Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting BOREHAMWOOD to 80360, or email us
Elstree Way Corridor meeting at civic offices, Borehamwood
This live event has finished
- Two meetings are taking place tonight as councillors discuss plans to redevelop land between Elstree and Borehamwood.
- Including discussions of the controversial Isopad House redevelopment, the meeting had to split into two due to the number of people attending.
- Tweet your views to @AnnaTimesSeries using the hash #ElstreeCorridor, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The meeting has now finished. Full report on the Borehamwood Times site soon.
One resident says: “You must look at Borehamwood before you start dabbling. Shenley Road is a ghost town up by the station.
“Do something about it. We don’t want it to turn into an unpopulated slum. Please, think again, you keep making mistakes.”
She's concerned about the proposals to merge Hertswood Lower School with the upper school.
Cllr Bright assures the gallery any development at Hertswood School would see a brand new better Ark Theatre on site
Cllr Heywood is the only councillor who voted against Isopad House.
"But unfortuantely it's gone through now so we need to make the best of that, we are here to try and help you, we're not trying to be awkward".
Claps from the public gallery.
Cllr Jean Heywood: "We only come togther when there's a crisis. We should communicate more. We want to be involved."
Cllr Charles Kelly: "If you're not happy about it, come to the council meetings and get involved."
David Carlisle was involved in building the Guide hut in the 70s.
"It's something we're proud of. The social stability of this is that Guides go on to be good mothers.
"It's something that come under threat before and it was agreed they'd built a new Guide hut.
"That didn't take place. We need to preserve this."
More debate about the Maxwell Park centre and the Guide hut.
Cllr Parnell: "I promise you, you will see a fight for that guide hut, you will see it stay. We're all in this together".
Eldon Avenue residents concerned about parking issues in the area.
One resident said: "Parking and getting out of Borehamwood is hard enough already - how will you address this?"
Cllr Jean Heywood has promised to work with residents to find a solution.
In Borehamwood, 35 per cent of big developments in Borehamwood need to be affordable housing.
Cllr Cohen: "Our hands are tied."
Harvey Cohen: "We've learnt a big lesson. We need to increase the amount of people we consult".
Resident Andrea Gormley said: "I'm all for developing the area, but the problem I have with Isopad House is that it's horrific.
"Over 100 people were consulted? I live close to it and I didn't hear about it. I'd have made my views known.
"Did you not think a 12 storey building was horrific and wouldn't fit in?"
Officer Silverman says 800 new homes is a minimum - and added "We have to choose between green belt or brownfield, so new homes are concentrated in urban areas."
Member of public: "Barnet lane and Elstree hill are totally gridlocked in rush hour - if roundabout is taken away it's going to get worse"— @Bwood_Stephanie 30 October 2013
Karen Rogers, of Bullhead Road, said: "We appreciate the needs for homes, but it's the sheer density of them.
"These are slums, how can you put families in little boxes with no green spaces for children to play?"
Alan Rogers, Highways Consultant for Hertfordshire County Council said: "The scheme is a work in progress, it's a proposal, but it's one of the options.
"No decisions have been made, it's just an outline.
"If the scheme is imposed, it must cope with the current and additional traffic. It's being considered because it's difficult for pedestrians to cross the road and difficult for cyclists.
"There's a lack of controlled crossing provisions, so it's hard for people who are mobility impaired to look at this as an option."
The redevelopment scheme could see removal of the two roundabouts on the Elstree Way.
Lloyd Feldman said: "Traffic flows nicely over it - if you take it away, it's going to cause carnage".
@hertscc has new highway scheme planned for #Elstree way #Borehamwood http://t.co/n4tVq2SAnD— @HertsmereBC 30 October 2013
The county council has recognised a need for additional primary school in Borehamwood - but they haven’t yet decided on a specific site.
#Elstree way also being developed for commercial & industrial use as part of employments areas— @HertsmereBC 30 October 2013
The police station, in Elstree Way, will relocate to the civic offices to free up space for housing in the Elstree Way Corridor.
Sixty per cent of new homes will be built in Borehamwood under the Local Plan Core Strategy, adopted in January 2013.
Eight hundred of these will be built in Elstree Way.
Tuts from the public gallery as Cllr Cohen talks about the May 3 consultation day at Fairway Hall, where only six people attended.
There will be a second consultation on plans for the Elstree Way Corridor.
Cllr Cohen: "Rather to allow this to happen haphazardly, we have been proactive, and we have an area action plan which seeks to control development".
Cllr Cohen: "Building of no homes is not an option - as much as we’d like it to be."
Meeting two has begun.
Local paper @Bwood_Times live blogging from #Elstree way corridor public meeting too! http://t.co/EY1cFSopX6— @HertsmereBC 30 October 2013
Meeting one has now ended. Meeting two will start at 8pm.
"What are we going to do about the empty shops?" asks one resident. Over half of the shops in Shenley Road lie empty and there have been hundreds of campaigns to revive the high street.
It looks like Mayor Paul Morris is finally going to do something about it, though.
"The council don't own the shops, but we're looking at ways to bring them into other uses. Not just for conventional retail. The needs of the high street have changed."
More cheers from the gallery...
Here's a photo of the empty shops in Borehamwood, in case anyone's interested.
After a woman raised concerns about Hertswood Upper School being replaced with housing, Cllr Bright said: “We can’t allow things to be built willy nilly”.
There have been no formal decisions about plans to demolish the community centre or the guide hut.
The new community centre, in 96 Shenley Road, will provide a space for groups and clubs to meet - but it doesn’t include a provision to hold a Girl Guides group.
Cllr Parnell has vowed to fight to save the Guide Hut. More cheers and claps from the audience. Here's the Guide Hut in question...
Massive cheers from the public gallery...
Cllr Ann Harrison is concerned about the plans to shut the Maxwell Park Community Centre and apparently replace them with a school.
She said: “I don’t see why this needs to include the guide hut. I’d like you to look very seriously about taking out of the pot now. It adds nothing.
“We’ll continue to fight to save Maxwell, but the Guide’s hut is unnecessary.”
Cllr Ann Harrison is concerned about plans to demolish the Maxwell Park Community Centre and the nearby Guide Hut and replace them with a school.
The Borehamwood Times backed a campaign to save the community centre last year, and it was given a year long reprieve.
Cllr Ernie Butler is worried about the strain new people moving in will have on the area.
"There are only three doctors surgeries - two of which are full - and one fire engine covering Borehamwood and Radlett."
You can read the full #ElstreeWayCorridor action plan here: http://t.co/72jMokcJvA— @Bwood_Stephanie 30 October 2013
Cllr Cohen agrees. "I can only see the issue getting worse.
"Year on it's getting worse and more difficult, but our hands are tied, so all we can do is make sure providers like the county council are on board, but there's a limit to what they can do as the roads can't be widened."
A Shenley Road resident, who commutes to Southgate every morning, says it takes around ten minutes to get over the flyover in Rowley Lane each morning.
"It's only going to get worse when more people move in. The roads will lock up. The A1 is a nightmare in the mornings - this will make it so much worse."
Meeting 1 is set to run over until 7.15pm...
One man asks - are the council going to provide more transport? Good point.
@HertsmereBC Elstree way too next year. Who is going to provide resources for all these new residents?— @Febbers09 30 October 2013
Councillors have also promised the Ark Theatre will survive.
Cllr Cohen: "The Ark is not for closing down. It will not be demolished. If we get plans for a new school, they will put in a new and even better theatre - we'll make sure it survives."
Cllr Bright: "If they do need to move it, we'll get an equally good - if not better - facility there."
There haven't been any formal applications from anyone about this although there have been discussions.
Graham Taylor, who is on the board of governors for the school, said when the school was originally built for 2,000 students - but it currently only has 1,300.
There are rumours that Hertswood Upper School, Thrift Farm Road, is going to be knocked down and merged with Hertswood Lower School, Cowley Hill.
This means the Ark Theatre - which was only opened in 2009, could also be knocked down.
Many fear there won't be enough for teenagers to do when new people start moving in. There is money set aside for youth provisions, though nothing has been decided yet.
The man picked up his jacket and stormed out the room...
The purpose of tonight's meeting is so the council can hear opinions on the redevelopment plan for the Elstree Way Corridor and raise awareness of the wider plans.
The plans for Isopad House have already been approved - there's no way for it to be overturned.
Cllr Bright: "I'm sorry if you've been misled sir. This meeting isn't only to discuss Isopad House. It's also to discuss the plans for the corridor".
There's been a misunderstanding about what tonight's meeting is about. Many thought it was to discuss Isopad House only - not to discuss the wider plans for the Elstree Way Corridor.
One man is shouting at Cllr Bright. It's getting a bit heated...
The meeting is getting very heated - there's shouting from the public gallery...
Officer Silverman says he believes the council met - if not exceeded - the statutory requirements for consultation. He said: "We can't consult every resident in Borehamwood".
The one person who objected to the plans at the May 3 meeting has just identified herself. Her name is Joan Dorrington, of nearby Baker Court. She's worried about how it will affect car parking spaces in the area.
Cheers from the audience after Eldon Avenue resident Judith Gamse says: "Isopad stinks".
Longstanding Borehamwood resident Paul Welsh queried why the Isopad building was granted approval - when guidelines state buildings should only be six storeys high.
Apparently, only 117 people were consulted about the plans for Isopad House by way of a letter.
The 12 storey building was granted approval earlier this year, which caused massive controversy as many did not hear about the plans until after they were already set in stone.
We're now hearing from members of the public... the hot topic is Isopad House.
This slide shows the Elstree Way Corridor, where 800 new homes could be built.
It is the gateway into Borehamwood Town Centre from the A1(M) and runs along the Elstree Way, to the Tesco roundabout.
Officer Mark Silverman, planning policy manager, is talking now:
“Our number one priority is to protect the greenbelt, but we have to meet housing needs.
"We can’t put up a drawbridge.
"It is challenging in an area like Hertsmere, where 80 per cent is on greenbelt land.”
Cllr Cohen is defending the consultation process - which has been criticized by many who did not hear about the plans until after they had been granted approval.
He said there was a public meeting in Fairway Hall on May 3 but only six residents attended.
There was only one objection - so councillors assumed there were no issues.
Cllr Cohen: “We understand nothing is perfect and we have learnt we can’t do everything we want for the area.
“Everyone has views that have to be listened to. We have to make a decision within the frameworks, to leave a lasting legacy in Borehamwood.”
Cllr Harvey Cohen, Planning and Localism Portfolio Holder is talking now...
Hertsmere Borough Council leader, Morris Bright, is chairing tonight's meetings
Campaigners are handing out a petition to save the Maxwell Park Community Centre and the Guide Hut next door, in Maxwell Road, which could be demolished under plans to redevelop the corridor
Both meetings will be recorded and webcast at http://www.hertsmere.public-i.tv/core/
Councillors are already gathering in Hertsmere Borough Council's chambers ahead of the meeting, due to start in 15 minutes
Comments are closed on this article.