‘We don’t want your Berko ghetto’: Developer ordered to go back to the drawing board by planning authority

Artist's impression of the new homes that Carol Green says will look like a 'ghetto'
Artist's impression of the new homes that Carol Green says will look like a 'ghetto'

Borough leaders went against their officers’ advice last night to reject planning permission for 92 new homes in a former area of green belt land.

Development firm Taylor Wimpey wants to build the properties on land between Shootersway and Durrants Lane, near Egerton Rothesay School in Berkhamsted.

Carol Green, who is a town and borough councillor for the area, said: “Here you have before you plans for Berko’s own ghetto – our blot on the landscape.”

She spoke out at a meeting of the borough council’s development control committee last night.

She said the lack of transport infrastructure could mean 200 more cars waiting during rush hour at the busy junction between Shootersway, Kings Road and Kingshill Way.

The homes would be on the edge of town, 2.5km from the railway station and town centre and not on a bus route, she added.

She said that for an hour every morning and afternoon, ‘noisy, dirty construction vehicles’ should be banned from Shootersway so children can get to and from school in peace.

Many people who live nearby have objected to the plans – but the area has been allocated within Dacorum Borough Council’s core strategy as a development site.

It was removed from the green belt in 2003 for that purpose.

But Carol said because of the high-speed, bendy nature of Shootersway, work should be done to make it safer before new homes are built.

She said: “A brilliant solution to the traffic problems in this part of Berkhamsted would be another access road to the A41.”

She criticised Taylor Wimpey’s plans to install football pitches on green belt land and warned of problems with ‘overflowing drains’ in nearby Coppins Close.

She said this can lead to raw sewage appearing in people’s back gardens, and that efforts should be made to ensure new homes do not add to this problem.

Councillors rejected the plans on the basis that they do not paint the full picture of what Taylor Wimpey wants to do with the site.

The firm plans to build 180 homes in total – including properties in a neighbouring field, but these were delayed after a village green application, which has since been rejected.