A summary of your feedback - January to March 2020
We want to thank everyone who took part and shared their priorities over the past 3 months for the North West Harpenden Masterplan, we really appreciate your feedback and participation.
Since January 2020 we have delivered a Public drop in event, held individual meetings with 12 local stakeholder groups and organisations, and delivered a workshop for these groups to discuss the feedback. We also tagged-along to existing events in the local area, including one in Harpenden Library and another in Kinsbourne Hall in order to reach groups who had not attended the public drop-in event or completed online forms. We also held the online feedback forms open for 8 weeks to allow anyone to share their comments and priorities digitally.
It total, we spoke to over 200 people and collected 170 feedback forms with additional feedback comments through mapping and themed feedback cards.
Having processed your comments, priorities and feedback, we wanted to share a brief summary with you below. All of your detailed feedback has been shared with the masterplan team and will go into developing the emerging proposals which will be presented at the next public event.
At our initial engagement events and on the project website we presented information about the North West Harpenden broad location site as specified by the Draft Local Plan and asked people to share feedback and priorities through two key methods:
A mapping activity, telling us what works well, not so well and what the opportunities are in and around the site
Gathering feedback and priorities under the following masterplanning themes: Landscape, Neighbourhood, Heritage, Movement, Meanwhile, Sustainability, Housing and Urban Design.
You can see a summary of the mapping feedback here:
Overall, people's comments and priorities focused primarily on the themes of Landscape, Movement, Housing & Neighbourhood;
A majority of people talked about the changing use of open space, asking to retain the views, fields and green amenity that exists and raising concerns of increased urban sprawl. In addition, many people identified the need to plant more trees and maintain mature ones, the same for woodland areas in order to preserve wildlife and biodiversity. In terms of types of landscape in the Masterplan, people identified priorities for spaces for walking, play areas for children and using landscape to create a visual buffer to the main road.
The overwhelming majority of feedback around movement was about traffic, congestion and road network issues around the site. People raised concerns relating to an increase in population and cars and the impact it would have on road capacity, in particular on Luton Rd and the smaller lanes around. Priorities were raised around introducing more cycle and pedestrian routes and improving train and bus services to connect to the centre and the station better.
Housing & Neighbourhood
Feedback about housing focused on ensuring homes are really low-cost and affordable for people who need them. A mix of property sizes and tenures was coupled with priorities for low density and low rise homes. People talked about the need of a good balance of large communal areas and space around the development as well as considering local design.
With regards to neighbourhood, both for existing neighbourhood residents and introducing a new neighbourhood, people raised the need for some form of health provision and a neighbourhood centre with better community facilities. Overall people were supportive of a new primary school however expressed concerns about secondary school places and safe pedestrian access for pupils.
Full detail on the feedback collected in these months, including for the other masterplanning themes, will be shared alongside the emerging proposals at the next public exhibition.
In view of current concerns over Covid-19; we are awaiting updates regarding when the next public exhibition will be. To keep up to date with upcoming events and opportunities to get involved please sign up for updates here or visit www.nwharpenden.co.uk.