Holwell action group set to act as extra traffic from proposed development raises concerns

PUBLISHED: 09:32 24 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:38 24 February 2017

Holwell residents protest about proposed traffic changes in their village.

Holwell residents protest about proposed traffic changes in their village.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

A group of concerned Holwell residents have joined together to fight proposals which could see a large number of lorries and heavy construction vehicles thunder through the only road in their village.

Worried villagers have formed the Holwell Against CALA Traffic Action Group (HACT) – CALA Homes is the developer – in an attempt to protect their area against increased works’ traffic stemming from the possible building of 78 new homes in nearby Pirton which lies three miles away.

HACT have estimated the proposed development could see an extra 50 to 60 daily journeys through the village from large lorries and wide load delivery vehicles over a two-year period.

John Burden who is part of the group told the Comet: “HACT think the proposed development is far too big. It enlarges Pirton by 15 to 20 per cent – far beyond the immediate needs of the village.

“It also puts increasing pressure on existing infrastructure especially the narrow country lanes and village roads in the area – an all too common feature of many village housing developments at the moment.

“We also feel the village road through Holwell is the worst possible route to choose for CALA Homes’ construction traffic – with its many obstacles and safety hazards – should detailed planning permission be granted.

“It’s a narrow, mostly single lane road, with two sets of chicanes along its length, road humps, five tight blind bends and several steep sided banks.

“The route would affect 90 homes and three working farms located along the village road.”

It is estimated the village bus uses the road on 16 trips per day, along with the school bus, large agricultural vehicles, motorists in general and commercial vehicles using the route as a short cut from outlying villages to Hitchin and Letchworth.

Mr Burden and HACT suggest all of these will be inconvenienced by the extra traffic.

It is also understood the parts of the road would be closed at various stages during the building project resulting in buses being diverted.

HACT have suggested five alternative routes for construction traffic which they hope might be accepted.

Mr Burden added: “This could be the thin end of a very big wedge – as more land is required for more development.”

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