Author Topic: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield  (Read 4531 times)

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Offline trekbat

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Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« on: January 10, 2017, 10:23:10 am »

Developments around the New Barnfield site may lead to another battle for residents.


HCC has succeeded in making the move of Southfield special needs school permanent - removing a major obstacle for using the site for some noxious purpose.


UH has built its own incinerator / CHP on Bishops Rise.


Now there are plans to build a crematorium at the Lawn Cemetery on Southway, and the Tesco site across from New Barnfield is likely to become vacant.


Funeral directors ‘strongly in favour’ of new Hatfield crematorium
"To view the application, visit the council’s website and search 6/2016/2623/MAJ"
http://www.whtimes.co.uk/news/funeral_directors_strongly_in_favour_of_new_hatfield_crematorium_1_4833127


Threat to 444 jobs as Tesco proposes Welham Green distribution centre closure
http://www.whtimes.co.uk/news/threat_to_444_jobs_as_tesco_proposes_welham_green_distribution_centre_closure_1_4842771

 
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Offline sasquartch

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 11:59:29 am »
The closure of the Tesco distribution centre has been talked about for years - when I worked for Tesco 3 years ago it was always known it would eventually close

Not sure I'd have a problem with a crematorium - whilst technically an incinerator surely you're not comparing it to a CHP / Waste incinerator ?

 

Offline James Bentall

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 03:54:52 pm »
The crematorium is a much larger development than what is currently on the site, and a lot further to the South of the site as well. Full details here:


http://planning.welhat.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=83308


James Bentall, Brookmans Park, Herts.
I post in a personal capacity and not on behalf of North Mymms Parish Council
 

Offline epiphany

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2017, 05:01:00 pm »
The narrow piece of Green Belt currently separating Welham Green and Hatfield is actually under serious threat from three specific areas.


1) As James has already pointed out the crematorium is a Major planning application and will extend significant built form much further south. Interesting that the North Mymms Parish Council have commented "No comment" on this application.


2) The adjoining site Hat11 is currently allocated in the Draft Local Plan for 120 dwellings. Interesting to note that this site is in the same ownership as the cemetery extension. Could this explain the sudden inclusion of Hat11 at a very late stage of the Local Plan? The proposed extension of the cemetery is WHBC's preferred choice of site but Hat11 was considered unsuitable by WHBC. At the eleventh hour, Conservative Councillors including Stephen Boulton who is also a North Mymms Parish Councillor, voted to include Hat11 in the Local Plan going against WHBC planning officers recommendation.


3) New Barnfield is owned by Hertfordshire County Council. It is an allocated waste site in the HCC Waste Local Plan. HCC have stated in the Draft Local Plan that they want New Barnfield removed from the Green Belt and list the following potential uses of the site:
 • Anaerobic digestion
• Household Waste Recycling Centre
• Waste Transfer Station (dry recyclables)
• Waste Transfer Station (non-dry recyclables)
• Material recovery facility (dry recyclables)
• Waste electrical and electronic equipment facility (WEEE)
• End of life vehicle facility
• Thermal treatment facility
• Mechanical/biological treatment facility


Interestingly, New Barnfield was put forward as a potential housing site by HCC Properties and subsequently North Mymms Parish Council put forward a proposal for housing development at New Barnfield which would provide the housing need for North Mymms and negate the need to build on virgin Green Belt sites- Although in the Green Belt, New Barnfield is actually a brownfield site.


Unfortunately, because New Barnfield is actually an allocated waste site in the Waste Local Plan the idea was not taken forward.


Personally, I think they are missing a trick here.....


New Barnfield is the only site actually owned by a local authority in the Local Plan and because of this there could be a fantastic opportunity to build GENUINELY affordable housing that was significantly lower in price than the token percentage of affordable housing contained within any new development, which in this area will not actually be 'affordable' at all.
 
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Offline trekbat

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2017, 11:04:37 am »
The closure of the Tesco distribution centre has been talked about for years - when I worked for Tesco 3 years ago it was always known it would eventually close

Not sure I'd have a problem with a crematorium - whilst technically an incinerator surely you're not comparing it to a CHP / Waste incinerator ?



Yes, while the Tesco Welham Green depot closure has been talked about / rumoured for years this is public confirmation of their plans (and probably still came as a blow to those who work there, even though they knew it was coming).


There is a world of difference between municipal solid waste (MSW) and the remains of someone's probably much loved family member.


As you said, it's technically an incinerator, and while I haven't looked at the plans in depth it is technically feasible to set it up as a CHP*


However, CHP or no CHP capability, I do have concerns about the idea:


Firstly, air pollution - from the crematorium and the increased traffic / congestion - in an area that would already have high levels of air pollution from the A1M, East Coast mainline and the ever-growing congestion in Hatfield itself.


Odours - Veolia assured us that with modern incinerators there would be no smells coming from their proposed New Barnfield site. However, I visited their Southampton facility and there were clearly detectable smells as I got out of the coach. I suspect most people would object to anything that reminded them of mortal remains being disposed off on the edge of a densely populated area.


Impact on the area - the New Barnfield hillside commands some lovely vistas - particularly of St Albans. However, many people would not want to live anywhere near a crematorium (and the plume would be visible especially in cold weather and changing light).


The proposals are typical of this administration - WGC gets Splashlands, Hatfield gets a crematorium.




---------------------


*while some may find that a grisly idea, others may actually like the idea of 'recycling' their remains - already there are those who opt for cardboard or cane coffins and woodland burials.


As the human population grows - organically and artificially - resources are likely to become scarcer, which will force more unpalatable choices on people. For example, some may be forced to choose cremation rather than burial on economic grounds (demand pushing up the costs of burial plots).


Sci-fi writers have touched on this previously - like Harry Harrison's 'Make Room! Make Room!' (adapted as the film 'Soylent Green' starring Charlton Heston).


However, hopefully, scientific advances mean we won't be forced into turning bodies into food.


Growing food with seawater and solar power
"World's first mass-scale facility that grows tomatoes without soil, fresh water, or fossil fuels launches in Australia."
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/10/growing-food-seawater-solar-power-161019174224231.html
 

Offline epiphany

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Offline Casual Observer

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2017, 01:51:17 pm »
Just one comment.  if Tesco intend moving their operations elsewhere there will be a lot less lorry traffic.  This rather kills off the comment that a crematorium would increase traffic congestion as a funeral cortege is smaller and less frequent than the present articulated lorries.  Regarding the odour, I have never noticed any when I have attended funeral, but then I don't live near a crematorium.
 

Offline trekbat

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2017, 10:56:44 am »

Not necessarily.


It rather depends on who or what moves into the Tesco site next.


The site is in a designated industrial area, already in use as a warehouse and distribution centre, borders the East Coast mainline, very close to the A1M, and a short distance from the M25 and London. So it has excellent potential as far as logistics is concerned. Plus, there is reportedly a buried spur line / rails, so if a prospective investor was also able to secure the adjoining Mitsubishi site as well it could be developed into a road-rail transfer station / land dock.


Already I have seen several corteges of 8-10 vehicles on Travellers Lane (but I can't rule out some of the vehicles being other drivers caught in what is in effect a rolling block). And all bets are off for those who are given the deluxe send off with a horse-drawn hearse.


Currently, the Lawn Cemetery only offers burial plots and a small cinerarium, so usage is limited. If they do add a crematorium then there is likely to be a dramatic increase - with variable attendances.
 

Offline chicken legs

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2017, 06:03:32 pm »
Would it be sensible to restore the road through to make the direct link with the roundabout at the junction of the Southern Link Road and Travellers Lane?
 

Offline trekbat

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2017, 11:07:59 am »

Sorry - not entirely sure I follow you.


Currently there are 5 connections with this roundabout.


Travellers Lane (north - towards Hatfield town centre)
Travellers Lane (south - vestigeal section, access road to Mitsubishi, Tesco, old Southfield School and New Barnfield)
A1001 South Way (west - towards A1M)
A1001 South Way (east - towards A1000 Great North Road)
Millwards


If I understand you correctly, you're suggesting reconnecting the old / vestigeal Travellers Lane so it runs through to Welham Green (as it use to in times of yore - it is an ancient road as I understand it).


As someone interested in history I rather like the notion (as would replacing the collapsed Great North Road bridge across the railway lines). However, I imagine many residents in Welham Green would not.


Also it seems unlikely that HCC will stump up the cash (but might be possible to get at least some Section 106 funding towards it).

 

Offline epiphany

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2017, 01:06:38 pm »

If I understand you correctly, you're suggesting reconnecting the old / vestigeal Travellers Lane so it runs through to Welham Green (as it use to in times of yore - it is an ancient road as I understand it).

As someone interested in history I rather like the notion (as would replacing the collapsed Great North Road bridge across the railway lines). However, I imagine many residents in Welham Green would not.



Travellers Lane is indeed an ancient road.


It was bisected by the building of the railway line in the mid 19th century and a crossing was created at Marshmoor allowing the continuation of Travellers Lane to Travellers Farm, Redhall, Roestock and Hatfield.


See 1883 OS Map http://maps.nls.uk/view/102343346
 

Offline epiphany

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2017, 01:11:45 pm »

Also it seems unlikely that HCC will stump up the cash (but might be possible to get at least some Section 106 funding towards it).


As usual it is all about the money!! A £160,000 scheme to connect the roads was shelved in 1973.


 
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Offline epiphany

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2017, 01:26:01 pm »

However, I imagine many residents in Welham Green would not.


Actually, I think many residents of Welham Green would approve, as it would negate the need to access Travellers Lane at the dangerous junction with Dixons Hill Rd and would presumably reduce the number of HGV's using Dixons Hill Road.

In 1984, Mowlems who owned what is now the Tesco site, advertised the land for sale and the North Mymms District Green Belt Society wrote to WHBC suggesting that it would be an ideal opportunity to create an extension of Travellers Lane connecting with the A1001.




 
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Offline epiphany

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2017, 01:34:42 pm »
The reply from WHBC:



 
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Offline epiphany

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2017, 01:55:34 pm »
In 1985, a meeting was held to discuss why planning consent had been granted to Tesco without the inclusion of the road proposal.


WHBC thought that opening up Travellers Lane to the A1001 would increase the traffic between Hatfield and the villages to the south, they appear not to have considered the option of closing the Dixons Hill Rd entrance.


Tesco did not want to finance any road changes.



 
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Offline epiphany

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2017, 01:56:53 pm »
Part 2:



 
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Offline trekbat

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2017, 02:33:55 pm »


Thanks for the interesting article and correspondence.

I believe the Coldstream Guards used Travellers Lane when retracing their famous historic march to London in 2010 (I caught a glimpse of some of them walking down Woods Avenue towards London and wondered what was going on - till I saw the papers).


Soldiers to march through Welwyn Hatfield today
http://www.whtimes.co.uk/news/soldiers_to_march_through_welwyn_hatfield_today_1_52630


However, I imagine many residents in Welham Green would not.


Actually, I think many residents of Welham Green would approve, as it would negate the need to access Travellers Lane at the dangerous junction with Dixons Hill Rd and would presumably reduce the number of HGV's using Dixons Hill Road.

In 1984, Mowlems who owned what is now the Tesco site, advertised the land for sale and the North Mymms District Green Belt Society wrote to WHBC suggesting that it would be an ideal opportunity to create an extension of Travellers Lane connecting with the A1001.
You may be right.


I think it would depend on how they reconnected Travellers Lane.

I was thinking on the lines of expanding the current footpath that comes out on Pooleys Lane. However, as HCC has compulsory purchase powers, it may be possible to run it through the Tesco site. Although I suspect that would not help the Dixons Hill Road and Holloways Lane junction safety (perhaps even make it worse / require traffic lights or a roundabout).
 

Offline trekbat

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2017, 02:54:15 pm »

Looking at the dates I am concerned that far from having a genuine consultation on their plans WHC are trying to sneak this in under the radar.


Planning Application Display: 6/2016/2623/MAJ
Received Date 12/12/2016
Advert Expiry 11/01/2017
Neighbour Expiry 12/01/2017
http://planning.welhat.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=83308


Firstly, they lodged their planning application less than a fortnight before Christmas (always a good time to try and sneak something through - the plans to redevelop the Old Rectory, which is older than Hatfield House, went through at a similar time).


It was only briefly mentioned in the Welwyn Hatfield Times in their 04/01/2017 (p11) edition - so it looks as if residents had less than a fortnight to respond.


Also, Hatfield Town Council is NOT listed as one of the consultees - even though access to the cemetery is only through Hatfield (and at least some of the corteges will start from Hatfield funeral homes).


Further there doesn't appear to have been any press releases on the subject this year or in December or November 2016.


http://www.welhat.gov.uk/councildemocracy/pressreleases


However, it's not too late to write to councillors to object on your behalf.
 

Offline Cathy

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2017, 05:16:14 pm »
Re The proposed crematorium
I notice that the Flood Risk Authority have objected, and the Rights of Way dept are concerned about drainage of the footpath near the site.
When I went to see the exhibition at Campus West, with the model of the proposed crematorium , I was assured that the water-logging on the site was not a problem. I assume the applicants must  sort out the Flood Risk objections before going further.

The crematorium proposal is for a new building on  the existing cemetery site.
The proposal to extend the cemetery is a different matter, which is not currently being consulted on. There are concerns about the possible extension of the cemetery, and even more so about  the last-minute proposal in the WHLocal Plan to possibly allow housing on the site next to the cemetery - which is owned by the owner of the land on which WHBC would like to extend the cemetery.

 

Offline trekbat

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2017, 11:47:28 am »
When I went to see the exhibition at Campus West, with the model of the proposed crematorium...



Model? Exhibition? Clearly I've missed something.


However, I'm not the only one - and WHC is not off the hook for using unethical tactics / failing to live up to its fiduciary duties.


Yesterday, after being advised of the situation, the Hatfield Town Clerk emailed the WHC Head of Planning to express concern that HTC had not been included in the consultation and whether they would be allowed to input even though the formal deadline had expired.


WHC's Head of Planning apologised for the oversight and said he'd be asking his team to extend the deadline by 21 days.


This was a major planning application by WHC so would have required a significant amount of work. Consequently, the failure to realise that Hatfield Town Council should have been consulted, even though the site is within North Mymms Parish area, suggests staggering incompetence by a unit that did, I'm told, sterling work in the anti-incinerator battle.


Given the timing of the application (when many people would be on leave, engaged with Christmas and New Year festivities, and playing catch up afterwards) I'd suggest a deliberate omission seems the more credible explanation.
 

Offline trekbat

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Re: Worrying developments in and around New Barnfield
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2017, 01:52:15 pm »

Planning consultation date has been extended (Neighbour Expiry 07/02/2017), and HTC added to the list of Consultees:
http://planning.welhat.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=83308&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
 

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