Objections to village house project


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A RURAL housing scheme will change the nature of a village if it goes ahead, according to a resident.

The Eco-Barley project would see at least 20 new homes and a new road built in Barley between School Lane and Pudding Lane.

Six Barley-based landowners have put the scheme forward, and a consultation event was held at the village’s Town House last month.

Alison Gray, of School Lane, is opposed to the plan.

She said: “I cannot see how people who claim to love Barley and have the privilege to own land here can possibly suggest that this proposed development is for the benefit of the village. Be under no illusion – this is not in Barley’s best interests – it is about a few people who wish to capitalise on the land they were fortunate enough to buy.”

Mrs Gray added that the development would have an adverse effect on local wildlife, and see the number of homes in the village grow by at least 10 per cent.

“Accepting the need for more housing within the village, there is planning permission for development of land and buildings in the High Street,” she said.

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“There is land available for development with road access along Picknage Road, neither area will require significant development in the way that The Eco-Project will.

“Many of us chose to move to Barley because it’s a beautiful rural village – what is proposed will change that forever.”

Leaflets have been handed out around the village by Barley Parish Council, which is objecting to plans.

Chairman Jerry Carlisle said: “The parish council is fundamentally opposed to it, of any development on the land that has been suggested.

“The so called eco project is jumping the gun somewhat because land has not even been allocated yet.

“The whole of the village is, as far as I am aware, fundamentally against it. It would totally destroy that part of the village.

“It would be a horror story if it was allowed to happen.”

A formal planning application has yet to be submitted, but the land has been included in North Herts District Council’s draft local plan, which lists possible future housing options in the district. This states that the land could accommodate up to 61 homes.

Consultation is currently being carried out on the sites, and residents have until next Friday, August 2, to make their opinion heard.

Mrs Gray is looking to form an action group to oppose the plans. Anyone wishing to join her should email alisondibblegray@hotmail.co.uk