Alex Clarkson, Prospective Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Stevenage, has objected to the proposal to build 200 houses on the land between Watton Road and Swangleys Lane in Knebworth. The the text of the objection letter is below:
Objection to planning application: land south of Watton Road – Ref 23/01552/OP
I am writing to set out my strong objections to the planning application relating to the land south of Watton Road.
Whilst there is clearly a need for extra housing, bolt on rabbit warren developments like this proposal are not the answer. This development risks blurring the thin green line which keeps Knebworth and Stevenage separate.
The suggested closure of Swangleys Lane has no benefit for residents and will only increase traffic jams in and around the high street. This will have a negative impact on local people and businesses.
The application does not account for the fact that when the A1 suffers from traffic jams (or is shut altogether), Knebworth high street becomes a cut through for a huge number of vehicles. 200 new homes having sole access in and out of their estate via Watton Road will not work and just lead to major congestion on what is an already busy road between the village and Bragbury End.
The plan to inflict a Low-Speed Zone (LSZ) is an assault on motorists, which has become typical from Lib Dem/Labour Councils like North Herts. Traffic restricting measures do not take into consideration the fact that many people, particularly the elderly, disabled, and young families, are reliant on their cars for their day to day lives. The campaign to push people towards alternative modes of transport is too idealistic and fails to properly consider the practicalities and realities facing people who are just trying to get from A to B.
The Prime Minister has rightly ordered a review of local authorities’ use of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, as these flawed schemes lead to chaos on the roads, as well as restricting residents’ ability to travel freely and independently by car.
Please thoroughly consider the hundreds of objections lodged by local residents, as well as the concerns raised by Datchworth Parish Council (my own village), before determining this application.
It is vital that we protect the thin green belt which gives clear definition between the town and village, as well as not worsening the traffic situation in Knebworth.
Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Stevenage