Critics challenge changes to road plans for Bishop's Stortford North
Proposed changes to the road layout for Stortford Fields, pushing more traffic onto Hadham Road, are causing concern.
The consortium of developers behind the new estate of 2,200 homes has asked planning authority East Herts Council to sign off new conditions as the phased development progresses – but critics are questioning their deviation from the original proposals for land known as ASRs (Areas of Special Restraint) 1 to 5.
Bishop's Stortford Town Council, Chantry Community Association (CCA), East Herts district councillors and Herts County Council's highways department all oppose the new submissions.
Rob Francis, of CCA, speaking on behalf of 1,600 households in north-west Stortford, said: "We are very concerned at the implications of the road access assumed in this application.
"This would appear to be the first site in ASR3 (east of Hoggate's Wood) to be developed for housing. Its access is onto Hadham Road, which was not the original plan during the transport assessments. That plan was for ASRs 3, 4 and 5 to access Rye Street.
"The impact on the Chantry Community Association area will be greater traffic onto Hadham Road than originally planned, which means more congestion on that route into town."
Cllr Alastair Ward-Booth, a member of East Herts Council, spoke out on behalf of his Silverleys constituents: "It has been pointed out to me that this allows for access onto Hadham Road, which was not in the original plans for Bishop's Stortford North.
"Several of my residents think that this should be raised with the developer, as residents on and around Hadham Road are already very concerned about the traffic and speed on that road."
The town council has lodged an official objection from its planning and development committee, telling EHC that access and exit via Hadham Road would result in more traffic.
The members also expressed concern about the phasing of the development and the provision of affordable housing, questioning any change in the size of homes to be provided.
Herts highways has told East Herts the Stortford Fields submissions lack sufficient detail for it to consider them properly.
But it added: "The submitted document raises a number of concerns with respect to the specifications for highways design and the satisfactory integration of pedestrian and cyclist facilities into the development."