The second item also affects farmland, and this time it is very much in our own yard. The simmering proposal, now made more urgent by the loss of government funding for upgrading Oaklands College at what it calls its Smallford site (but is actually at Oaklands), the college intends a large number of homes and a link road at the former Oaklands Agricultural College. There is also an intention – at least in outline – to develop an unspecified area along Coopers Green Lane and at Little Nast Hyde Farm. In total several hundred homes would be built.
Once again I do not intend to take sides. But I do remember there being a paragraph in Sir Patrick Abercrombie's Greater London Plan set out during WW2, where he firmly rejected the idea of further development between St Albans and Hatfield which would risk the two towns coalescing. And that was before Hatfield New Town arrived and before St Albans council allocated industrial and retail sites to Butterwick Wood (there is not much left of the Wood these days, either!). On the other hand, let's remind ourselves of other farms which subsequently grew houses instead. If we live in one of those "new" homes, or in one formerly on extensive nurseries which had helped to feed the local population, or Londoners, how to we form our argument to deny others the right to a home? The answer might lie in where those new residences could or should be constructed. Does anyone have ideas about where, in the East End of St Albans, or around Hatfield, new homes might be constructed for the young families of tomorrow?
|Until seventy years ago fields here grazed cows and produced cereals.|