RENT INCREASES BY UP TO 400%
The Wood High Street looks a lot livelier now. Fewer shops are empty. The same is also true of Lemming and Aycliffe Roads as all shops are now occupied there once again. a gaming shop for kids and an interior display shop.
There is a problem though rents have been vastly increased and some businesses may not be able to afford the high rents being charged by Hertsmere Borough Council.
A few have already moved on over the last few years. The flower shop, greengrocers, second-hand furniture shop, car parts shop, Decorators supplies, Salt shop, Jewellers, Driving school, Car sales.To name but a few. All of them have been replaced. At least one shop has had at least 4 different businesses in situ in the last 7 years.
Over 85 people attended this charity event to raise money for a blood pressure machine for Edgware Hospital over £500 was raised
Two doctors gave blood pressure tests. The Hertsmere Academy of dance and performing arts. provided the entertainment with dancing and singing. Food provided by Sasher and her volunteer's who helped to serve it.
Daisy Lloyd who has been in the academy for 14 years now age 17 opened the proceedings at the event with a her first of two songs
On Monday the 13th of March, The Radlett centre was filled beyond capacity by residents of Radlett willing to protest at the plans to convert Newberries car park into a budget Hotel and Marks and Spencers.
Those protesting were over 95% who attended the meeting.
The local parish council could not bring themselves to support the electors by opposing the plans.
Twice the audience stood up in support of the TRACKS organisation that is 100% against the the plan to build in the Newberries car park.
The Parish Council did themselves no favours in their reluctance to go with the majority democratic protesters against the plan
Arguments against the scheme were at times hostile to the reluctance of the Parish Council to allow questions or statements from TRACKS.
This proved to me that the democratic process is being ignored by this parish Council despite the large majority appealing to them not to support the the scheme. The meeting finally finished at 10 past 10.
To date £40,000 has been spent of local taxpayers money to research the feasibility scheme.
RADLETT PARISH COUNCIL RELUCTANCE TO SUPPORT THEIR ELECTORS
RAISING MONEY FOR A BLOOD PRESSURE MACHINE FOR THE EDGWARE KIDNEY UNIT AT EDGWARE HOSPITAL. WAS HELD AT ST TERESA,S CHURCH HALL BOREHAMWOOD ON Saturday the 11th of March
The residents against
the Newberries Car Park Scheme
."Uproar and Anger at the Aldenham Parish Council AGM as residents call for a Referendum over the proposed Newberries Car Park Development"
A former Parish Councillor stated that not in 20 years had there been such an attendance at an AGM of the Aldenham Parish Council. The theatre at the Radlett Centre was bursting at the seams and even with extra seating brought in, there was still standing room only at the back. We also doubt there has ever been such an emotional gathering of Radlett residents who attended the AGM, virtually all of who had come along to voice their strident objections to the development and to try to get answers from members of the Parish Council.
At the conclusion of other items on the Agenda, Christine Lyons, Head of Planning and Economic Development at Hertsmere Borough Council, and Mark Silverman from HBC Planning, gave a presentation on Planning for Growth in Hertsmere. During the presentation it also became clear that the Neighbourhood Plan would be ongoing for another 18 months before it could be implemented. Will Grimsey, Chairman of TRACKS asked the blunt question to Christine Lyons as to whether a Referendum would be put to Radlett residents asking whether they wanted the largest development for 50 years to go ahead. Cllr Payne interjected that Christine Lyons could not answer until planning goes in. He stated that once planning goes in, she will look at it! Will Grimsey responded that most people would be shocked to hear that this is going through to development without democratically asking the residents if they wanted it. His remarks were met with loud applause.
All attempts to get a definitive answer as to whether the NCP (Newberries Car Park) development would go ahead were met with the same answer from Cllr Payne of “ask questions after the next session”. Emotions at the evasion of direct answers were running very high at this point with many residents calling out “shame” and “answer the questions”. Cllr Payne said that some people had come here tonight to hear Christine Lyons give her presentation, a statement that was met with some derision by the audience who clearly had come to tonight’s meeting to try to get some answers to their objections of the proposed NCP development.
When Stuart Pole, Secretary of TRACKS, stood up at the end of Christine Lyons and Mark Silverman’s presentation and requested he have the agreed 5 minutes to make a presentation on the proposed NCP development prior to any questions, everyone in the hall was shocked to hear Cllr Neil Payne declare, “if this was previously agreed we were not happy. It is not appropriate. We will take questions, not a statement”. Nobody expected APC to be “happy” about a TRACKS presentation. What was not expected was for Cllr Payne to try to renege on an agreed arrangement. The hall erupted with noisy protests demanding that, as agreed, Stuart Pole be heard. Cllr Payne carried on objecting to what had been an agreed arrangement IN WRITING with Peter Evans, Parish Council Manager and copied to Cllr Neil Payne and to cries of “let him speak” Stuart Pole marched resolutely forward to the podium and presented the TRACKS presentation, which was received with enormous enthusiasm by the majority of the audience. His presentation included clearly demonstrating opposing facts and figures of the numbers of Radlett residents who were opposed to the scheme, including a staggering 1700 signatories to the petition.
Many questions were raised about losing car park spaces. Cllr David Lambert stated that there would be a 40% increase in parking and improvement at junctions. He also said that the proposed Travelodge hotel is “not intended to be a commuter hotel for London and the hotel operators are building on the assumption of rental and spending in Radlett. Radlett is a night time area”. Wait a minute. Wasn’t this hotel originally sold to us as being cheaper for people to stay in when visiting London? And if Radlett is a night time area, we must have all missed the evening buzz. Only the restaurants and the Red Lion pub are open at night and are we really expected to believe people will decide to come and stay in Radlett for no other reason than a break and to use the local eateries? Of course not. This is clearly a scheme for filling a budgetary void within HBC. Cllr Lambert disputed this, saying that an 80% occupancy rate was expected. When Cllr Chris Wilkins was questioned about car parking requirements for hotel staff, he replied that “there will be skeleton staff on minimum wages so will they be driving?”, a remark that was met with disbelieving derision from some of the audience at the clear assumption that staff on minimum wage clearly could not afford to drive a car!
If there were any doubts left in the minds of any of the Aldenham Parish Councillors of the strength of opposition to this development, tonight’s meeting clearly dismissed that. Cllr Payne’s answer as to why APC are not supporting the residents in this was to claim that it was “unfair to say we are not opposing the development but equally we are not saying it should not go ahead”. He also stated that they had to consider criteria as to whether it was good for Radlett and he said it would improve the viability of the high street. When stating that there would be a £1M benefit to the high street he was asked where this figure came from. His answer of “from the hotel operator” was met with loud laughter from the audience.
At this point an audience member asked that everyone opposed to the development to stand. It came as no surprise when all but two or three in the packed hall stood up. When Will Grimsey proposed that APC object to the development on our behalf and Minute this. Cllr Payne replied that until the planning application comes in, they cannot object to it. TRACKS have repeatedly asked that APC declare their views on the development. They may not have seen final planning application but they have been aware for over a year of the strength of objections from the residents who, quite rightly, felt their elected councillors should represent their views.
Cllr David Lambert, who unsuccessfully tried to give satisfactory answers to several questions from the audience, when asked what would happen to the existing local butcher, greengrocer, baker etc if the proposed M&S food was built, replied with the a jaw dropping one liner of “I think they could do a lot better”. When it was pointed out that Cllr John Graham was in the audience, a similar question was put to him and he replied that an independent survey had been carried out showing that an M&S store is complimentary to areas and brings in more expenditure locally and healthy competition. A resident pointed out that local residents would not be persuaded to eat more food than they currently eat and that this would in fact reduce expenditure in the existing local shops. From other comments Cllr Graham made, it was clear to deduce that he was publicly stating tonight that the scheme for the car park would go ahead, deaf to any public opinion!
A strong suggestion came from a resident of over 20 years who stated to Cllr Payne that he and his colleagues had been elected by the residents to represent their wishes and that if this is the will of the Radlett residents not to have this development, it should be Minuted as such and APC should endeavour to ensure this does not go ahead. Cllr Payne responded with a terse “position noted”.
Cllr Payne called the meeting to an end at just after 10.00 pm, stating we were now running over time for the hall.
So, did we get answers from our elected representatives? No.
Did we get support from APC for our objections? No, we got sidestepping and statistics, and “work in progress”.
Was the meeting a waste of time? Hell no! We showed beyond question that the vast majority of residents object to this scheme, and that the 1,700 who have signed the petition demand that it be immediately withdrawn. And, we managed to let off a healthy amount of frustrated steam!
THIS REPORT WAS MADE BY A MEMBER OF THE TRACKS COMMITTEE