We reached out to Phil Bibby, who is the Chairman of Hertfordshire Highways and Environment in regards to the upcoming Lord Street closure for High Leigh Garden Village. Below are the questions we asked him.
Will you be contesting the closure of Lord Street?
No, this would not be appropriate.
Utility companies have a duty and powers set out in law to carryout works on the public highway. Roads are not closed unless there is a legitimate reason to do so. The works at this location are to provide the required utility infrastructure and connections to the High Leigh development. Some of these works will require the road to be closed so they can carried out safely and to protect the safety of the general public. The works are currently programmed to take around 15 weeks and the road will only be closed for a period within this duration. The specific programme dates and duration are yet to be finalised and the road will only closed to traffic between the hours of 09:30am-3.30pm. We will be limiting closure lengths to approx. 50m at any one time, which will help minimise the disruption these works will inevitably cause. Traffic signals will be utilised outside of the closure times.
We are continuing to work with the developer to reduce the duration of these works as much as possible and all options are being investigated. The above timescale sets out the worst case scenario. However works of this nature are often impacted on by inclement weather or unforeseen difficulties on site.
Where will residents of Lord Street park if the road is closed?
As stated above, the closure will be restricted to 50m lengths at any one time. This should help minimise impacts on parking.
Will deliveries from Royal Mail, Amazon or food shopping orders be affected by the closure?
Disruption to deliveries to residents will be minimal. Signed diversions will enable delivery drivers to reach either end of the closure. Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times. This will allow for deliveries to be completed on foot over a minimal distance. Deliveries organised prior to 09:30am or after 3:30pm will not be affected by the closure.
Will the suggested diversion, Mangrove Road, be regularly gritted in the colder months?
We would only grit the diversion route if the road being closed was part of our precautionary gritted network. As the section of Lord Street affected does not form part of our salting route, we would not grit the diversion route.
Will refuse collection including green waste, food waste, general waste or recycling be affected by the closure of Lord Street?
Refuse collection is a matter for the district council. They will be aware of the road closure, and manage their resource should there be a requirement to do so. By limiting the overall closure to 50m this will allow refuse to be collected from either end.
When were you informed that Lord Street would be closed for utilities to be installed for High Leigh Garden Village?
Hertfordshire County Council was made aware of these proposed works in October, at a meeting between our Network Management Team together with Land Improvements Holdings and the utility companies.
Were these utilities works always planned to occur on Lord Street in regards to High Leigh Garden Village? We have only recently discovered this is happening, so are quite shocked.
We are approached by utility companies when they have determined how they will provide services to a development. We became aware of the proposed route in October.
Why are these utilities works and subsequently the closure of Lord Street not mentioned in the planning permission document?
Utility companies do not require planning permission to undertake works on the public highway. Planning permission deals with the development itself and does not consider or refer to utility connections that may be required.
It seems a deceptive for council members to state what Lord Street would be used for and later breach the agreements reached at The Spotlight.
Therefore please could you additionally answer this question:
Why were assurances given to residents in regards to the use of Lord Street at The Spotlight, Broxbourne Civic Center? We were told it would only be used for emergency access and limited access to the development.
Traffic Management matters and construction vehicle movements to facilitate the delivery of works would not normally be considered in detail as part of a planning application. Vehicle access to the High Leigh development from Lord Street is for emergencies only. There will be no routine vehicle access from the development onto Lord Street. The laying of utilities along Lord Street however is a separate post-planning matter.
Any matters relating to the planning permission are for Broxbourne Borough Council as the local planning authority to address.
- We find it unacceptable that the diversion route would not be gritted in any capacity; this is dangerous and shows how little Hertfordshire County Council care about residents using Lord Street and Mangrove Road during these works. The suggest diversion route for the closure is dangerous, poorly maintained and prone to flooding.
- Due to the diversion not being gritted is it unlikely that refuse collection will use this route. This will lead to rubbish piling and nuisances occurring.
- It is our belief that the utilities companies are not carrying out the work alone and therefore additional permission may need to be sought to allow non-utility companies to perform the works on Lord Street.
- We cannot pick and choose when deliveries for many companies arrive such as Amazon, therefore suggesting to schedule deliveries for before 9:30am or after 3:30pm is not possible in most cases.
- Hertfordshire County Council only discovered this in October, it does seem as if this was hidden from resident up until now. Surely this matter was discussed and discovered far earlier by the developers?
- We were told Lord Street would only be used in a limited capacity for emergency access and limited access to certain parts of the development. This misleading and deceptive behaviour from Hertfordshire County Council and Broxbourne Borough Council is not appropriate for a local authority.
We once again remind the councils of the agreements that were reached at The Spotlight, Broxbourne Civic Hall and ask them to honour what is agreed.
Should you feel you would be affected by these works or the road closure on Lord Street we recommend looking at our Your Rights page.