Environmental Issues

Connecting Harpenden
Connecting Harpenden
Click below for more information about Environment services in Harpenden

The Environment Group has a wide remit ranging from maintaining a close connection with LADACAN,  the residents' group concerned with the impact of an ever-expanding Luton Airport,  to pressing Local Authorities into maintaining the pleasant ambiance we expect (and pay for!). For some time, this 'Group' has been a 'one-man band' but we would welcome others to join,  not only to widen the area occasionally visited (ideally walked by),  from the Southdown/High Street area of the present incumbent,  but also to broaden our concern into e.g. the use of Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) to preserve a particular view or setting.


In parallel with the above, there are actions individual members can take, as outlined in a recent newsletter and repeated below (and for simplicity, mainly only phone numbers are given so all have access & to simplify, hopefully,  explanation of the problem - but best to avoid Monday mornings):

  • for overflowing litter bins, which so obviously give an uncared for impression of any community:  if outside the immediate High Street/Leyton Road/Station Road shopping area (which is the responsibility of the Town Council, Tel. 768278), then phone SADC's contractor, Veolia on 01727- 809019;  similarly for uncollected or dumped bags of refuse.

  • for weed-filled or silted up gutters, which again can make a residential area look unkempt, again ring Veolia - though to be fair, there's no point in them spraying the weeds during unsettled weather as the weedkiller needs a day or two of dry conditions to have an effect and then typically takes another 2 or 3 weeks (so, be patient!)

  • in contrast, blocked drains, which can lead to large puddles in the road, of obvious hazard to passing pedestrians, and/or cause floods lower down a hill, are the responsibility of Herts County Council, and you should  ring 0300-123-4047 (or e-mail their website) and get a Job no. so you can follow it up if necessary.   Not surprisingly,  with the large - and pleasing - number of trees in the area, combined with the effect of grit from the road itself,  this is a recurring problem and a more frequent check would seem sensible and worth pressing for.

Finally,  some unsightliness is outside the various Councils' responsibilities,  such as the often scruffy appearance of unoccupied premises, which may be waiting Planning Permission,  where the owners would need to be contacted;  or Network Rail regarding litter in Station Approach.

2020/21 Annual Report

Looking back

As climate change and environmental awareness has moved to the forefront of all our minds The Harpenden Society took the initiative to show we are committed to generating awareness and encouraging positive change in Harpenden. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its report recently and made it clear that time was running out for the world to take action to slow the impact of climate change.

This and many other reports prompted us to create a concise and information packed guide specially targeted for Harpenden. As individuals, families, community members, consumers, schools and business groups. Published in early Summer you can read it on the Society web site.

Looking forward

Publishing the Guide is just the beginning of a movement to involve other like minded individuals and groups in Harpenden to work together. The Guide covers many subjects which we will explore to see how they can be conveyed to the local community and actions taken to bring tangible results.

Ron Taylor

Society's response to the February 2021 Consultation can be downloaded by clicking here

Any community can quickly look uncared for if the local authority fails in its duty to council tax payers by allowing litter bins to overflow, gutter drains to get blocked and other maintenance-reliant issues to arise. Alas, our local public services continue to fall short of most residents' quite reasonable expectations. And the Harpenden Society duly encourages its members to maintain a watchdog role by reporting matters to the relevant authority. Herts County Council (phone 01300 123 4047) is responsible for highway matters (notably potholes and streetlighting faults - though these can also be reported on-line via the Herts CC website).

Other publicly-accountable environmental shortcomings should be reported to the SADC/Veolia St Albans District call centre on 01727 809019.

Any review of environmental issues in Harpenden must, of necessity, include Luton Airport and its iniquitous plans for a further near-80% growth in passenger numbers. The concomitant increase in frequency of flights and  accompanying noise disturbance, along with the inevitable rise in aircraft and road vehicle climate-change and pollutant emissions locally, make the expansion totally unacceptable.

The Harpenden Society has accordingly registered its unequivocal opposition, in alignment with residents groups such as LADACAN.

John Davis