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Shenleybury Cottages travellers site near Radlett seeks permission to expand
Residents are concerned the value of their houses might plummet as a travellers' site seeks planning permission to triple in size.
Travellers occupying Woodland Yard behind Shenleybury Cottages in Radlett are asking Hertsmere Borough Council for permission to add an extra three pitches to the one currently in place.
This will include four static caravans, four touring caravans, eight parking spaces and associated infrastructure.
The application is being carried out on behalf of the current owner of the site, Mrs M Cash, by Joseph Jones of Buckingham-based firm BFSGC, to accommodate “small” numbers of the Cash family.
The site caused controversy when Hertsmere Council lost an appeal in 2011 to prevent its previous owner submitting retrospective planning permission after she moved her caravan onto the site.
The result came after a Government inspector conculded it was an "excellent site".
In 2011 members of the public objected strongly to the travellers’ site, which is on greenbelt land, complaining about noise, destruction of wildlife and dogs roaming the streets at all hours.
They are now concerned these problems will only worsen when the travellers site expands.
Mark Blundell, chairman of the Action Group for Safer Shenley, told the Borehamwood Times in 2011 the decision to grant planning permission would “open the floodgates to other gypsy families.”
He said: “I cannot believe this is happening again.
"The whole thing is wrong, it is a disgrace. This is green belt land and it should not be built on.
“The site was wholly unsuitable for one travellers’ site. It is far too small for the extra pitches.
“Local residents are up in arms about this.
"Three houses back onto the site. There will be room for 16 people at least if permission is granted, think of how noisy it is going to be.”
He said he had heard of at least 10 or more letters of objection being sent in by residents , who are expected to put up a fight.
The resident of Shenleybury Farm Cottages added: “The council let us down in losing the appeal and letting the gypsies occupy this site, hopefully it will not be so inept as to let it happen again.”
A resident of Shenleybury Cottages, who did not want to be named, said she was worried more travellers moving in would mean she would never be able to sell her house.
She said: “This is life threatening for me. I’m getting on but I’ll never be able to sell my house and downsize because no one will buy it if more travellers move in.
"I just want the space left as green belt.
“It’s causing me a lot of stress and anxiety which is affecting my health.”
However Mr Jones said the number of travellers who would occupy the site would be small and would cause minimal disruption.
He said: “Local residents object to everything, it’s just a case of Nimbyism.
“I’ve drawn up the plans and the site will fit into that space. The extra pitches will only be used by members of the Cash family and will cause minimum disruption.
“There are nowhere near enough pitches in Hertsmere, with 30 people applying for each one, this site needs to be used.
“The previous owner was forced to sell because of all the bad blood between her and local residents.
“Hopefully local people will be more circumspect this time.”
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