Protestors rail at blueprint for 92 homes in Berkhamsted

Plans to build 92 new houses came under heavy fire in the packed chambers of a town’s planning committee.

Angry neighbours said the homes should not be built until new infrastructure arrangements can be made to make the area safer for children walking to school.

Chairman of the Save Your Berkhamsted Residents Association Grahame Partridge criticised the Taylor Wimpey plans for suggesting people who live in the new homes will walk and cycle everywhere.

Mr Partridge, speaking on behalf of the group’s 250 members at the Berkhamsted Town Council session, said: “There’s no public transport planned for that area. They won’t be able to travel to town, other than by using their own vehicle.”

The estate, if given the go-ahead by Dacorum Borough Council, would be at the top of the Berkhamsted valley more than a mile from the town centre.

There are 200 parking spaces planned for the site, which would be built between Coppins Close and a wooded area called The Plantation.

The main entrance to the development would be from the 60mph road Shootersway.

Anne Foster, who lives nearby, said: “Given that Dacorum are fully supportive of this regardless of what we think, what influence can we have? If we say: ‘The travel plan is rubbish,’ what influence will that have?”

Children going to Ashlyns School now walk down a narrow pavement along Shootersway and wait up to 15 minutes to cross its junction with Kings Road and Kingshill Way.

That junction should be improved before new homes are built, neighbours said.

Some said trees on Shootersway would make it dangerous for drivers to leave and enter the estate – but cutting them down would mean more noise from the A41.

Councillor Anthony Armytage said: “It is a bit like the cart has gone before the horse. The infrastructure has not been put in place for this development to take place.”

Councillor Tom Ritchie said the development is the largest housing plan the town has seen for 10 or 20 years.

It has taken 30 years to get to the stage it is at now, he added.

But he said: “I think the application before us on the table is poor and perfunctory.”