The Elstree and Borehamwood
Green Belt Society (EBGBS)
The UK Green Belt was formed by law in 1949 to prevent speculative ribbon development around London and other large cities in the United Kingdom.
The first records of our EBGBS date from 1959 when the battles against building on Woodcock Hill on the south side of Borehamwood started and the Woodcock Hill Society (now merged with the EBGBS) was founded under Dr Lewis Wilde. We have been contesting Green Belt and conservation issues to the present day.
Our aim is to preserve as much as possible of the peaceful green and pleasant countryside, which has been left to us after the ravages of road and building developments. If you care about your environment do please join us. All are welcome.
We live in an exceptionally fragile habitat. Major motorways radiate out from London through Hertsmere and the urban creep of London is always a danger. We campaign for the preservation of our countryside and the protection of our twin settlements during a time of rapid growth and change.
It is not our policy to interfere with reasonable improvements to private property and we are in favour of brownfield development. We accept that a community has changing needs and cannot be preserved as in a museum. Playing fields, community centres, libraries and some new housing have to be provided. Our quality of life depends on careful planning especially in the control of traffic. We try to retain those buildings with interest, history or architectural merit. The destruction over the years of many landmark houses has robbed Elstree and Borehamwood of much of its visual amenity. I include the razing of the old cottages on Elstree High Street, the loss of the timber framed house at the Shenley Road / Theobald Street junction and the current demise of Little Organ Hall Farm.
We must preserve what is left. It could be said we are on Greenwatch! We always need more members. The token subscription is £5 per household yearly and FREE membership for the first year so do join and give our voice more decibels. We are trying to serve the community and speak for you all.
We work with Elstree Village Preservation Society, Radlett Village Society and Shenley Village Society on common interests. The Elstree Village Preservation Society (EVPS) is an off shoot of the Elstree and Borehamwood Green Belt Society. The EBGBS has always had the protection of the Elstree Village Conservation Area as part of it’s remit. The EVPS was formed in June 2015 and has met monthly to look at what is impacting on the Village. A map was drawn to show boundaries of what most affected the Conservation area. The Committee then prioritised what would be tackled in the short term: Parking, a village Identity, Reviva Recycling Centre on Elstree Hillsouth, The Holly Bush, The Plough and The Waggon and Horses and the impact of loss of Aldenham reservoir
We are faced with the possible drainage of Aldenham Reservoir since the Herts County Council lease ran out in December 2015. This 220 year old historic and picturesque landmark is a beloved local area for leisure and exercise and home to Aldenham Sailing Club, Verulam Angling Club, wildfowl, bats, and naturally, fish. Its loss would be keenly felt in Elstree and Borehamwood and surrounding N London areas. Families come on summer weekends to enjoy the green countryside, picnic and visit the Rare Breeds Farm and children's playgrounds. It is closely associated with local history having been dug by French Prisoners of the Napoleonic Wars. News of the victory of Waterloo, which ended hostilities, was transmitted through the Optical Telegraph Station on Woodcock Hill nearby. The one possible solution as neither Hertsmere nor Herts CC can put up the necessary funds is an offer by Liberty Aldenham to rebuild the crumbling dam and endow the running cost in return for planning permission for 150 houses on GB land between Watford Road and Centennial Park. The Green Belt has, as a last resort, supported this idea subject of course to legal and financial safeguard. Preserving the Reservoir is the ' Very Special Circumstance’, which allows building on the Green Belt, and it would enhance our environment.
Do you agree? Come to our 2020 AGM when it is rearranged after the Coronovirus lockdown and tell us what you want. Please consider joining us today! Our membership subscription is a nominal £5.00 payable by cheque or standing order to EBGBS. You can email Pat Strack Membership Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone her on 0208 386 3151
Chair, Elstree and Borehamwood Green Belt Society.