Liberal Democrats in London Colney have called for the Caledon Estate to withdraw the application for a development of up to 30 dwellings on land alongside the village’s Morris Way playing field.
The call follows the finding that in 1992 the landowner made a formal, written commitment to the district and county councils to maintain the land for recreational purposes.
Research by Liberal Democrat parish councillor Tony Lillico highlighted that when St Albans district council agreed planning permission for an extension to the warehouse on adjoining land, the landowner entered into a signed agreement committing to maintain the area for recreational purposes “forever thereafter”.
Credibility with local residents
Tony Lillico said: “The signed agreement is a commitment to the people of London Colney to permanently keep the land for recreational use. If the landowner is to maintain any credibility with local residents, they should withdraw the application immediately.
“If this simple promise cannot be kept then what trust can anyone have in any commitments made in connection with the proposed Redwell garden village?”
He added: “Local Liberal Democrats understand the need for more genuinely affordable housing in the district and have instigated a programme for building new council homes.
“But development sites need to be chosen carefully with the engagement of local people. Clearly building on this strip of land would enclose the playing field on four sides and change the essentially rural feel of the open space.”