Find an alternative site says Leader

Kevin Snow10th February 2009

500 local residents braved the appalling weather last Thursday evening (5 February) to attend a meeting in Watersmeet, organised by Three Rivers District Council. They came to ask questions and make their views known about the proposed compound and tipping sites planned by contractors Skanska Balfour Beatty near to Junction 17 for the M25 widening work. The meeting was chaired by Dr Steven Halls, Chief Executive of the District Council, and attended by David Blackburn and Jerry Clarke from the contractors.

Council Leader Ann Shaw explained the Council’s strong objections on the grounds of the disastrous impact on local residents, devastation of the environment and wildlife. She said the viability of the farm was at risk and deplored the threats made to the tenant to induce him to forgo his legal rights to a period of notice.

Cllr Shaw said:

“I will write to the Secretary of State and the Highway Agency in the strongest terms. This proposal is an outrage. This site seems to have been chosen because of its convenient proximity to the Skanska Balfour Beatty HQ! No real effort has been made to find an acceptable alternative. The process used is totally undemocratic and ignores the views of the community and the Local Planning Authority, Three Rivers District Council.”

Cllr Shaw also agreed, at the request of the meeting, to write to the land owners, the Wallace Trust, to ask them to consider selling the land to the local community.

No resident supported the plans and many expressed disappointment and dissatisfaction with the failure of Skanska Balfour Beatty to address their concerns and answer their questions. Hundreds of local residents have written objections.