Skip to content

Original Plan of Grovehill

Just before the local college was closed down to be moved to a brand new site, one of Alex's friends uncovered what looked like aged tracing paper. On closer inspection, this old piece of tracing paper revealed plans of Grovehill. The date can't be easily made out other than a word which looks like it could be 'January' and a year that's either 1960 or 1968. We think it reads '1968' as 1960 seems a bit early.

Alex was able to scan the huge document at very high resolution but only in monochrome (black and white) but is going to try to get it scanned professionally in colour which may help expose more detail.

If you're interested in checking this out, please feel free to download a pdf version of Grovehill Estate Plan here. Be warned; it's 10 MB.

Derek Baulch R.I.P 2020.05.14

It is with deep regret that we inform you of the passing away of Derek Baulch, yesterday on 14th May 2020.

Derek had lived in Marlborough Rise, Grovehill since the early seventies and was well known by so many residents. His commitment to his community was inspiring and he was the kind of guy who always put others first. In fact on 1st October 2019, we posted an article here, when he was awarded the Three Counties Radio Peoples Award for his relentless volunteering work at the Dens Food Bank on the Paradise Park estate. Modest as ever, Derek was insistent that the award wasn't actually for him but for all the volunteers at Dens.

Always smiling and often laughing, Derek had a great sense of humour and was fun to be around. With a unique way of being direct but diplomatic (and always very polite), at the same time, he was respected by all who worked with him. A long-standing member of the Grovehill Neighbourhood Association, he was a library of knowledge, especially about all things Grovehill.

Derek's humility was witnessed by many, when it was recently proposed and agreed by the GNA committee, that the newest hall at the Grovehill Community Centre be named after him; the Derek Baulch Hall. He just didn't know what all the fuss was about!

A lovely person in every way, his presence will be sorely missed. Our thoughts go out to his family at this very sad time.

The Starlink invasion

Earlier this month, some may have been alerted to the launch of a bunch of satellites by the American SpaceX company, owned by Amazon founder, Elon Musk. The idea behind the 'StarLink' satellites which will soon number to over 12,000 (yes, that's right... 12,000) is to improve global Internet coverage.

With a low earth orbit (LEO) of about 340 miles, the StarLink satellites are clearly visible and can be seen with the naked eye, as they follow each other across the night sky.

Astronomers both armature and professional, have been very critical of the night sky invasion and sky watchers are concerned that the natural beauty of the heavens, may never be the same again.

So what price are we prepared to pay for high-speed and reliable Internet access and mobile telecoms? Is this just too much or a taste of things to come? We've already reported on the recent erection of 5G masts in Grovehill, a subject which will remain open for debate for some time.

New 5G Masts in Grovehill

Over the past couple of weeks, it’s been difficult to ignore the new telecoms masts that have appeared in Aycliffe Drive. These are for the up-and-coming 5G network which is being rolled out across the country. Unfortunately many people aren’t too impressed with their sudden appearance, not just in Grovehill but over the entire UK. In fact, due to the timing, they’re even being blamed for ‘spreading’ COVID-19! Yes, that’s right. In some parts of the UK and Europe, these masts have been attacked by ignorant people with nothing else to do.

While rumours circulate, here's something to consider; the part of the electromagnetic spectrum used for mobile telecommunications falls in the category of non-ionized radiation, unlike for example, ultra-violet light (from the sun), which is in the ionizing category and which is harmful to human (and other) DNA.

Top of 5G Mast in Grovehill, Hemel Hempstead

The media only refers to ‘radiation’ and doesn’t distinguish between what comes out of a light bulb and what is still coming out of Chernobyl. The same media is of course, very articulate when it comes to reporting about food!

So they’re not dangerous, then? Well, who knows. We're not experts and searching for information on-line, yields many articles suggesting strong scientific evidence against 5G but there's also a community that believes 5G is perfectly safe. Some may recall that we went through the same thing with 4G and 3G and that many years ago, links were proposed between certain tumours and excessive use of mobile phones held close to the side of the head or kept in a breast pocket.

Suspicion and conspiracy theories flourish when things seem somewhat cloak 'n' naggerish and perhaps the public wouldn't be so concerned if things were a little more out in the open with regards their erection. It does seem strange how these masts have popped up so quickly and during a period of national lock-down. Appreciating that these things are months and sometimes years in the planning, it might all just be coincidence but it does feel weird.

A word from Councillor Bhinder:

While I have a scientific background, there's no way I have the knowledge or experience to comment on the potential environmental impact of 5G. I am concerned however, at the speed and lack of information regarding the erection of the new masts.

Councillors receive weekly updates on all planning applications in the borough but annoyingly, things like these masts aren’t included so we’re as surprised as everyone else  to see them suddenly pop up like this. 

What is of concern and something I’ll be looking into, is that we’ve been led to believe that the various telecoms companies are supposed to be working together. Hence, one mast can serve several providers. If that’s the case, then why have we now got three masts in Aycliffe Drive, all within a stone’s throw of each other?

DON'T LET SELFISHNESS AND GREED
SPREAD FASTER THAN COVID-19
STOP panic buying!!!!

What on earth is happening?!?!?!? Have people gone nuts? What’s happened to common sense? Have we become a nation of idiots?

It’s 12th March 2020 and for the past couple of weeks, there have been a few instances of what is known as corona virus or COVID-19, in the UK.

Is British society really so fickle that at times like these, we act like lemmings? Selfish, greedy people buying up anything and everything with complete disregard for the elderly and vulnerable in our society.

What's happening is quite unprecedented but there's no need what so ever to panic, let alone panic buy. At a time like this, we all need topull together, think of others and not just ourselves. There are people out there, people in our community, who can't buy hundreds of toilet rolls or bottles of sanitiser, as if there's any need to do so! Stupid, selfish panic buying just increases pressure on the supply chain and makes life difficult for everyone.

Cold, windy and wet, 12th December 2019 saw no break in the grim weather we’ve been having over recent weeks, yesterday being one of a handful of exceptions. Despite the miserable weather however, residents came out in force, to cast their votes in one of the most important elections we’ve seen in decades.

Sir Mike Penning wins general election 2019 for Conservatives in Hemel Hempstead

Here are the 2019 general election results for the constituency of Hemel Hempstead:

PARTY
VOTES
PERCENTAGE
Conservative
28968
56.50
Labour
14405
28.10
Lib Dem
06317
12.32
Green
01581
03.08
TOTAL
51271

Percentage turnout: 69.53%

CONGRATULATIONS TO SIR MIKE PENNING

Comparing these results with the results of the general election of 2017, it's quite clear that while the Conservative vote did increase slightly, Labour lost many votes this time around to the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party with the former more than doubling their share. The overall turnout was about the same.

PARTY
VOTES
PERCENTAGE
Conservative
28735
54.96
Labour
19290
36.90
Lib Dem
03233
06.18
Green
01024
01.96
TOTAL
52282

Percentage turnout: 70.47%

Pathway in Wootton Drive finally sorted

One afternoon in November, Alex came home only to be confronted by a really upset neighbour. Joe Scibetta told Alex that another person had slipped and fallen on the path that connects Wootton Drive to the playing fields.

There are actually two paths from Wootton Drive that go down to the playing fields. The one in question here, is roughly in the middle of Wootton Drive and is only half tarmac covered, the rest is basically mud. The second path is nearer the top of Wootton Drive, past Putters Croft.

Anyway, Alex explained that the dodgy path had come up before but that he couldn't remember why it wasn't done.

To cut a long story short, the path comes under both Dacorum Borough Counciland Hertfordshire County Council jurisdictions. This makes things potentially quite complicated.

Anyway, Alex said that he'd look into the matter again and really try this time, to get it fixed. In the meantime, Joe decided to organise a petition asking Wootton Drive residents to come together and provide evidence that a solid path is what people wanted.

It took a couple of weeks but Alex was eventually reassured by DBC officers that the path would be made safe. By this time, Joe's petition had gained over two-hundred signatures!

Well today is 12th December 2019 and we're delighted to report that the section of the path that leaves the original tarmac has now been black shingled all the way to the field. We're hoping that this will provide considerably more sure-footing than the previous mud-slide.

Hedge row between Crawley Drive and Link Road

In September we reported that residents in Crawley Drive had approached local councillors asking if it was possible to leave the hedge row that separates Crawley Drive and Link Road, to grow. Apart from hiding the traffic, it was thought that the environment would allow wildlife to flourish.

Alex and Julie in particular thought that this was a great idea and that it would be relatively easy to get Dacorum Borough Council to leave the hedge row to do its own thing.

Unfortunately that wasn't the case. Alex and residents were shocked on 12th November when they saw a tractor driving up Link Road, cutting the hedge right back. Alex approached DBC for an explanation and to discuss a way forward.

On 9th December, Alex met council officers at the site. Some issues were highlighted such as traffic visibility of road signs and the fact that the hedge could not be allowed to grow into the road.

After some discussion, it was agreed that DBC would indeed allow the hedge to grow so as to at least obscure the traffic along Link Road. There would have to be some thinning so that the Green Safe and Clean team could access the hedge up to the actual fence, allowing maintenance from the Crawley Drive side of the hedge.

It was also agreed that the grass close to the hedge would be allowed to grow and that wild flowers would be encouraged to take.

Residents had also asked if it was possible to plant trees on the green. The land however, doesn't actually belong to DBC and comes under Hertfordshire County Council. This makes management and decision making a little more complicated. Dacorum Borough Council however, is committed to tree planting, something that again, Julie and Alex very much support.

"This is a great space and with resident support, it would be quite foolish not to take advantage of the opportunity here." Says Alex.

Julie is looking into Section 106 money; funds given to the community by developers. Residents themselves have even offered to help contribute financially.

"I'm sure we're going to get trees here. We just need to work out how we're actually going to do it. Maintenance and light need to be considered but at £350 each, I think it's quite doable." Continues Alex.

 

LA-1 Public Consultation 2019

Some households in Grovehill, specifically those that'll be directly affected by the proposed LA-1 development at the top of Marchmont Fields, will have or will shortly be receiving  a letter from Dacorum Borough Council requesting comments and opinions.

If you do have something to say, please don't be subjective. There's no point for example, expressing concern about the view from your house or the potential devaluation of your property.

Alex, Julie and Goverdhan are very concerned about access and the effect that any access will have on the flow of traffic on the Link Road, for example. If traffic is slowed down, will Grovehill become another pollution hot-spot in the town?

Between three hundred and fifty and four hundred homes will be a considerable addition to Grovehill. We want to see proper infrastructure and careful consideration given to utilities, education and health facilities as well as transport, car parking. Unfortunately the latter is no longer grounds to object, despite the fact that car parking is a major issue in towns and villages across the country.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION

It's absolutely vital that any comments be returned to
Dacorum Borough Council by 17th December 2019.