More than 40 residents neighbouring a nine-pitch football development in London Colney attended a meeting with site managers on Monday.

Labour councillor Dreda Gordon organised the meeting with residents, council officers, councillors and developers to try and address concerns about woodland being chopped down to make way for an overflow car park.

Work on the new leisure centre in Cotlandswick, which will provide a sports hall, gym and nine artificial football pitches begun last month. 

Neighbours have raised concerns about security, the destruction of wildlife, increased traffic and light and noise pollution.

David Holroyd’s home backs onto the development and he said he is concerned about chopping woodland that currently acts as a "shield" for the floodlights, which are on until 10pm.  

Speaking after the meeting he said: "The council were adamant that the overflow car park was going ahead, as was the rest of the development and gave very little concession at all to the angry residents, all of whom felt that their objections had been ignored at the planning stage, and that liberties were already being taken with the approved plans."

Mr Holroyd, a film-maker, added: "With their major green space given over to five a side football pitches open to everyone in the south of the city, what are local residents supposed to do to get fresh air? 

"Where will their children play? Where will they walk their dogs, or get that moment’s peace in the chaos of the increasing urbanisation of London Colney that is essential to reducing stress and promoting mental health." 

Labour councillor Dreda Gordon told the Review the meeting had been "informative". She said: "It was good to get people together and have a forum to discuss concerns.

"The developers appeared open to discussion and I hope some residents went away with some of their questions answered.

"The meeting has opened a dialogue for the council, developers and  residents and it is important that is maintained."

The new leisure centre will be the third to be built by St Albans District Council in the past three years following Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre and Batchwood Sports Centre.

The new complexes will include a 60-station gym, an exercise studio, a single court sports hall, and outdoor and indoor children’s play areas. More than 100 parking spaces will accompany the development along with 35 cycle spaces. 

Councillor Gordon voted against the application in August 2012 because she was concerned about access on the high street, security and noise concerns.

The council has agreed to allow residents to enter the site and see what amount of woodland is being proposed for removal on Thursday August 28 at 6pm.