Page03 - Our disappearing banks, Overdevelopment threat

Burning Issues for Chorleywood

Our Disappearing Banks

On the 24th July this year Chorleywood residents were dealt a devastating blow when Barclays Bank closed its doors for good. No time was wasted as the shop fitters moved in and made a start on removing the fixtures and fittings.

Over the past few years we have also lost Lloyds now only leaving NatWest and one begs to ask the question how long it will be before they also feel the need to move on. During this economic downturn it could be understood that banks are businesses and cutbacks need to be made. Unfortunately only a week after the closure Barclays announced prohts of over£3 billion. But in the bank's defence the popularity of internet banking is rapidly soaring and the numbers of customers visiting branches is dropping. So is it good business sense to lose a quiet branch?

There is also a branch in Rickmansworth High Street, which is only a few miles away. For some residents Rickmansworth is just too far away especially for the elderly and there is the issue that not all have access to the internet and prefer the personal touch when it comes to their money.

In losing the banks I fear that it will be the shops that will end up losing out. As residents travel to another high street to do their banking I suspect that that "other" high street will benetit from the extra custom.

Overdevelopment threat

It's what everybody wants. A property in a location that combines the beautiful countryside with good transport links into London. But it is this very idea that is threatening Chorleywood with overdevelopment.

During the past two years new developments have shot up around the village, mainly due to the close proximity to the train station: Elizabeth House on Station Approach, Churleswood Court at the bottom of Shire Lane, not to mention the conversion and development of the old "Sportsman". Now there is a new block being built in Lower Road. One starts to wonder where it will end'? The Residents Association completely understands that for the area to thrive a diverse variety of housing is needed and with the changing demographics of the area all needs should be met. But this is not at the risk of overdevelopment and loss of character.

Chorleywood has managed to retain a lot of its character and nuaintness over the years. The old buildings, narrow twisting lanes, etc - all reasons why we moved here. The extra housing and people being introduced into the area are putting a real strain on the local infrastructure. Another part of the appeal of Chorleywood is the low density of housing giving us all a sense of space and a better quality of life.

The Government's plan to build an extra 20,000 new houses in the South East of England is unfortunately going to become a reality and some of those houses are going to be built in Three Rivers district. Chorleywood with its low density housing is definitely at risk. With developments being built we need to be careful not be too short sighted. We may lose the opportunity to improve the neighbourhood. 

For example the SureStart programme that is angering many residents for the space it will be taking away in the library, as well as the need to find a central location for the childrens' playground, could both be successfully solved. But how? The potential site is iust opposite the library! The old interior design shop could have been modified and converted into the childrens' centre and the disused toilets demolished and a playground laid over the site. But unfortunately the site has been cleared for a housing development. 

We ask you again that if you need support objecting to planning applications please contact us. Together we can make a difference.