Save Berry Lane's Greenbelt Land and Prevent it from Becoming Permanently Gridlocked

Save Berry Lane's Greenbelt Land and Prevent it from Becoming Permanently Gridlocked

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Save Berry Lane! started this petition to Three Rivers District Council

*STOP the destruction of beautiful greenbelt to PROTECT our heritage and its wildlife  

*STOP the development of 55 homes in the middle of Berry Lane 

*PREVENT Berry Lane becoming a permanent gridlocked “car park” 

*PREVENT Thames Water sewers from becoming increasingly blocked, resulting in raw sewage spilling out onto our streets, our gardens and into our homes 

This petition concerns planning application numbers CFS57 and PSCFS19 which propose to turn a beautiful greenbelt site in Berry Lane (between Dog Kennel Lane and Commongate Road, the “Sites”) into 55 homes. The Sites are both tranquil and beautiful; packed full of ancient hedgerows and abundant wildlife. Shockingly, the planning applications are still in contention, although Berry Lane would be the sole access to this development. This would throw in approximately 50+ cars onto this narrow, single lane, which is frequently gridlocked and inaccessible to residents. 

In addition, it is intolerable to think of the gridlock and additional pollution to the whole area which would be caused by the lorries needed to develop the Sites. Berry Lane already grinds to a halt when a grocery van tries to pass through Berry Lane bringing about delay and misery to motorists and residents alike. 

SUSTAINABILITY: The Site is a mile’s walk or bike ride each way from the centre of Chorleywood.  Berry Lane is a very narrow lane in both directions, with several blind corners, no pavements and with a very steep hill along Commongate Road. The proposed development on this Site breaches both Three Rivers District Council (“TDRC”) and Chorleywood Parish Council’s policy on sustainability, which is to discourage car dependency and encourage development on sites from where residents can walk or cycle to & from the shops, the station and local schools.

CONGESTION AND GRIDLOCK: Berry Lane is a single lane with “passing places” the vast majority of which comprise private driveways. Residents have historically configured their driveways to allow access to motorists wishing to pull in to allow traffic to pass, however this is becoming intolerable due to the frequent damage to walls. 

Berry Lane is always highly congested during the morning and evening rush hour. More often than not, it is gridlocked during these times and especially when a HGV tries to use it; there is traffic on the A404 (in addition to the frequent roadworks on the A404) and / or congestion on the M25. It is not uncommon to see physical fights and screaming matches amongst motorists, motorists parking in residents’ driveways overnight, residents being unable to leave their houses in their cars and / or residents having to park further afield and walk home through gridlocked traffic on Berry Lane. 

PERMANENT DAMAGE TO THE GREENBELT: If planning consent was to be granted to develop the Sites, not only would the development render the destruction of the field on the Site, but if Berry Lane were to be widened to cater for the additional traffic (although residents have been informed that there is to be no new infrastructure or facilities), apparently, developers would have to “fix it” to obtain planning permission. It is only possible to widen Berry Lane by ripping out its ancient hedgerows and trees rendering the significant destruction of wildlife and also, the compulsory purchase of residents’ front gardens, houses and reservoirs resulting in permanent damage to Chorleywood. 

Moreover, the conservation of greenbelt land is an important asset to preserve the quality of life for everyone in Chorleywood with the continued urban sprawl. TRDC has not taken sufficient action to challenge the imposed housing targets for Chorleywood (which they are entitled to do). The proposed development at the Sites (and others proposed around Chorleywood) would result in widespread loss of greenbelt land for future generations.

INCREASING INCIDENTS OF RAW SEWAGE SEEPING OUT OF NEGLECTED, AGEING AND OVERBURDENED SEWAGE PIPES: Over the last year, local press has contained multiple articles about Thames Water sewage pipes seeping onto our roads, gardens and houses due to neglected, ageing and overburdened sewage pipes. What these articles do not tell you is that Thames Water, Three Rivers District Council, the Environment Agency or the Consumer Council for Water do not  consider themselves responsible for the constant, repeatedly seeping sewers which are clearly over-burdened and which cannot cope with current capacity. None of these bodies will take any action to increase the capacity of these pipes which will undoubtedly result in dozens of homes along the bottom of Berry Lane, to continue to be swamped with raw sewage. What will an additional 55 homes do to this neglected infrastructure? 

We call upon TDRC to fully support the measures to stop nonsensical planning application numbers CFS57 and PSCFS19 for the Site.

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