Please find below the answers to the most frequently asked questions about our plans for the site.
If you would like additional information, please contact us to find out more.
What is the difference between an outline and a reserved matters planning application?
An outline planning application agrees a set of guiding principles for any future development. The full details of the proposed development, like the appearance of the new homes and the spaces between buildings (the open spaces, play spaces, and trees), are then considered under a reserved matters application.
Spencer’s Park Phase 2 was granted outline planning consent in 2019 with all matters reserved except for detailed approval, granted for access arrangements. The outline approved up to 600 new homes, a new primary school, open spaces and sports pitches, a new local centre and employment space.
Will there be housing provision for all?
Yes, we will deliver high-quality homes for everyone as part of these proposals. We are providing a mix of homes and there will be a wide range of house types, that will cater for all different age groups.
There will be new homes to buy, new homes for shared ownership and new homes for affordable rent. There will also be a number of wheelchair-accessible homes.
How many parking spaces will be provided?
Parking is provided in line with typical expectations for developments of this nature, to ensure that adequate provision is made, and streets are not cluttered with inappropriate casual parking.
The apartments and some smaller two-bed houses have one space. The remaining two bed houses and three bed houses have two spaces per house and the larger four bed houses have three spaces per house.
Our current proposals provide a parking ratio of 1.6 spaces per dwelling, very close to the ratio approved in the outline consent (1.5 spaces) but also allowing for visitor parking. All dwellings will be provided with cycle parking.
What off site highway improvements will be delivered?
There will be several infrastructure improvements delivered as part of Spencer’s Park Phase 2. These include approved access arrangements as below:
A new four-arm roundabout on Three Cherry Trees Lane at its junction with Boundary Way. This will form the main entrance to the residential site.
The secondary access point to the residential site will be made via Spencer’s Park Phase 1.
A junction improvement will be delivered at the junction of Three Cherry Trees Lane with Swallowdale Lane. This junction will be upgraded from a three-arm priority-controlled junction to a traffic signal-controlled junction. This will allow traffic movements to be managed more effectively and a safe pedestrian crossing across Swallowdale Lane to be provided.
A new access road will be created to the proposed employment land which forms the south eastern corner of the site. This access will be a priority-controlled junction with Three Cherry Trees Lane. An emergency access will also be created from the employment site on the boundary of Cherry Tree Lane.
What is the timeline for the highway works?
We anticipate beginning detailed design work on the highway improvements in early 2021 and expect – subject to Hertfordshire County Council approval – to start on site later in the year.
The construction programme is to be agreed with Hertfordshire County Council and co-ordinated with other road works in the area to minimise disruption. The appointed contractor will be required to communicate frequently with the local community through regular newsletters and updates.
How would someone access the Nickey Line?
A key feature of Spencer’s Park Phase 2 is The Green Spine, a tree-lined avenue from north to south. The Green Spine will be the central pedestrian and cycle path though the new development joining the Nickey line to the north of the site.
Once at the north of the site there are three ways to connect to the Nickey Line. These are:
Via an existing access at the northern end of Three Cherry Trees Lane.
Through the newly constructed connection from Spencer’s Park Phase 1 – Swallow Fields.
Via the steps at the northern end of Cherry Tree Lane.
Will you be removing any trees?
Long lines of existing mature trees characterise the site, allowing us to create a strategic network of green links and spaces.
The majority of trees and key areas of existing planting along the site boundary will be retained, as well as the majority of trees in the middle of the site, which will help define The Green Spine.
Some trees will need to be removed due to poor condition, or to allow key elements of the development to proceed. Importantly, a significant amount of new trees will be planted across the site which will enhance the ecological benefit of the site.
When will the primary school be delivered?
Countryside has been asked to deliver the serviced land – ready to build on – to Hertfordshire County Council within two and a half years of construction starting on Spencer’s Park Phase 2 West. We will also be providing a significant financial contribution towards the construction of the new primary school.
Hertfordshire County Council, as the local education authority, will bring forward the school design, planning and construction. We are already working closely with them to understand their timings in more detail.
Who will bring forward the employment space?
The outline planning consent approved 7,500sqm of employment space, designated at the south east corner of Spencer’s Park Phase 2. The design and construction of this space will be brought forward by others. Countryside will deliver the new access arrangements for this future employment space.
How will you manage construction?
A Construction Management Plan will be agreed as part of our planning application to ensure that the approach is well considered and sensitive to our neighbours.
By using modern methods of construction, we can build energy efficient homes consistently faster, without compromising on quality. This means less disruption, with fewer lorries travelling backwards and forwards to the site to deliver materials and components, less noise, less waste, and less pollution in the surrounding area.
Why is this consultation virtual?
We are liaising closely with Dacorum Borough Council and St Albans City and District Council on the proposals and we are keen to engage further with local community groups and the wider community. However, due to the current government restrictions on public gatherings, our consultation process has had to adapt and take advantage of the benefits of digital technology.
How will you respond to feedback?
Once the consultation has closed, we will review the feedback and incorporate any changes to the plans where appropriate. We’ll then collate all of the feedback, along with our responses, into a document called a Statement of Community Involvement which will be submitted as part of the planning application.
What are the next steps for the application?
We are looking to submit a planning application for Phase 2 West early next year, and the council will then carry out their own consultation on the proposals. Further consultation on Phase 2 East will take place next year.