Will common sense prevail in Pancake Lane access row?

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Developers have been asked to talk to householders in a bid to overcome safety fears about access to a proposed 26 homes.

People from Leverstock Green in Hemel Hempstead turned out to have their say about the planned development on land between Westwick Row and Pancake Lane in Hemel Hempstead.

They say they are not against building there but argue that creating road access to the housing estate off rural Pancake Lane goes against common sense and is dangerous. Instead they want builders to use an already existing access to the site in Westwick Row.

Their argument has been backed by Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning, county councillor for the area Andrew Williams and borough councillor for Leverstock Green Margaret Griffiths.

The outline application was considered by Dacorum Borough Council’s development and control committee on Thursday evening.

Councillor Graham Sutton, who sits on the committee, said: “My initial reaction would be to go for total refusal but going along with the views of my fellow councillors I think the applicants have to consult with the true experts in this area - the residents.

“I am sure that at some point or another common sense will prevail and the access to this development will come off Westwick Row and not Pancake Lane.”

Councillors voted for the application to be deferred so that it can be requested that the applicant sits down to have talks with residents about the access concerns.

But planning case officer Fiona Bogle warned that if the applicant went ahead with the current scheme and it was turned down by the committee there is a chance it would be given the green light at appeal because no safety concerns have been highlighted by Herts Highways. She said this could lead to the council facing a bill for costs.