Press Release - Affordable Housing in Scrubbitts Wood
Affordable Housing in Scrubbitts Wood
Aldenham Parish Council (APC) agreed at its meeting on 15 November to prepare plans for the development of eight affordable flats on the open area of Scrubbitts Wood, facing onto Gills Hill.
Hertsmere Borough Council (HBC) is required to build more affordable housing in the borough. The Radlett Neighbourhood Plan (RNP) identified, as part of its work, a need for more affordable housing in Radlett. The RNP research also indicated that few people currently visit Scrubbitts Wood, in particular the open area facing on to Gills Hill.
Scrubbitts Wood is an area of land which is owned by APC and situated between Scrubbitts Park Road and the lower end of Gills Hill. The area towards Scrubbitts Park Road is wooded and the small area fronting Gills Hill is open, with a steep slope from south to north and west to east. Within the open area is a very old and dilapidated air raid shelter and a number of self-seeded trees. The approach into the area from Gills Hill is via some very steep steps. The pathways through the wood are informal muddy tracks. These tracks provide a pedestrian route between the two roads but their current state (unmade and frequently very muddy and only approachable at one end by steep steps) does not encourage frequent use. Because of the dilapidated state of the air raid shelter, it would either have to be demolished, or completely rebuilt, the latter of which would probably not be cost effective. Both options will affect the self-seeded trees on top of the air raid shelter, probably leading to their removal.
APC has resolved to:
• Instruct its architect to formalise current draft plans and apply for planning permission for a development of eight affordable flats
• Include in the planning application a condition that access to the wooded area is maintained and that the wooded area is enhanced to include a robust footpath and a planting and landscape scheme for the whole area.
• Approach HBC to develop the scheme and purchase the land (the open area only) from APC, with a covenant that it can onl be used for affordable housing.
The benefits of the scheme would be:
• The provision of much-needed affordable housing with priority being given to local residents.
• Significant improvements to Scrubbitts Wood and access to it, thus making it much more accessible and attractive
• Avoidance of the need to incur costs to make the open area safe without any financial return
• A realisation of cash which APC would earmark for improvements in this area and elsewhere in the parish
During the planning application process, the architect will take into account that this development lies within a conservation area and any effect upon the trees within the
development site (which is only the green open space, not the wooded copse). It is not APC’s intention to remove any mature trees unnecessarily, and we will be guided by an independent arboriculturalist and Hertsmere Borough Council’s Conservation officer. However, if it is found that any large trees do need to be removed the designs will include a carefully considered soft landscaping scheme to integrate these proposals carefully with the woodland behind the green open space and replace any significant trees removed.
At present APC have only given approval in principle to the scheme, and detailed plans will follow in due course. Once available, APC will consult widely on them before making a formal application.
Any questions on this matter should be referred to the Parish Council Manager, Peter Evans, who may be contacted either
By phone – 01923 856433 (07833 251115)
By e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
In person – Office hours 10 am – 2.30pm
First Floor, The Radlett Centre
1 Aldenham Avenue
RADLETT – WD7 8HL