As a consultation begins on a building plan that will change the face of Borehamwood forever, members of the public are being urged to ensure their voices are heard.
The Elstree Way Corridor Area Action Plan has been drawn up to control the building of more than 800 houses and associated infrastructure in the heart of Borehamwood.
A new draft of the plan has been created as a result of public meetings and members of the public have until March 4 to suggest any alterations or amendments before it is sent to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles.
Speaking at a meeting to discuss development at Threeways Community Centre in Arundel Drive yesterday, councillors urged members of the public to take up pen and paper.
Councillor Sandra Parnell said: “Everyone in the town needs to write in; you need to get all your friends and neighbours to write in. You need to tell the council the problem with this thing is we don’t have enough infrastructure to support this development.”
Leader of the Council Morris Bright described a situation seven years ago when 4,000 people in Bushey had written letters of complaint when a gypsy site was proposed for their area.
He said: “The people explained why the development was not right for their area and they were listened to. This shows if enough people work together and write in we can get things changed.”
Councillor Harvey Cohen, who has responsibility for planning, stressed this development was going to come into Borehamwood anyway, because Government had earmarked it for housing.
He said: “Our hands are tied. We can’t refuse this development, all we can do is control the height, where the doctors surgeries and schools are, extend it to include the offices in Manor Way which, under new Government policy, do not need planning permission to be turned into homes.
“People have to write in and say, come and visit, we’ll show you around and tell you what work and what will not. Planning is not political, we need to work together, we will have more power than if we split ourselves up.”