WHY NOT JOIN THE SOCIETY AND BE PART OF HARPENDEN’S FUTURE?
The Society promotes and encourages a range of local activities and initiatives with public meetings and community events.
We’re here to help with the concerns people have on things like schools, healthcare, housing, parking, pollution, overdevelopment, lack of infrastructure, and now more than ever climate change with all the important environmental issues affecting the future.
With almost 900 members and an effective committee we can engage with the local community to highlight issues, lobby politicians and present findings via our web site, quarterly newsletter and social media.
Joining is easy and inexpensive. For full details of how to join the society, including how to apply online, please click here.
Would you like to help the Harpenden History Society
at their History Open Day event at the Eric Morecambe Centre on Saturday April 20th.
As a volunteer you would act as a marshal directing the public around the building from mid-morning to mid-afternoon OR assist in moving in and setting up exhibitions early in the morning and/or dismantling and taking down in the late afternoon.
To volunteer, click the link below or e-mail: April20@harpenden-history.org.uk making clear your particular interest/availability.
More details about the event can be found by clicking here.
Cllr Paul de Kort (right) and Jeff Phillips, Chairman Harpenden Society (left).
31st January Public Meeting
'Time running out for finalising Local Plan', says councillor
Without the submission, in an acceptable form of a local plan for St Albans City and District before the middle of next year, protection of key areas of the Green Belt against housing development might well be lost. The warning came from District and County Councillor Paul de Kort, addressing a public meeting last week hosted by the Harpenden Society at the town’s Katherine Warington School.
Cllr de Kort pointed out that although a recent statement by Secretary of State Michael Gove had indicated a move away from mandatory to ‘advisory’ house building targets, it was clear that the requirement for SADC to sanction the building of just over 15,000 new homes between now and 2041, would not necessarily be eased. And, in answer to a question from the audience, he acknowledged that the outcome of the General Election later this year added a further element of uncertainty.
Although the council was keen to make maximum use of so-called ‘brownfield’ sites in the District, surveys had shown that they could accommodate only around 900 dwellings. It meant that land had therefore to be made available elsewhere for building about 11,000 more homes, which implied sacrificing Green Belt.
In an ARUP group survey commissioned last year by SADC, the practicality and extent of some Green Belt development applications was questioned. Cllr de Kort cited the L&G group’s wish to build around 550 homes on Green Belt land north of Bloomfield Road, Harpenden. It contrasted starkly with the figure of just 293 homes calculated by ARUP and influenced especially by the distance of the site from the town centre and consequent transport implications.
Paul de Kort commented: “Putting together a local plan is a complex activity for any local authority. The particular circumstances of St Albans District multiply the challenge. I hope my presentation and responses to the audience's questions provided more clarity on the local context, the progress made to date and what remaining uncertainties there are to be resolved. Very recent ministerial statements appear to allow for greater consideration of specific local pressures and I welcomed that during the evening. It is something that we have been demanding for a long time."
A record breaking attendance of over 140 including many non members of the Harpenden Society were present filling the school hall for almost two hours.
The full slide presentation can be downloaded by clicking here.