Hertsmere Labour has joined local community groups in further condemning the decimation of Aldenham Reservoir and the surrounding areas.
In the latest action, owners Liberty Lake Leisure Ltd have erected a fence around part of the Reservoir and block the public footpath to restrict walking. The children’s wooded play area has also been demolished.
This comes hot on the heels of Aldenham Sailing Club being forced to close after 83 years after the Reservoir was partially drained at the beginning of the year.
The actions by property developer brothers, Nitin and Mahesh Gosani appear to be in revenge for failing to get permission from Hertsmere Borough Council to develop on the site. Last year they sought to construct podland, a high-end tourist attraction that would have required many trees to be felled, decimated wildlife and spoilt scenic views.
Campaigner, Sandra Huff, said: “The decimation of the Reservoir and surrounding area by Liberty Lake Leisure Ltd is scandalous. As a community we know the Reservoir and parkland need to be saved and the local authorities need to support us.”
Another local campaigner, Labour’s Dr Dan Ozarow, lodged Freedom of Information requests last year that revealed LLLL claims that the Reservoir dam was in jeopardy, and repairs had to be funded by development, was far from true with a clean bill of health from the inspector.
An appeal by LLLL against Tree Preservation Orders across the land was rejected at the last Borough Council planning committee, with Town Council Labour Group Leader, Richard Butler, speaking fiercely on the need to protect the trees and woodland.
But disappointingly Conservative ward councillor and Planning Portfolio holder, Cllr Harvey Cohen, has publicly said that maintaining the Reservoir is a matter for the developers and not the responsibility of the Council.
Hertsmere Labour have now produced a video to highlight the issues and to encourage local organisations and residents to come together to challenge LLLL. Continued Dr Ozarow: “We will carry on lobbying against overdevelopment on the Reservoir and we will never stop supporting this harm to our precious environment.”
Hertsmere Labour spokesperson, Nik Oakley, said: “The actions of the developers is nothing short of corporate vandalism when they could not get their own way. They have no concept of corporate social responsibility and should not be causing wanton destruction to an important local resource. We all need to work together to ensure the Reservoir has a future – either as a trust or in public ownership.”