally, a report from Heriot-Watt University suggests that 340,000 new homes need to be supplied in England per year to end the housing shortage. Around 233,000 new homes were supplied in 2021/22.

The Extraordinary Public Meeting will be held at 7pm on Monday, November 20, in the main hall of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, located on Hempstead Road in Watford.

You can comment on the Russell Lane plans by visiting Watford Borough Council's planning portal.