New homes controversy
Plans to construct 49 new homes on open land behind homes in Foxgrove Path and Heysham Drive have caused consternation on the estate.
The land on the periphery of the estate, is presently used to graze horses but now Hertfordshire County Council, who own it, want to “slap” houses all over it say local residents who are up in arms.
The land is adjacent to a wildlife site and nature reserve and building goes ahead would mean houses right up to the border with the London Borough of Harrow as that piece of Green Belt disappears forever.
The site was of one of thirty-four identified for housing the Three Rivers Local Plan adopted in 2014. Labour councillors had previously sought to prevent the site being brought forward for housing but were defeated by the Liberal Democrat-run council which ignored local wishes.
“This is a lovely area of South Oxhey at present,” said Councillor Joan King. “There is a need for houses, but I don’t think this is the right place for them and goodness how Foxgrove Path is going to cope with the extra traffic,” she said.
Concerned local residents have set up a petition against the proposals and you can sign it at: www.thepetitionsite.com/704/815/770 by 9 November the organisers have requested.
Labour welcomes new homes and presses Liberal Democrats to keep their promise
The first of 514 new homes as part of the South Oxhey Initiative are now ready to move into .
Eight three-bedroom houses on the site of the former Jet pub in Hayling Road will be finished and ready for occupancy by then. They are priced at £490,000 and Countryside Properties have told your Labour team that 50% are already sold.
Councillor Stephen King lives just round the corner from the site in Blairhead Drive. He said; “Those are for purchase and we are acutely aware the prices are way out reach for many local people. That is why we’re continuing to press to get more of the homes being built made available for rent.”
As things stand, 96 homes will be for rent. Just 48 of those will be at the lowest rents possible in perpetuity. Another 48 will start at low rents which will rise slightly after the first tenancy comes to an end.
Tenants get new homes
Thrive tenants above the shops in the precinct and Pennard and Luffenham Houses are eligible to move a new rented home at either Hallowes Crescent, Maylands Road, or the site of former Bridlington Road car park.
Tenants above the shops on the North (Nisa) side of the precinct are choosing colour schemes and finishes for the move, which is expected to be in early 2018. New landlords are Home Group.
Your Labour team takes a keen interest in the major project, inspecting the work, dealing with any issues that arise and serving on the Community Board which is overseeing the development as you can see from the photographs.
Fighting for low cost housing
“It is unfortunate that the Liberal Democrats who run Three Rivers council have still not committed to replacing the 96 homes at the lowest social rents in perpetuity that they originally promised. They are instead putting out wholly misleading leaflets. The facts are undisputable. They have only managed to replace half of those homes they other 48 will be at the lowest social rent for the first tenancy only. However, they spin it they are not replacing like for like," said Councillor Stephen Cox.
Demolition of the shops in Station Approach is almost complete ahead of rebuilding work there incorporating new shop units and the garage will move to a new site in Oxhey Drive.
Twenty people from the local area are employed on the scheme. That number will grow as work continues until 2022.
All aboard the 8 on Sunday
From 8 January a Sunday bus service was restored to the Muirfield Road area for the first time in many years.
Thanks to pressure from your Labour councillors, Arriva’s number 8 is now running on an amended route on Sundays, encompassing more of the estate, whilst continuing to serve the same roads as before.
The 8 now diverts up Oxhey Drive, down Murifield Road before turning left into Chilwell Gardens and right into Northwick Road, before re-joining Prestwick Road, known locally as the “Muirfield Road loop”.
There are ten journeys to Watford and Abbots Langley and ten more to Mount Vernon hospital and Northwood station on the diverted route.
Here's a link to the 8 timetable.
Thanks to pressure from your Labour councillors, Three Rivers Council has provided funding after Tory-run Hertfordshire County Council pulled the plug on the bus budgets in 2014 which saw severe funding cuts and a much-reduced bus service on the estate.
Last October, the local Labour team also secured later and earlier weekday services on the W19 service also serving the “Muirfield loop” and Little Oxhey Lane. Here’s a link to the W19 timetable.
Councillor Joan King, a leading member of the local Labour team which works tirelessly all-year-round for South Oxhey said: “The difference between Labour and the Conservatives here is quite stark. While they cut the buses and make life harder for residents, it is Labour that works hard to undo their damage to the buses back which people need and rely on.”
Northwick Road re-surfacing is on the way
Northwick Road is to get almost £50,000 of resurfacing work done from April this year.
Councillor Joan King has allocated funding from her local budget and this means that 2,982 square metres will be resurfaced. The money will enable work to start on four of the worst sections that traffic experts identified as in need of repair.
Among other roads Councillor Joan King has provided funding from her budget for and are already resurfaced either in whole or in part are:
Liberal Democrats just let South Oxhey down ...
LIBERAL Democrat election leaflets are under fire for failing to tell the full story about new housing in South Oxhey.
When the regeneration project started, the plan was to replace the 96 homes to be knocked down above the shops in the precinct with the same number elsewhere on the estate at the lowest ‘social’ rents. That promise now lies in tatters.
Only half of those will be replaced like-for-like with the lowest rents in perpetuity. The other 48, including those being built at Hallowes Crescent, will be at the lowest rents for the first tenant only. After that rents shoot up.
“The Lib Dems don’t admit it. They’re in denial going round claiming things are going ‘to plan’ - the truth is they’re not. They’re trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes to disguise the fact they’ve gone back on their word,” said Councillor Joan King of Blairhead Drive.
Your Labour team is pressing them to provide more homes at the lowest rents as part of the project and honour the commitment they made to South Oxhey residents.
Instead of doing the right thing, the Lib Dems have tried to muddy the waters. Their leaflets only say they want to provide more homes at ‘cheap’ rents – far too unclear and wishy-washy – so much so, they couldn't even explain what they meant when questioned!
Only Labour fully backs low rents
“Only Labour has consistently backed the maximum number of homes for local people at the lowest rent. The best way to get the homes South Oxhey needs is to vote Labour on Thursday 12 October,“ said Brendan.
Golf course closure sparks housing fears for residents
The sudden closure of Oxhey Park Golf Club in Prestwick Road has sparked fears the site could be built on.
The golf club and driving range across the road shut without warning in March and local residents have told the Labour team they fear the land may go for housing.
Three Rivers own the land and it was leased to a company called Flahive who then onward sub-let it. However, the golfing facility had not been making money.
Your Labour councillors have sought to calm fears, but remain vigilant as housing pressures continue to grow. Conservative government housing targets will mean Three Rivers will soon have to find room for over 500 new homes a year.
"The land, which is Green Belt, wont be used for housing unless Lib Dem-run Three Rivers allows it and there are an awful lot of hurdles they'll have to jump before that happens. I will oppose any threat to build on this lovely green space all the way," vowed Councillor Joan King.
Summer Fun Day success
COUNTRYSIDE Properties’ mascot Bill Ding (get it?) joined the South Oxhey Choir and local residents in the precinct for the annual summer fun day.
The event on 17th June and organised by the parish council raised £1,538 for local charities Watford Peace Hospice and ASCEND which is based in South Oxhey.
There were plenty of stalls and rides and a good time was had by all on a blisteringly hot sunny day.
Councillor Brendan O'Brien of Hillcroft Crescent said; "It was good to see so many people there including many from my neck of the woods in Oxhey Hall."
Councillor Stephen King was helping out from first to last as he always does. “Although it is on from 11am to 3pm there is always plenty of behind the scenes work to be done before, during and after. I really love our community and I see it as a pleasure not a chore,” he said.
Labour tackles Tory pot holes
South Oxhey's roads are in a right old state and riddled with potholes.
A lethal combination of winter weather and Conservative cuts has seen dangerous potholes open up everywhere.
In the last four years alone, Conservative-run Herts County Council has slashed the roads budget by some £9 million.
"They have cut roads maintenance and therefore it is no surprise really that this had a detrimental effect on the condition of the carriageway. Drivers and cyclists are facing pothole peril here, there and everywhere, right across the estate," said Councillor Joan King.
Your local Labour team are on regular 'pothole patrol' - getting them reported and sorted. Councillor Joan King has hit out at the Tory-run council and their contractors who will only fill the pothole reported even if there is another one opened up next to it.
"Their reporting system needs an overhaul. It is daft for contractors to only fill a hole that was reported three weeks before hand as happened to me, and I then watched as they drove off not having touched one that had appeared just across the road between the first one they filled being reported and when they got round to repairing it," said an exasperated Joan.
She has called on Herts County Council to "sort it out" and attacked the inefficient authority for refusing to fill some potholes at all saying; "they clearly haven't heard that a stitch in time saves nine".