Brookmans Park Newsletter Community Discussion Forum

General Discussion Boards => Environment => Topic started by: Bob Horrocks on January 31, 2002, 06:04:48 pm

Title: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on January 31, 2002, 06:04:48 pm
 ???
The sale has been agreed for the 20 acre field on corner Bluebridge Rd / Hawkshead Rd, south of Brookmans Park.  Price paid is thought to be way above agricultural land value.  Does anyone know for certain what the intended use will be?  One rumour is quad-bike racing.  
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Aidan Winwood on January 31, 2002, 08:06:23 pm
 ???

I also have been a bit pensive about that land for sale, buy know nothing more about it.  Also, does anybody know what the land either side of Bradmore Lane on the way down to Waterend is being dug up for?

Yours,
Aidan
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on January 31, 2002, 08:15:36 pm
Yes Aidan,

BobcatUK wrote a piece about this for the North Mymms Green Belt Society Website  (http://website.lineone.net/~greenbelt/)

Here are the details...

Pipeline across the fields - The Green Belt Soc. has received several queries about the pipeline crossing Station Road, near Potterells Health Centre, and along Tollgate Road linking North Mymms with Colney Heath.

Check out the Three Valley's water authority site   (http://www.3valleys.co.uk)- media information page item 30 Nov 2001.

In summary it says Three Valleys Water is converting a 50-year-old drinking water main, which supplies some residents in Colney Heath, into a main to carry untreated water to a new treatment plant being built at North Mymms.

When completed, water will be treated by the latest ultrafiltration method from the North Mymms plant. Some new pipework is being on a three-kilometre route across some agricultural fields, over two minor rivers and under the A1(M).

Specialist techniques will be employed at the river crossings to minimise disturbance to their banks. Some work will also take place on Colney Heath Common.

The Common will remain open to the public during this work. The pipes will be installed by March 2002. The land will be returned to its original condition.

...the above was taken from the North Mymms Green Belt Society Website  (http://website.lineone.net/~greenbelt/)
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Alfred the Great on January 31, 2002, 10:54:56 pm
 ::)Regarding quad bike racing on the 20 acre field, I believe it was bought by the Vet College (at least, they were attempting to buy it), so I don't think they would do this sort of thing. In any case, quad bike racing would need planning consent which would probably not be granted as it is so close to residential properties and is a departure from green belt usage.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on February 02, 2002, 07:31:46 pm
Unfortunately the Vet College did not buy this field, according to my contact at the RVC.  The price was far in excess of the agricultural land value.  I am checking out the planning consent situation, just in case quad bike racing might be allowed, using the same law that allows car boot sales for a limited number of days.
Bobcatuk :(
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: eric on February 06, 2002, 10:48:21 am
One thing we can be sure of ?   That its rural character will start to deteriorate over time ...  and  then "Wouldn't it look tidier if developed with one or two houses on big plots ..."
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: jet on February 06, 2002, 06:21:11 pm
The way things are going it would be lots of large houses on small plots!
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: eric on February 07, 2002, 03:14:27 pm
Ah but look what happened up by Queenswood.   There's a planning policy loophole that allows big "special" houses to sneak through planning restraints, and this's happening in a number of places around the home counties
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mooniemad on April 26, 2002, 05:58:28 pm
 If so there will be away of keeping us kids off the streets.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mooniemad on April 27, 2002, 07:12:32 pm
 I doubt there will be quad biking taking place at this site, as it would upset locals with the noise and disturb the farm animals who would be scared of the noise. It would also mean the site would need a car park and a safe entrance which would be hard to do on the corner.  :-\
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on April 27, 2002, 08:59:04 pm
Thanks for the latest comments.  The big houses by Queenswood presumably refers to Lylsey Place on Shepherds Way.  This was the redevelopment of redundant farm buildings at Home Farm, in the same manners as Potterells, behind Potterells Health Centre on Station Road, and now 8 houses recently approved at Home Farm, North Mymms Park.  

Re Mooniemad's comments - Agreed! But the buyer of the field is reputed to have paid five times the value of agricultural land.  Not just to graze sheep, surely?  If anyone sees surveyors etc on the field, or anyone marking out anything, would they please let me know.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: John_fraser on April 27, 2002, 10:56:50 pm
I am no lawyer – thank God – but as I understand things, you need permission to change the use of land in this area. If it was sold for 5 times the going rate then the buyer must know that they will get permission. The seller must also have known it, or the buyer would only have offered a little more than the going rate. Given that the Green Belt society is watching out for requests to change use of land and I presume haven’t heard anything, this is information which is not in the public domain. As I say, I am not a lawyer, but it sounds like something very fishy is going on.

All of this depends on the rumour of the buyer paying vastly more than market price. How reliable is this rumour?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on April 29, 2002, 03:03:24 pm
The very high price is not a rumour!  Others have told me that they did bid above the agricultural value but someone bid higher.  My understanding is that it is legally possible to use land for some other temporary purpose for up to 28 days a year - this is used to allow car boot sales etc.  I cannot quote the Act of Parliament.  Do any lawyer readers know the answer?
I opened this topic so that residents are aware of the possiblility, can keep watch on the field, and let me know if anything appears to be about to happen.  Prevention is better that remedial action which can take forever.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: john on April 29, 2002, 04:30:04 pm
Dear Bob
The "28 days" comes from long back as part of permitted development "rights", case law, etc.   It is now being revisited under the Planning Green Paper, but whether this means actual change one will have to wait and see.    With the profits to be made from green belt land and "non-conformity, limited enforcement capabilities, etc ... anything can happen.
If only RVC could've had its offer accepted for straightforward "farm grazing" !
Regards  -  John
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Govvy on July 10, 2002, 09:14:33 pm
Its harder to change from green belt to anything else.

So if the land isn't green belt.

If there is any loop holes, that agricultural can be changed to residential. It would be intresting to find out. I do fear what might happen, just from listening to everyone here. It does sound worring.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: jet on July 10, 2002, 11:11:46 pm
It is okay for agricultural to be converted to light industrial, I should imagine the failed business could then make the site "brownfield" and allow residential at a later date. Thin end of wedge and all that.
regards,
jet
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on July 12, 2002, 02:28:27 pm
Once Green Belts have been defined, the use of land in them has a positive role to play in fulfilling the following objectives:
- to provide opportunities for access to the open countryside for the urban population;
- to provide opportunities for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation near urban areas;
-to retain attractive landscapes, and enhance landscape near to where people live;
- to improve damaged and derelict land around towns;
- to secure nature conservation interest; and
- to retain land in agriculture, forestry and related uses.

The above is official government policy.  You can see that it does NOT include light industry. The field is in the Green Belt, but there is a planning quirk which allows it to be used for car boot sales etc on up to 28 days a year.  The chances of it ever becoming housing land are remote but that is why the North Mymms District Green Belt Society remains vigilant in case anyone tries it on!  That is also why I posted this item in case anyone had heard anything definite about the new owner's proposals.  If you know anything and do not wish to say so on this open forum, please e-mail me on greenbelt.nm@tesco.net.
Bob Horrocks, secretary NM Green Belt Soc.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: jet on July 12, 2002, 02:46:30 pm
Just to explain further.
Following BSE etc some farms found it impossible to recover.
In some instances controls have been relaxed to allow conversion of farm buildings etc to light industrial, this entails leaving the base and shell as much as possible and refurbishing the remainder.
After it looks just like an industrial estate.
I should know as I have just been involved in one.
Its the thin end of wedge, the next step is for the industry to fail and then you have a redundant brown field site, just right for the governments plans.
It is not unheard of for big business to buy land , put up a building without permission, trade for two years while their lawyers tie the council up in knots an dthen issue the ultimatum of:- we walk away and take the jobs or you give us permission. It does not matter to the company they have recovered their costs and made profit in that time.
hope this helps,
regards,
jet
P.S.  assuming the farm is in the green belt of course, but there are not many farms in built up areas?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on July 12, 2002, 08:54:56 pm
Thanks JET for your additional information.  Agreed that farms are unlikely to be in built-up areas, but not all farms are in the green belt.  Farms and redundant industrial sites in the green belts are subject to restrictions not applicable elsewhere. Was the one you were involved with in a green belt?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: jet on July 12, 2002, 11:07:35 pm
Rural Berkshire, livestock and arable country. A genuine farm.
I could not swear that it was green belt but I did say agricultural originally not green belt, so confess to being slightly off thread. Still changes moos into banging hammers.
This type of development was mentioned in Country File last year.
Comes under some kind of emergency powers if I recall and sets a lovelly precedent. Lovelly jubbly for the farmer as Del boy would say ;)
regards,
jet
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: john on August 30, 2002, 01:32:24 pm
Just to let people know  -  on the general subject of "land"  -  that I/ RVC have now persuaded "Railtrack" to hand-over a small area of redundant operational land that has been causing us problems for years.   You will therefore notice that the entrance gate on the north-west side of Hawkshead Lane railway bridge is being "doubled-up" so as to cut-down on the amount of fly-tipping and worse that has been going on along the "line path".  In due course, further fencing upgrades will take place, as well as some re-ditching, reduction of undergrowth, some re-stocking, etc

regards  -  john f
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: John_fraser on August 30, 2003, 12:19:16 am
Quote
???
The sale has been agreed for the 20 acre field on corner Bluebridge Rd / Hawkshead Rd, south of Brookmans Park.  Price paid is thought to be way above agricultural land value.  Does anyone know for certain what the intended use will be?  One rumour is quad-bike racing.  

As there seems to have been no change in 18 months, do I take it we don't have anything to worry about this time?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on August 30, 2003, 05:36:13 pm
It remains one to keep an eye on.  In the current review of Welwyn hatfield District Plan there are 4 local areas of green Belt land which the owners wish to take out of the Green Belt and, presumably use for housing.  This is not one of them.  So it remains a mystery.  Why would someone pay well over the odds for this field?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Alfred the Great on September 02, 2003, 12:45:17 am
Bob, could you remind us of where these four areas to be taken out of the green belt are, please. I presume one is in Welham Green.

ATG
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on September 02, 2003, 12:49:37 am
Hi Alfred,
The bullet points in this story http://www.brookmans.com/news/july03/greenbelt8.shtml list three of the areas Bob is referring to.
David
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on September 02, 2003, 03:31:23 pm
Hi Alfred.  The 4 sites which the owners would like taken out of the Green Belt (but I strongly expect they will be disappointed, at least this time) at 52 acres at Marshmoor (between the railway line and A1000 north of Dixons Hill Rd), 10 acres at Skimpans Farm meadows (south of Bulls Lane between the railway and Station Road) and 2.2 acres at the very end of Welham Manor cul-de-sac.  the 4th site is on Hawkshead Road, Little Heath, being the front parts of 4 properties including Taum Farm to Osborne Farm.  
The actions of the Green Belt Soc will be in the next Chancellor's News.  Welwyn hatfield Council do not want to take any land out of the GB for housing and appreciate our actions.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on December 30, 2003, 12:17:51 am
Plans to build a ‘modern country house’, with a floor area of about 1,100 square metres, on local green belt land have been submitted to Welwyn Hatfield District Council's Planning Department.

The North Mymms District Green Belt Society (NMDGBS) is to consider whether or not to object to the building going ahead on the site, known locally as the 20-acre field.

Bob Horrocks, the Honorary Secretary of the NMDGBS, has written a report about the proposed development for this site.

Click here to read Bob's report (http://www.brookmans.com/news/december03/countryhouse.shtml)
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mooniemad on December 30, 2003, 12:02:56 pm
I think everyone should object to this. This is completely out of order if it is to be given permission to build such a house. How can the our local Chancellors school be refused planning permission on Green Belt Land to help improve their facilities and a house be built in a field.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: toothfairy on December 30, 2003, 01:04:19 pm
If the house is energy efficient, not unsightly, privately owned and restrictions on masts, aerials, chimneys etc, whats the problem? - How many people walk in this area?  If the building is not in the way, and cannot be seen from a public right of way, then i dont see where the damage is going to be.

Admittedly, yes, we are going to los 1100 square metres of grass and greenery, but if the house is going to be energy efficient, with its own water recycling plant, reinforced foam walls etc etc, then doesnt one counteract the other?

Perhaps it was below the belt (!!) for the school to be refused permission to develop their facilities, but thats what the appeal procedure is for.  If the house gets the go ahead, then there is good grounds for appeal. ;)

TF.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on December 30, 2003, 01:41:49 pm
The whole point of the Green Belt is to prevent the loss of the open countryside that we all enjoy, and part of the pleasure of living here.  Green Belt policies work!  But only if local people fight to uphold them.

This summer the Green Belt Soc worked hard to make everyone aware of proposals to put housing on three sites adjacent to Welham Green.  On one of these sites at Marshmoor, a 50 acre site (two and a half times the size of Friday Grove) the owners want to build over 500 houses.  Over 900 people objected and we will know in Spring 2004 if  their effort was successful.  

In the meantime, Friday Grove is our immediate issue.  The simple fact is that this house does not comply with GreenBelt policies.  But your comments on this website will be unknown by Welwyn Hatfield Council.  It is very important to given your comments to that Council.  You can see the plans during normal business hours at the Council offices, located between Waitrose and Campus West at WGC.  

The council must receive your comments by 16 January 2004. Address them to the Chief Planning Officer, Welwyn Hatfield Council, Council Offices, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL8 6AE, quoting their reference S6/2003/1701/FP (Mrs Reynolds).
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: jet on December 30, 2003, 05:04:09 pm
We knew this was likely to happen and its the thin edge of the wedge which will start joining BP to PB.
We must act to prevent this flagrant abuse of the regulations which were made to protect the green belt.
However objecting is not enough, it is neccasary to quote the law substanciating the objection and if someone could confirm this my objection will be on its way soon after.
Do we want this area turned into Stevenage?
regards,
jet
If there are ponds on the site, do these not constitute SSIs, if there are newts these have protection in law to conserve their habitat.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on December 30, 2003, 07:25:43 pm
Agreed.  The technical points are in my report on this site, see main page for link, and on www.greenbeltsociety.org.uk. Get writing to Welwyn Hatfield now before it is too late!!!!!  Don't leave it to the New Year.

The main point is that the proposals are 'inappropriate' in the Green Belt, as defined in para 3.4 of PPG2.  The 'very special circumstances' given in the application do not add up to a hill of beans (non-technical but plain English).  References to better land management, rare breed cattle or sheep, and a new public footpath are all red herrings.  The cattle/sheep will not make a profit and do not need 24/7 on-site management.  Who would use the footpath rather than the existing one from near Folly Arch across the fields?  PPG7 (countryside) does not override PPG2 (Green Belt) so all references to PPG7 are irrelevant.

Whew, that feels better!
Happy New Year to one and all
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on December 30, 2003, 07:28:42 pm
I forgot about the ponds.  They dried up this summer, are very silted up and are not SSIs.  The proposals would vastly improve the ponds but this is another red herring.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on December 31, 2003, 07:43:36 pm
By co-incidence the property section of the Daily Telegraph issued Sat 27 Dec dealt with a query similar to Friday Grove.  Someone wanted to build a log cabin in open countryside as a holiday home but found that local authorities were unwilling to permit anything other that a dwelling for agricultural workers.  

The expert’s reply was that many people would like to live in open countryside and, if they were allowed to do so, there would be little open countryside left. That is one reason why Planning Acts were passed 60 years ago.  The expert did not know of authorities that permit new houses in open country, except for housing workers employed in the countryside.  

The expert did not mention it but planning policies are even more against new houses in land designed as Green Belt.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: John_fraser on December 31, 2003, 08:24:22 pm
I do wonder if this is a Trojan Horse. For this house to gain permission there would have to be a change in the use of the land from agricultural. A single house will cause less objections than several, but would it be possible between gaining permission and commencing the build, to apply to build a number of houses instead of just one? Would this be easier once the land is no longer classed as agricultural?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on December 31, 2003, 08:24:32 pm
Bob,

The article you refer to is also online in the Telegraph's Property section.

Click here to read the article (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fproperty%2F2003%2F12%2F27%2Fpbild27.xml#pl)

I have copied the key paragraphs in the piece (below) .

Quote

John Winter writes:A great number of English people would like to live in open countryside, and, if they were allowed to do so, there would be little open country left. To stop such development and to protect the countryside was one of the reasons for the passing of the Planning Act(s) 60 years ago. You will find that the more lovely the landscape, the more restrictive planning control is likely to be. It is true that, in some areas, measures have been adopted to encourage agricultural diversification. This usually takes the form of allowing redundant agricultural buildings to be converted for new uses. I do not know of authorities that permit new houses in open country, except for housing workers employed in the countryside.

There is a controversial government policy guidance, known as PPG7, introduced by John Gummer in the previous government and now likely to be withdrawn by the present administration. This document envisages the construction of new "stately homes" in open countryside, requiring them to be of "high architectural quality". This might give you a foot in the door, but I do not think that a modest Norwegian style log cabin is likely to come within the remit of this document.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: jet on December 31, 2003, 09:56:26 pm
This rich persons folly, disguised as a smallholding must be resisted at all costs.
However quoting guidelines etc will not work, we need laws and precedents to quote or else the council will be powerless to prevent approval going through.
In this current climate virtually anything is passed due to the governments wish to promote house building at any cost.
The environment comes last where expansion is concerned.
regards,
jet
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Largey on December 31, 2003, 11:10:35 pm
Don't we all just get fed up with property developers trying to squeeze into green belt land. Its obvious that there must be heavy finance behind this which has been clearly demonstrated already by funds spent on planning / design etc..,
One day developers will get the hint that trying to develop on such land is pointless, but ONLY if they are strongly and promptly refused any consideration in the first place.
NMGB Keep up the fight... Everyone is behind you (I hope !!).....

Regards,


Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on January 02, 2004, 04:32:49 pm
It is not true that the government wants housing AT ANY COST.  One house on 21 acres?

Very recently an appeal was dismissed to build three houses on three quarters of an acre at the end of Welham Manor, off Dixons Hill Rd, Welham Green. This land is in the Green Belt, but the Planning Inspector dismissed the appeal mainly because the density was too low!  Not because it was Green Belt land.  The inference was that an application at a higher density would have been approved.  

The NM Green Belt Soc has raised with John Prescott through the London Green Belt Council because of the national implications.  We will let you know the outcome.

On www.greenbeltsociety.org.uk in the 'Appeals' section on housing you can read many cases of housing appeals being dismissed because the land was in the Green Belt.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on January 07, 2004, 12:34:04 am
The WHT has been looking at this story this week and it's likely the newpaper will have more coverage in its Wednesday 7 January issue.

If you can't get out to buy it you can always read the main news stories on the WHT online around lunchtime of the day of publication.

Click here for the WHT online (http://www.whtimes.co.uk/default.asp), and then click on the news button on the left and scroll down.

Always look at the date at the W/C date at the top of the page to check whether the site has been updated or not.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on January 07, 2004, 02:09:31 pm
The WHT has the 20-acre story live on its site now. Click here. (http://www.whtimes.co.uk/archived/2004/wk02_2004/news/asp/residents.asp)
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on January 07, 2004, 05:44:50 pm
The WH Times article has prompted a phone call from the applicant's agent.  The power of the press!
She stated that the prime objective of this planning application is to build a house, and not farming.  She also conceded that the proposed rare breed farming did not require 24/7 on-site management.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on January 12, 2004, 03:11:16 pm
A number of local residents have had replies to letters they sent to WHDC, objecting to plans to develop the 20-acre field.

The letters read...

Quote

S6/2003/1701/FP (Please quote this reference on all correspondence)

RE: ERECTION OF A NEW COUNTRY HOUSE at LAND AT FRIDAY GROVE, NORTH OF HAWKSHEAD ROAD, BROOKMANS PARK, HATFIELD

"Thank you for your recent letter in respect of the above. I write to confirm that points raised will be taken into consideration in the determination of this application. I regret to advise you that due to the volume of correspondence received in relation to planning and other applications it will not be possible to enter into individual correspondence with you. However, I will write again to advise you of the Council's decision in due course."

Yours faithfully,

C J Conway
Chief Planning and
Environmental Health Officer



NMDGBS meets tonight to consider its response to the application. Details of the outcome of that meeting will be posted on this site soon after. For the most recent news click here (http://www.brookmans.com/news/january04/countryhouse2.shtml).

All objections have to be in by Friday 16 January.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on January 13, 2004, 12:16:59 am
At their meeting tonight, the North Mymms District Green Belt Society decided to oppose the proposal to build a country house on the 20-acre field, which is part of the local green belt.

The NMDGBS said that there is nothing in either the current District Plan, or District Plan Review, which would justify approval.

Click here for more details (http://www.brookmans.com/news/january04/countryhouse3.shtml)
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Celia on January 22, 2004, 03:29:57 pm
I have read through the discussion thread regarding this topic & wish you all the luck there is with this objection. Having been through a recent objection case regarding the cherry pickers in Warrengate Road I know how frustrating a 'blot' on the landscape can be. As you may have read from Bob Horrocks reply - we lost. After starting off with a petition in March 2001 as the land was being used in breach of what it was originally there for, we carried on after the enforcement notice was issued to stop using the site as that type of business. However surprise surprise, the owner appealed against the decision & won. The decision finally coming to a conclusion as per Bob's email. Consequences - not a desirable area to live as it once was & house prices deteriorating by the day. If only the person buying the 20 Acre field had bought where the cherry pickers are -
the outlook would have been far nicer for the residents!! - Good luck......
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on January 22, 2004, 04:55:18 pm
The views from the 20-acre field towards Brookmans Park are interesting. According to the NMDGBS, the proposal states that the openness of the green belt will be preserved, because the house will be visible from very few, if any, public places, due to the topography and the design, which sculptures the house into the landscape.

However, this angle shows the view towards Bluebridge Road.

(http://www.brookmans.com/images/forum/bbr.jpg)

This angle shows the view toward The Grove.

(http://www.brookmans.com/images/forum/tg.jpg)

And this shows the view over towards Moffats Lane.

(http://www.brookmans.com/images/forum/ml.jpg)
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on January 22, 2004, 07:59:48 pm
Dave
If you have not already done so, could you send these pictures to Welwyn Hatfield Council quoting their reference number.  It should help counter what has been said by the applicant.  Mind you, the planning officers will visit, or have visited, the site.  So they will form their own opinion as to the visibility of the proposed house.

Regarding the cherrypickers.  On the positive side, they are no longer sticking up in the air and they can only be moved on site and worked on during certain hours.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: tookolosh on February 02, 2004, 05:37:31 pm
I see that the NMGBS have objected  (on behalf of their 1000 members) to two well thought out planning applications, that could result in the district being home to a night club and an intensive pig farm.  

The owners of the San Felice restaurant have applied for planning permission to convert the building to 8 flats, and despite rumours that if refused it may become a nightclub, the NMDGBS have sent their strong objections.

The owner of the 20 acre field has applied for planning permission for a low built eco-friendly house, designed by a nationally recognised architect that complies with national planning guidance for courntry houses.  If refused, Brookmans Park may end up with couple of hundred pigs on the doorstep, and pig farms stink!!  Yet still the NMDGBS have objected.  

For the new residents of Brookmans Park, Friday Grove (20 Acre Field) which had a farmhouse on it back to the 15th century, is next to Raybrook  Farm which until quite recently was a pig farm!

Unless the NMDGBS and their 1000 members want the desirability of Brookmans Park to go downhill as fast as the value of their houses they should request that the NMDGBS withdraw their objections and support both the above applications before it is too late!
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: John_fraser on February 02, 2004, 06:39:08 pm
“Rumour” is a very interesting word. Do you have any evidence to back up this rumour? Also what grounds do you have for the “pig farm” remark?

Your mail is quite forceful and you clearly feel strongly about these matters, but I would like to check if you have any interest in these developments, other then as a concerned resident?

(I am not a member of NMDGBS, but I did object)
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on February 02, 2004, 07:03:50 pm
I suggest Tookolosh and everyone else checks the truth on www.greenbeltsociety.org.uk - draft minutes of its meeting on 12 January 2004. :o

The NM Green Belt Society did NOT object to San Felice being converted into 8 flats.  It said to Welwyn Hatfield Council that the application lacked information on car parking and landscaping, and we did not wish to see garages built. We also asked that this application for flats should not be compared with any other application for flats in the area.

The GBS did check the 'Friday Grove' (20 acre field) planning application VERY carefully, and objected most strongly, as did various local residents.  The national planning guidance which includes 'Country Houses' is in PPG7 - Countryside environment.  These policies do NOT overrule PPG2 (Green Belt).  PPG7 says so very clearly in paragraph 4.11.  A new house on Green Belt land is inappropriate development particularly where no building exists.  The very special circumstances put forward by the applicant do not, in our opinion, justify overturning Green Belt policies.

A farmhouse is shown on plans between 1760s and 1860s, and has not existed for 140+ years.  I have carefully studied the many reports and copies of ancient maps supporting this planning application which included this information.  Tookolosh is wrong by three centuries.  To try and justify a new house where none has existed for 140+ years is stretching a point, surely?

The 20-acre fields have not been used for pig farming in the 21 years I have lived in this area.  They are used  for sheep farming, and have been for many years. The fields do not belong to Raybrook Farm as far as I know.  Raybrook is used for horses, and I cannot recall ever seeing pigs there.  Does anyone else?  My memory is not perfect so I may have forgotten.  

If permission for the house is not given, is the applicant threatening to get rid of the sheep and put 200+ pigs on the fields?  Where did you get this idea from, dear Tookolosh or should that be 'Loadoftosh'? I am usually very polite but you ask for it.  Come clean, and stop trying to scare residents with your nonsense.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: jet on February 02, 2004, 07:56:01 pm
Thanks as usual to bobcatuk for countering tosh with fact.
It would be preferable to have pigs on the site rather than the half baked planaterium house design mooted.
Pigs only cause a problem if they are unnaturally constrained. They are preferable as neighbours than most humans.
Any livestock proposals would be subject to regulations and any smell would be countered by an EH order.
I think we can put the pig red herring to bed.
Most houses in this area have codicils in their deeds which prevent livestock etc  being kept, these were added by the farmers who originally sold the land to prevent competition.
If flats or nightclubs are built, again these wil be subject to regulations. These will preclude any viable propositions.
Car parking is of prime concern to planners, again if it caused nuisance ( like noise) notices would be served.
Facts are we do not need or want these unwellcome constructions in our village settings.
Too many eyesore extensions have been built as it is.
regards,
jet
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mary_Morgan on February 02, 2004, 08:03:16 pm
Just for the record, I can remember there being a pig farm at Raybrook in the 1950s/60s and maybe later - don't remember when it ceased.   Never thought it smelt bad (I lived towards that end of Bluebridge Rd) - just a natural smell of a farm in farmland.  

As to the rest of the thread, I am not sure I really have an opinion about the "country house".   Logically, if it was not there when the green belt law came into being I cannot see that the existence of a house pre-dating the law has any relevance for the applicant's argument for permission to be allowed.

As to San Felice.  Shame to see a good, but under-utilised, restaurant closing.  Flats or a nightclub - I can see nothing wrong with either, as long as the vision for traffic exiting is improved.  

Mary
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mermaid on February 02, 2004, 08:45:41 pm
Gosh, it does sound like someone may be trying to threaten us. I'd like to say to 'Talkaloadoftosh' that not all of us live here because the house prices are high, some of us live here because we like the area - and that includes our lovely bit of Green Belt. House prices may go up and house prices may go down, but this is our home - chosen because of the setting. The children and I enjoy seeing the animals on that piece of land and we don't feel that anyone should build a house there. We also happen to like pigs, and wouldn't mind them at all!
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on February 05, 2004, 09:19:28 am
Quote
In the meantime, Friday Grove is our immediate issue.  The simple fact is that this house does not comply with GreenBelt policies.  But your comments on this website will be unknown by Welwyn Hatfield Council.  It is very important to given your comments to that Council.  You can see the plans during normal business hours at the Council offices, located between Waitrose and Campus West at WGC.  

The council must receive your comments by 16 January 2004. Address them to the Chief Planning Officer, Welwyn Hatfield Council, Council Offices, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL8 6AE, quoting their reference S6/2003/1701/FP (Mrs Reynolds).


Hi Bob,

Can you update us on what happens next regarding the 20-acre field? What is the timetable for consideration of the proposal? Do you know any more about the suggestions made earlier in this thread of an alternative use for the site should the application fail?

David
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on February 06, 2004, 02:50:46 pm
This application is being considered by the planning officers.  They will still accept comments from anyone, right up to when a decision is taken.  There is no formal deadline for their decision, which could be to approve or reject it or refer it to the WH Planning Control Board.   The normal expectation is a decsion within 8 weeks of submitting the application but some take longer.

Just out of interest, the CPRE - Herts Soc (Campaign to Protect Rural England) have also objected to this proposal.

Pigs?  Great idea.  My son has a couple on his land and they do not smell, but they squeal a lot when you go to see them.  Same breed as the two that escaped a few years ago and got national headlines - 'the Tamworth Two'.  Don't know how profitable pigs are.  Bowmans Farm, now Willows, had lots but got rid of them a few years ago.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Carolyn on June 15, 2004, 08:58:30 pm
Any update on the application for this site?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mallow on June 16, 2004, 03:34:39 pm
I don't know anything about the application for the 20 acre field but the same person who bought it has, apparently, just bought the house called Catalina Field in Hawkshead Lane.  He told the vendor that he wanted it for his family house.  The proposal for the 20 acre field states that the owner would have to line there because of the rare breads.  So... is he going to live at Catalina Field or at the house which may be built at Friday Grove?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on June 16, 2004, 03:38:43 pm
Still no decision by Welwyn Hatfield Council.

Someone else proposed a Country House in the Essex Green Belt and was refused, and his appeal dismissed.  There appear to be many similarities to the proposals for Friday Grove, and I have drawn them to the attention of Welwyn Hatfield Council.

I will update the Forum when I hear anything.

Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Alfred the Great on June 17, 2004, 01:31:16 am
At last I have the opportunity to ask why that house at Hawkshead is called Catalina Fields - must be a good reason to go to all that trouble to have a good image of the plane moulded on the sign.

I was aware that a Lancaster bomber came down nearby during the war, but don't know of any connection with Catalinas.

ATG
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mallow on June 17, 2004, 07:24:24 pm
The original owner who had the house built in 1947 for his family house was a Catalina Fying Boat pilot.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: eric on June 17, 2004, 08:15:30 pm
What's this rumour going round about car boot sales etc about to be run on land off Swaney Bar Lane ?     Anyone else heard it ?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: strata on June 18, 2004, 12:01:11 am
Yes, apparently every Sunday. I've heard there is a petition going around against it.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on June 18, 2004, 12:13:09 am
Apparently Car boot sales can be held on up to 28 days a year due to what is called permitted development rights, even though it is Green belt land.

It is being brought to the attention of the planning dept at WH Council and also the police in case of traffic problems etc.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on July 22, 2004, 08:46:33 pm
On Thursday 29 July Welwyn Hatfield Council planning committee will be considering the planning application for a Country House on this site, called Friday Grove by the owner.

The meeting starts at 7.30pm in the committee room at Campus West WGC.  Members of the public can attend, and can leave at any time.  They do not have to stay to the end.  

The Council planning officers are recommending that the application is refused, but I have not seen the report yet so I do not know on what grounds they have made this recommendation to refuse.  

I intend to speak when this item comes up, in my capacity as chairman of North Mymms Parish Council and as secretary of the NM Green Belt Soc.  I want to re-inforce why local people object to this proposal.

I would be very pleased to see anyone who wishes to add their support.  If you will make yourself known to me before the meeting starts I will mention how many have come to hear the decision.  You will recognise me by the chain of office round my neck!

There is a slight chance that the Committee may wish to visit the site and decide at the following meeting, but I think it unlikely.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on July 22, 2004, 11:57:30 pm
Bob,

Can we rely on you to post the outcome in this forum when you get home from the meeting next Thursday night please? You will be the best person to explain the result of the application.

Thanks

David
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on July 23, 2004, 01:02:44 pm
No problem

No point in taking everyone this far without announcing the result!  I will try to post it that evening, or next Friday at the latest.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on July 29, 2004, 08:07:23 pm
Decision due tonight. Bob Horrocks is attending. He will post the result, hopefully by 9pm.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on July 29, 2004, 11:30:24 pm
Bob Horrocks has just messaged this site to say that the plans for building a country house on the 20-acre field have been rejected by Welwyn Hatfield District Council's planning committee.  The meeting has just ended. Click here for more. (http://www.brookmans.com/news/july04/countryhouse4.shtml)
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on July 30, 2004, 05:47:12 pm
The cheeky beggars.  The applicant's agent spoke at the meeting and inferred that the Green belt Soc was in favour of this Country House.  She quoted me as saying the house was 'interesting'.  I did say that but the full quotation should have been that it was 'interesting but in the Green belt so the Society objected to it'.   :o

I spoke next and corrected this mis-impression.  It makes you wonder how many others of the 15 who supported this application were aware of the full facts, including Green belt location?  She even said that if the Vet College bought the land it would rip out the historic hedges!  

No doubt they will go to appeal, having spent a fortune so far on this project.  I will let you know if they do.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: john on August 02, 2004, 05:06:55 pm
Needless to say I've asked Bob H if he could very kindly give me chapter and verse on the ridiculous claim at the planning committee that if we were to take over this land (having originally been outbid by the aspirant developer ...) we'd rip out the hedges.  
Such assumptions/assertions/etc can't be allowed to go unchallenged

regards

john f (rvc)
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on August 04, 2004, 07:25:46 pm
Planning Policy Statement 7: Sustainable Development in Rural Areas
Issued on 3 August 2004, it replaces PPG7 – Countryside.  It is a lot more friendly towards cutting-edge Country Houses like this one, but it still refers to isolated sites.  

Would you say that Friday Grove is isolated?  Just to remind you, it is the fields to the east of the triangualr junction of Bluebridge Road, Hawkshead Road and Hawkshead Lane.  Within 10 minutes walk of the intended entrance you could be at Brookmans Park shops and railway station and Potters Bar in another direction. and the Vet College in the third direction.  The house would be plainly visible from Brookmans Park.

The land is also immediately next to Raybrook Farm, Bluebridge Road. and opposite the three Reeves Cottages, Hawkshead Lane.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: eric on August 05, 2004, 11:47:42 am
I'm wondering, Bob, if your description of apparently congested surroundings to this proposed building site might encourage the applicant to claim that the area isn't that rural, and one more building would be neither here nor there       ?

Shouldn't it be a case of

first, the long agreed local plan is to conserve an area of sheep-grazed open countryside that's part of the important green wedge between BP and BP, and against increasing urbanisation of character hereabouts ?

second, what is the real need for such a house ?  (rather than just  'I've grabbed this bit of land and I'd like to make myself a nice gain by sticking buildings on it
and why it has to be here, rather than say re-using and tidying up some land at Water End, Welham Green, Hatfield or Stevenage ?

On these grounds, this proposal should fail      and not get on to the lesser tests of whether the design is sufficiently in line with the latest trendy architectural fashions
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on August 05, 2004, 01:57:56 pm
Planning guidance and laws are what applications have to be judged against.  The applicant or his agent sent a 4 or 5 page paper to Welwyn Hatfield to prove that the site was isolated.  Me thinks he does protest too much!

The now-obsolete PPG7  paragraph 3.21 was what this application was principally made under.  It required an isolated location, as does this week's replacement with PPS7.  

Apart from that, it is still in the Green Belt, even though it is a fairly narrow neck between BP and PB as you say.  We need to save this neck.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on November 23, 2004, 12:25:32 pm
An appeal against the refusal of WHDC over plans for a news country house at Friday Grove (20-acre field), has been submitted. Details below...

APPEAL BY: MR N BEDFORD
LAND AT:    FRIDAY GROVE, NORTH OF HAWKSHEAD ROAD, BROOKMANS PARK, HERTFORDSHIRE
PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT: ERECTION OF A NEW COUNTRY HOUSE
LPA APPEAL REFERENCE: A1206/S6/2003/1701/FP
PLANNING INSPECTORS APPEAL REFERENCE: APP/C1950/A/04/1166060
APPEAL STARTING DATE: 3 NOVEMBER 2004

An appeal has been made to the Secretary of State for the Environment under Section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1990 in respect of the above development. The appeal is against the refusal of Welwyn Hatfield Council, the Local Planning Authority, the above proposal for the following reasons:

1.   The site is within the Metropolitan Green Belt wherein permission will only be given for erection of new buildings or the use of existing buildings or land for agricultural, other essential purposes appropriate to a rural area or small scale facilities for participatory sport or recreation. The proposal represents sporadic and inappropriate development in open countryside, damaging to the rural character of this area of the Green Belt and could set a precedent for further such developments, that in equity the Local Planning Authority may find difficult to resist, to the further cumulative detriment of the rural character of the area. The proposed development cannot be justified and no exceptional circumstances are apparent in this case. The proposal is contrary to Policy 5 of the Hertfordshire County Structure Plan, Policy GB3 of Welwyn Hatfield District Local Plan Alterations No 1,1998 and Policy RA1 of the Welwyn Hatfield District Local Plan Review, Revised Deposit Version, June 2002.

2.   The Local Planning Authority considers that, having regard to the provisions of paragraph 3.21 of PPG7, the proposal is not isolated and is not clearly of the highest quality nor truly outstanding in terms of its architecture and landscape, and would fail to significantly enhance its setting and wider surroundings. The proposed country house would be harmful to the open character, appearance, and to the visual amenities of this part of Metropolitan Green Belt. This proposal would therefore be contrary to national advice contained in PPG7.

3.   The proposal is sited on an area of archaeological potential. The applicant has failed to carry out the appropriate level of archaeological investigation in the form of an archaeological field evaluation of those areas of the site to be disturbed by any new ground works. Without the submission of results of such an investigation, the Local Planning Authority does not have adequate opportunity to assess the archaeological potential of the proposed development site. This is contrary to Policy R27 of the Welwyn Hatfield District Plan Review Revised Deposit Version, June 2002.


The appeal is to be decided on the basis of a Public Inquiry to be held at the Council Offices, Campus West, Welwyn Garden City on a date yet to be decided. You may wish to attend the Inquiry and may make representation on the day, at the Inspector's discretion, and the Council will inform you of the date of this Inquiry as soon we are notified by the Planning Inspectorate.

Copies of any comments already made following the original application for planning permission (unless they are expressly confidential) will be forwarded to the Inspectorate and to the appellant, and will be taken into account by the Inspector in deciding the appeal.

Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on April 04, 2005, 01:23:30 pm
Bob,

Any news on what is going to happen to the 20-acre field?

David
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on April 04, 2005, 03:31:14 pm
The appeal will be heard at a Public Inquiry sometime this year, held at welwyn hatfield Council , Campus West WGC.  Appeals take up to a year to be heard, but I will post the date etc when I hear anything.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on April 12, 2005, 11:41:24 am
The appeal is going to be heard at a public inquiry on 2 November 2005. It will be at Welyn Hatfield Council offioce, Campus West, WGC.  Times not known but likely to start at 10am.

Apparently a new planning application is also going to be submitted.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on April 12, 2005, 02:39:31 pm
For those interested in keeping their own check on the latest planning applications click here to see the weekly list (http://www.welhat.gov.uk/services/default.asp?pid=194&step=4) on the Welwyn Hatfield District Council website.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on May 24, 2005, 03:57:33 pm
An application to erect a new country house on land at Friday Grove (also known as the 20-acre field) has been submitted to Welwyn Hatfield Council. In July last year, Welwyn Hatfield Council turned down a previous planning application for a country house to be built on the land off Hawkshead Road. The public has until Friday 10 June to raise objections. Click here for more details (http://www.brookmans.com/news/may05/countryhouse5.shtml)
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on May 25, 2005, 12:04:42 pm
As a follow-up to the Editor's comments, the NM Green Belt Soc website carries a list of all planning applications in the North Mymms parish, including the planning decision when made, and advised to us.  the link to the home page is below.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: John_fraser on May 25, 2005, 01:14:16 pm
If anyone has seen the new plans can they please post the details here for the rest of us. Not all of us can afford to take time off every time there is a planning application which may affect us. Something the council doesn't seem to understand.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on May 26, 2005, 05:51:11 pm
I will receive a copy of the documents for this latest application on about 31 May.  I will check it very carefully and post an item on this Forum thread.  If anyone wishes to contact me I will let them have a draft of my own suggested comments which they might wish to send to Welwyn Hatfield Council.  Although the council appears to set a deadline for comments, it should still take into account any comments received after that date.

Having said that, it is up to each individual to decide whether or not to object or comment on this latest application. 
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mermaid on May 26, 2005, 07:15:54 pm
We would like a copy of your suggested comments please Bob. Our feeling is still that this is green belt land, sold 'for agricultural purposes only', and that no-one should be allowed to build there.

Thanks

Mermaid
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on June 07, 2005, 06:30:15 pm
John Fraser asked for information.  I have now carefully checked the latest planning application for Friday Grove and compared it with the application refused in 2004.  These are my own personal opinions, and not of any organisation to which I belong.

It is now 39 % bigger – 1,652 sq m compared with 1,190 sq m.

It is now fully self-sufficient in power, water and drainage, with no mains services.  The intention is that this house will be monitored by the housing industry to see if and how it achieves its objectives.

It is claimed to meet the current PPS7 (countryside planning policy) criteria in paragraph 11 because the house will be ‘isolated’ by the surrounding 8.5 ha (21 acres) of land.
COMMENT – an appeal was refused in 2004 for a country house on a much larger 32ha estate partly because it was in a ‘particularly vulnerable location close to two built-up areas’.  Approval had been sought under PPG7, the policy guidance before the current PPS7 but was refused due to the harm to the green belt.
Another application was refused in 2004 because there was no justification for locating the development in the green belt as compared with using land outside the green belt.  The design appears to have been similar to the Friday Grove proposal and was an earth-sheltered dwelling with a high degree of self-sufficiency in energy needs and services.

In order to meet Green Belt criteria the very special circumstances are listed as
•   Outstanding quality of design of the house
•   Historic link with Friday Grove Farmhouse
•   Environmentally efficient
•   The new footpath
•   Conservation management plan which will reverse the harm to the land caused by over-grazing etc.
COMMENT – I think these are insignificant compared with the harm to the green belt, and the above appeal cases seem to support my view.

It is claimed that the openness of the green belt will not be reduced because the development will hardly be visible due to the topography and the design.
COMMENT – two appeals were refused in 2004 because, although the development would have little impact when viewed from the surrounding area, it would undermine the openness of the site making it inappropriate development in the green belt.

The design shows 5 cars (2 in a garage and 3 in the open).  I have spoken to the Planning Officer who says the maximum allowed is 3.

If anyone wishes to comment they should write to the planning dept, Welwyn Hatfield Council, Campus East, Welwyn Garden City AL8 6AE, quoting reference number S6/2005/625/FP – Friday Grove.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: supersonic on June 08, 2005, 12:13:27 am
The intention is that this house will be monitored by the housing industry to see if and how it achieves its objectives.


Seems to me that you can put almost anything on a planning application, and claiming the house would be self-sufficient, and so have a minimal environment impact, will I'm sure have it's attractions for some members of the planning comittee. My question is what happens if the house doesn't meet it's objectives?  Will the owner be allowed to connect it to the mains sevices after all? Would any additional planning permission be required for them to do this? If so can it be refused, perhaps with a requirement that if they can't make the house work as intended it would have to be demolished, and the site restored to it's pre-build condition?


supersonic
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on June 08, 2005, 10:31:46 am
Planning permission is not required for connections to mains services.

The question of what happens should it prove not to be self-sufficient is not a planning issue, and permission could not contain any condition about that aspect of the proposed house.  An interesting idea though!  Would this multi-million pound house have to be demolished if it did not live up to the brochure claims? 

An even more intertesting question.  Would the applicant sue the designers and builders in the same way that people sue holiday companies when the holiday does not live up to the brochure?  If he paid by credit card could he get his money back from the card issuer?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on June 09, 2005, 05:10:44 pm
North Mymms Parish Council met on Wednesday evening 8 June and decided to object strongly to this planning application.  The grounds for objection were similar to my personal comments above.

The parish council also decided to comment that the pressures to develop green belt land have been increased by the requirements contained in the draft East of England Plan for 478,000 essential dwellings and related developments in the region.  There can be no justification to build just one house on 8.5ha (21 acres) of green belt land, no matter how innovative it might be.

At Village Day 18 June you can visit the NM Green Belt Soc stall and sign a petition against this development if you wish.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on July 13, 2005, 06:40:36 am
A user of this site flew over the 20-Acre Field yesterday and submitted this image of the area where the proposed development would be (also known as Friday Grove).

(http://www.brookmans.com/images/20acre400.JPG)
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mallow on July 13, 2005, 12:10:44 pm
Which one is the 20 acre field.  I assume that is the grass triangle at the end of Hawkshead Lane in the top right hand corner.

 ???
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: ADM on July 14, 2005, 11:51:11 am
It took me a while to work it out. 

This is looking south.  Yes the green triangle is just near the house in the top right corner, you can just see the western corner.  Hawkshead lane meets Hawkshead Road going across the picture, and Bluebridge Road is that hedge comin in from the right.  From this angle, Bluebridge Road/Hawkshead Road doesn't look much of a corner.

So presumably, 20 acre field is the large cake slice right on that corner plus the field to the left with two square sheep (one is blue).
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on July 15, 2005, 03:41:18 pm
Virtually the whole picture is the 20-acre field(s).  The site is from the hedge on the left of the picture and across the picture to Bluebridge Road, with Hawkshead Road being the top (south) boundary.  In effect it is 5 fields.

the proposal is to keep the existing entrance on Hawkshead Road, near the top left of the picture.  A curved driveway would go to roughly where 4 fields meet in the middle of the picture which is where the new house would be.  A series of pools would run down the hill to form a sewerage filteration system. 

The big problem is that it is Green Belt land, and very close to the village in a narrow neck of Green Belt between BP and Potters Bar.  Funny how some people want to live in the countryside because of the open fields, yet want to build on that very same countryside.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mallow on July 18, 2005, 01:03:46 pm
Is the proposed site for the new house approximately where the original farm house was?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Max on July 21, 2005, 12:52:31 am
Funny how some people want to live in the countryside because of the open fields, yet want to build on that very same countryside.

You could say that it is funny how some people are quite happy that their houses should have been built in the countryside but feel that no-one else's should be. When I was a kid, we lived in Moffats Lane, and half the houses on the right hand side going up as far as the farm did not exist. As I remember, there was a duck pond and a barn next to the old farmhouse. Until shortly before my birth, our old house (number 12) was the last one on that side of the road, and it was possible to climb over the fence of our back garden and walk to Gobions. A huge number of new houses have been built in and around BP in my lifetime, transforming it from a real village to a defacto extension of suburbia. Seems to me to be a bit late in the day to complain about the odd extra house here and there.

Quote
There can be no justification to build just one house on 8.5ha (21 acres) of green belt land, no matter how innovative it might be.

So it would be justified to build 10 houses? 20?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on July 21, 2005, 08:08:25 am

So it would be justified to build 10 houses? 20?


If the Green Belt is to be used for housing surely it would be better to build 10-20 more affordable starter homes than one big house for the reasons set out in another thread.


Excuse me Bob, but doesn't it strike you that there is a real need for more housing in the South East? I am personally acquainted with several young people (my nephew is one of them) who despite having jobs and qualifications (in my nephew's case, a 2.1 from Oxford!) are nowhere near being able to afford even the most basic kind of home in order to start a family. Goodness knows I do not wish to see more building than is strictly necessary, but if you are opposing the building of new homes, what, if anything, are you proposing as an alternative? What are young people supposed to do, especially those who do not have highly paid jobs?
 
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Max on July 21, 2005, 03:58:12 pm
Well, you are right there David, although I would not choose that particular location for such a project. I still don't really feel that building one house in such a location would really make such a lot of difference, but I suppose there is the "thin edge of the wedge" argument.

I cannot help but think that the creation of the Green Belt was an enormous piece of good fortune for those (like my family in fact) who were already there. I am not saying it is a bad idea, but I sometimes wonder about the ethics of fighting tooth and nail to defend an unearned privilege.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on July 21, 2005, 04:37:05 pm
In today's Telegraph is a letter from someone on St Albans planning committee who said that almost every other application in that area is to pull down one house and replace it with two six-bedroomed houses.  This situation is now becoming common in Brookmans Park where rebuilds and massive extensions are changing the character of the village.

Developers justify this by saying that Mr Prescott wants more housing on brown-field sites.  The housing shortage will not be solved by building even more 'executive' homes.  Perhaps developers should be forced to just building cheaper 'affordable' homes until the shortage has gone?  Just amend the District Plan to say that all new housing has to be affordable, whatever that means in the real world.  QED.  In fact it is not that simple, but maybe it is?  Worth a try.

One reason given by Welwyn Hatfield for refusing the previous application at Friday Grove last year was the precedent.  Approve one and you have to approve any other.  OK, not all will be like the design proposed at Friday Grove, but developers will justify their pet project on the back of a Friday Grove approval.

Brookmans Park was built in the house building boom in the 1920s and 1930s.  Towns and villages merged because of that boom, which is why Green Belts were imposed to prevent further mergers of settlements.  Yes, we are fortunate to benefit by them.  We also benefit by many other 'unearned privileges' created over the last century or so.  If you know a bit of history you will know that the 'Great Stink' of the mid 1800s caused Parliament to pass Acts for creation of the London sewerage system.  No doubt many people would fight tooth and nail to maintain the sewers!
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Max on July 21, 2005, 09:11:45 pm
If you know a bit of history you will know that the 'Great Stink' of the mid 1800s caused Parliament to pass Acts for creation of the London sewerage system.  No doubt many people would fight tooth and nail to maintain the sewers!

Sorry Bob, but I don't see the similarity. A sewage system benefits everyone equally, whereas something like the green belt is of greatest benefit to those who live in or near it. That isn't to say that the Green Belt is not a good thing, but I do think that a degree of development in Green Belt areas will prove to be un avoidable. Indeed, it goes on all the time. You are obviously much better informed on such matters than I am, so if you have the time, could you explain how the development in Moffats Lane that I was refering to was allowed to happen? Or for that matter,  the relatively new development at the end of Calder Avenue, whatever it is called, or the (again relatively) new estate in South Mymms? What criteria are applied in granting permission for such projects?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on July 22, 2005, 10:47:11 am
Good question, Max.  The similarity in my mind is that sometimes it takes a 'great stink' type of event to cause action.  In the case of green belts it was the expansion of London enabled by the railways from 1850 onward.  Something had to stop that growth.  My wife lived in California for a time and she tells me that the growth of towns there is amazing.  Silicone Valley used to be full of orchards before the computer industry took over.

I cannot speak for Moffats, Calder Avenue or South Mymms being before my move to this area.  But infilling within existing settlements must be preferable to the disappearance of the countryside which is something everyone enjoys.  Barnet is now a London borough, despite still having a Herts postal address.  Imagine Stevenage becoming a London borough, and all the open land inbetween being built upon.  Green belts have prevented that happening so far.  Long may they do so.     

Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Max on July 22, 2005, 11:50:24 pm
Silicone Valley used to be full of orchards before the computer industry took over.

I suppose you could argue that Silicone valley was once a source of poorly paid unskilled jobs, and is now a source of highly skilled, highly paid jobs and a trememdous boost to the local, and indeed, state economy. As such, it could be argued that the example you give is a good thing, Bob.

Still, as I have said before, I basically like the idea of the Green Belt, and think that it does perform a necessary function, but find this sometimes hard to reconcile with the very real need for more homes that younger people wishing to start families can afford without moving miles away from their homes.  Not at all relevent to the issue of building one off luxury homes on green field sites, of course.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on July 23, 2005, 12:29:03 pm
Jobs in Silicone Valley are disappearing as China takes over as a cheap production zone.  Did you read that a Chinese company has bought IBM's PC section?  If China keeps on taking over as the world's production zone, it could hold the rest of the world to ransom, but that is another story.

Just one small but important correction to Max's last comments.  The 20-acre property would be on Green Belt land, not just any old green field, and that is the problem.  In estate agent terminolgy ' location, location, location.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: sasquartch on July 23, 2005, 10:19:19 pm
I think it's actually Silicon Valley not 'Silicone' !

Seriously though, if anyone needs any proof of why a green belt and planning regulations, English Heritage etc are needed I suggest you take the bus ride from Tokyo Airport to Yokohama. 40 miles of totally built up city, seemingly without any green.

Whilst we may moan about planning restirctions from time to time I firmly believe they are ultimately a good thing. The point Bob made about the danger of Stevenage becoming a London borough is a real one, I really think there are plenty of brownfield sites to build affordable housing on without needing to destroy open countryside.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Birch on August 02, 2005, 01:02:06 pm
>>Imagine Stevenage becoming a London borough, and all the open land inbetween being built upon.

Considering what Stevenage looks like...it's a shame it was built at all!!!
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on September 23, 2005, 05:19:48 pm
Just to summarise, there have been two planning applications for a 'Country House' at Friday Grove (the fields off Bluebridge Rd/Hawkshead Rd, on the east side opposite the junction with Hawkshead Lane).  The first application was refused by the council and an appeal was made.  This appeal has just been withdrawn - reasons not stated. 

There is still a second application made earlier this year where the council has not decided whether to approve or refuse.   will keep you informed when I hear anything.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: fredtheted on February 05, 2006, 06:09:56 pm
I understand that someone is living at Raybrook Farm,(not Raybrook Farm Bungalow) where there are a number of stables and a barn. For the last three months the lights have been on late at night. It is possible that the person living in the barn will apply for change of use from agricultural to residential.

Perhaps the appeal was withdrawn because of the current situation at the above farm which is adjacent to Friday Grove.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on February 06, 2006, 05:58:53 pm
Thanks for the info, Fed.  I will advise Welwyn Hatfield Council.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: ottoD on February 07, 2006, 11:01:49 am
Fred and Bob

I saw a washing machine be delivered to that site a few weeks ago....unusual for a livery yard. There's a predominance of taxi vehicles parked in the layby recently
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: ottoD on March 15, 2006, 03:57:14 pm
It's also interesting that Raybrook Farm Bungalow has yet another planning permission application. The original "leanto" on the side of the property now seems to have been "upgraded to a proper extension, and there's a rather large double garage on the site. I don't remember seeing any planning applications for those two improvements.

Did a representative from the council ever visit the property in regard to the previous applications for the site? and if they did why did they ignore these "improvements" ??
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on March 15, 2006, 04:34:13 pm
The last planning application was refused and the appeal was dismissed in 2005. The situation was complicated and was gone into in depth by the Planning Inspector who visited the site and spent some time there.  The existing accomodation and double garage have existed for too long for any action to be taken.

There has not been any planning application since then, unless one went in this week and has not yet been listed.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: ottoD on March 19, 2006, 05:24:21 pm
Application reference S6/2006/0284/FP
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: ottoD on March 19, 2006, 08:21:46 pm
So 2 years is too long is it Bob? The extension was a wooden lean to until 2 years ago - that's an interesting situation if you can stick up an extension and after 2 years the council let you keep it up - not much point filling in all those forms and writing cheques is it?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on March 30, 2006, 04:19:14 pm
The planning application for Friday Grove (the 20-acre fields), Hawkshead Road is on the agenda for the Welwyn Hatfield Planning Control meeting on Thursday 6 April 2006, starting at 7.30pm.

The Venue is the Council Chamber, Campus West, Welwyn Garden City. It is the same building as the skating rink and theatre.

It would show the strength of local opinion if lots of people could attend, even if they are unable to speak. Only one member of the public can speak, and the North Mymms Green Belt Soc vice-chairman Clive Bennett intends to speak.  I intend to speak on behalf of the parish council.

You can park in the car park next to Campus West.  Although you have to take a ticket to get into the car park the gate will be raised by the time you leave so it will not cost anything.

Re Raybrook Farm bungalow - I will be checking that planning application next week.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on April 03, 2006, 09:33:39 pm
Bob,

Can you post the outcome of the meeting here when you get home on Thursday night, please.

Thanks

David
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on April 04, 2006, 04:56:26 pm
Dave.  Will do.

Re OttoD's query about Raybrook Farm bungalow, this living accommodation replaced previous outbuildings about 12 years ago.  Thecurrent application is to demolish the very old derelict building and extend the current living accommodation.  Although the % increase is not stated it appears to be more than 50%.  It is in the Green Belt.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on April 06, 2006, 10:12:03 pm
Friday Grove turned down for the second time.

About a dozen local residents attended the Welwyn Hatfield Planning meeting this evening when it considered this planning application.  The debate revolved around whether or not this development was sufficiently exceptional that it justified overturning Green Belt policies in this location.  At the vote, only 5 councillors voted for the application and 9 against it.

The editor will give a fuller report in the next day or so.

Many thanks to the 77 who wrote in opposition to this application and those who attended the meeting.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on April 06, 2006, 10:16:48 pm
You can read Bob's report on the meeting by clicking here (http://www.brookmans.com/news/april06/countryhouse6.shtml).
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: steve on April 08, 2006, 12:10:30 pm
I'd be interested to know why 5 councillors wanted to approve this application. I have just read the news story in the local enfield paper about a planning officer getting a prison sentence for fraud.  I am NOT implying anything here but am intrigued to why anyone would believe this application as being acceptable.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on April 10, 2006, 08:06:48 am
A forum member has emailed me a helpful link to COINS, the Welwyn Hatfield District Council Committee Information System. According to the page it has all agendas, reports and minutes for Council and Committee meetings since January 2005 and you can search for papers going back to 2002.

Click here (http://coins.welhat.gov.uk/) for the COINS index or, for those following the 20-acre field issue, you can click here (http://coins.welhat.gov.uk/agenda%5C423.asp) for the page containing links to all the papers for the recent planning meeting.

David
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on April 10, 2006, 02:38:38 pm
In reply to Steve, the planning officers recommended approval on the basis of the house being sufficiently innovative etc that it justified approval under paragraph 11 of PPS7 (Planning Policy Statement 7 - Sustainable Development in Rural Areas).

Green Belt policies state that very special circumstances may justify inappropriate development where they outweigh the harm to the openness of the Green Belt

PPS7 paragraph 11 states that "Very occasionally the exceptional quality and innovative nature of the design of a
proposed, isolated new house may provide… special justification for granting planning permission. Such a design should be truly outstanding and groundbreaking, for example, in its use of materials, methods of construction or its
contribution to protecting and enhancing the environment, so helping to raise standards of design more generally in rural areas. The value of such a building will be found in its reflection of the highest standards in contemporary architecture, the significant enhancement of its immediate setting and its sensitivity to the defining characteristics of the local area."

The planning officers consulted numerous organisations who all supported their particular interest in it e.g Ramblers Assoc supported the new footpaths.  At the meeting, as representative of the parish council I pointed out that few of these organisations appear to have taken into account the Green Belt location.  Clive Bennett, on behalf of the NM Green Belt Soc, pointed out that nobody knew of even one similar dwelling which had been approved on Green Belt land.  Just the opposite - several appeals have been dismissed. 

Both of us did not consider it was isolated, but the officers thought the house would be isolated by virtue of the size of the 21-acre site. Both of us thought Green Belt policies carried more weight than PPS7.

My guess is that 5 councillors agreed with the officers, deciding the dwelling did meet PPS7 paragraph 11 and  outweighed the Green Belt policies.   They are entitled to their opinions.

An afterthought and for balance!  All appeals known to us (NM Green Belt Soc)  for similar properties in the Green Belt have been dismissed in the last two years.  The reasons generally given for dismissal were that the house would introduce a domestic feature into the landscape, there was no reason why the house had to be built in the Green Belt, and it would reduce the openness of the Green Belt.    Another appeal was dismissed because the Inspector decided that despite being in a 32 hectare (80 acres) estate it would not be isolated being in a vulnerable location close to two settlements.  In the case of Friday Grove this Society argued a similar situation being in a narrow neck of Green Belt between Brookmans Park and Potters Bar, and the closeness to Brookmans Park.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on April 12, 2006, 11:11:28 am
The Welwyn Hatfield Times has a half-page spread about the 20-acre field story. The two stories offer the views for and against the proposal. Click here for the Welwyn Hatfield Times coverage (http://www.whtimes.co.uk/content/whtimes/news/story.aspx?brand=WHTOnline&category=News&tBrand=herts24&tCategory=newswhtnew&itemid=WEED12%20Apr%202006%2010%3A00%3A03%3A177).

The newspaper has kindly given this site permission to reproduce one of the stories, now on the front page of the site. Click here to read it (http://www.brookmans.com/news/april06/countryhouse7.shtml).
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on April 18, 2006, 03:52:13 pm
Just thought you might be interested to know why Welwyn Hatfield Council refused permission for the house at Friday Grove, Brookmans Park.  The decision notice says “The site is within the Metropolitan Green Belt wherein permission will only be given for erection of new buildings or the use of existing buildings or land for agricultural, other essential purposes appropriate to a rural area or small scale facilities for participatory sport or recreation.

The proposal constitutes inappropriate development in the Green Belt. The built form of the proposed dwelling would have a strong visual presence and would result in an unacceptable loss of openness and harm to the rural character of surrounding Green Belt land and would represent encroachment into the countryside in a vulnerable location. No very special circumstances have been demonstrated of sufficient weight to set aside Green Belt policies of restraint.”
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: sasquartch on April 18, 2006, 04:23:00 pm
Sounds like common sense to me.

The green belt is there for a reason - there are plenty of other areas (further out from London of course) where a house such as the one proposed could be built.

Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: kgs on April 27, 2006, 11:47:40 pm
can anyone tell me what raybrook farm is?
looks quite run down to me, not like a pig farm?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on April 28, 2006, 11:40:48 am
Looks like stables.  It has not been a pig farm for many years.  Apparently it has a new owner/user.

As far as I know it is not connected with the Raybrook Farm House next door, behind the tall gates.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on May 03, 2006, 04:05:49 pm
Raybrook Farm, Bluebridge Road.
Further to my posting on 4 April the application had been refused on 2 May for the extension to the building.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on October 24, 2006, 09:17:09 pm
The appeal date against the WHC decision against the building of a country house at Friday Grove, Brookmans Park, has been set.

Unfortunately, the letter informing people about the date for the appeal is unclear and has conflicting information.

It says objections have to be in within six weeks of the appeal starting date.

In the letter heading it says that starting date is 19 October 2006, but in the text of the letter it says the starting date is 27 February 2006.

It's likely the first date is correct.

Click here for more information. (http://www.brookmans.com/news/october06/countryhouse8.shtml)

David
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Alfred the Great on October 25, 2006, 09:33:56 pm
Now don't hate me for saying this but I predict the following:

1. Permission will be granted for the one eco-house or similar.

2. A few more years will pass then (after any appeals, etc) permission will be granted for 80 - 100 "homes", having established residential use for the field.

3. A few years later the field on the other side of Bluebridge Hill will also be developed - it's road and rail locked, easy access, nice and self contained. About 30 acres, perhaps 600 - 1000 "homes"?

Reason: to meet the targets for housing in the south east and a good way to have a go at the affluent folks of BP who have had it too good for too long. And you can be sure that there will be at least 25% social housing, maybe more by the time it goes through.

Anyone agree?

Don't forget, you heard it here first.

ATG
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on October 26, 2006, 06:05:50 pm
This appeal is to be heard at a Public Inquiry.  This is the most formal of the three types of appeal procedures.  Although it is not a court of law, the parties will usually be legally represented and expert witnesses called to give evidence.  The public and press may attend.  It will be held locally.

Having now seen the grounds of appeal received by Welwyn Hatfield Council, they are brief and, in my opinion, simply re-state the basic points from the original application.  They say that a detailed Statement of Case/Proof of Evidence will be submitted in accordance with the appeal procedures timetable.

The Planning Inspector will automatically receive copies of all the letters of comment sent to Welwyn Hatfield Council when the original planning application was made.

Anyone wishing to write further should send three copies of their letter to be received by 30 November 2006 at The Planning Inspectorate, 3/04 Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 the Quay, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN, quoting their reference APP/C1950/A/06/2027555/NMF

You can see all the papers relating to this application at Welwyn Hatfield Council, Council Office, next to Waitrose supermarket in Welwyn garden City.  Their reference is S6/2005/625/FP – A1326

The appeal date was incorrect in the original letters sent out by the council but has now been corrected.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on March 27, 2007, 08:59:12 pm
Appeal set for June 5 & 6. Click here (http://www.brookmans.com/news/march07/countryhouse9.shtml) for more details.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on March 28, 2007, 10:25:56 am
The appeal is being decided at a Public Inquiry which, obviously, is open to anyone to attend.  It starts at 10am in the main Council Chamber at Campus West which is on the ground floor of the building containing the skating rink, art gallery and theatre/cinema. There is a car park next to the building as well as several others nearby.

Two days have been allocated in case one day is not enough.  The Planning Inspector chairing the meeting usually sees the site beforehand to be aware of the physical aspects of the site, and then makes a formal visit after the Inquiry together with the two main parties - the appellant and Welwyn Hatfield Council.  Other parties may be invited to attend but, on past experience, the Inspector will only talk to the two main parties during that visit.  This formal visit enables the Inspector to assess the evidence produced at the Inquiry.

Both NM Parish Council and NM District Green Belt Soc intend to speak at the Inquiry.

Usually the decision report is issued within about 2 weeks after the Inquiry, and I will post the results on this website.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: speedwell on March 28, 2007, 01:14:39 pm
Green belt land is there for a specific reason. Iit would be such a shame that somebody would be able to build on it - after all we could all have tried to buy it and make a quick buck by building a house!!!

There is ample housing within Potters Bar and Brookmans Park but should the gentlemen concerned wish to have more garden or land then he would need to move out further.  Why is it that people believe they can have their cake and eat it!

Unable to attend meeting but look forward to response - lets hope chair has common sense.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: francis on April 05, 2007, 02:00:08 pm
Dear Bob H
please can you advise ?   if you want to look at a current planning application through the Council's online system it seems that you can't get to see the plans of the actual proposals but you can later on specially after a decision is made
Is this so or have I not followed the right series of click-on boxes ?
many thanks
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on April 05, 2007, 06:38:50 pm
Hi Francis
I have a problem - presumably a glitch which I have been unable to rectify- and am unable to open up various papers on the council's website.

There is currently a problem with the council's computer system which is causing your problem.  If you can go into the main reception at the council office and ask to see the planning application - during office hours of course.  Quote the application number.  They have a copier which has a slot machine taking 10p per copy (A4 and A3).  the machine takes various coins.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: francis on April 19, 2007, 01:21:23 pm
thank you very much Bob for the reassurance that it wasnt just me that cant access info from the Planning Department
a cyncical person might be tempted to wonder if some with unpleasant developments in mind breath a strong sigh of relief that there plans arent being exposed to easy public examination
Who can afford time off to travel in to WGC on the off chance ?

If any politicians ever read these posts perhaps they can do something about it so their electorate can inform themselves easily from the systems theyve paid for from their rates and taxes ?

yours
f
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on May 25, 2007, 04:48:25 pm
Just to update my posting on 28 March, this Public Inquiry is now to be heard on one day, not two.  It will be on Tuesday 5th June starting at 10am in the Council Chamber, Campus West, WGC (the roller skating rink and theatre/cinema building).  All are welcome.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mermaid on May 25, 2007, 05:38:39 pm


Bob

Will it be helpful to the Green Belt Society's case if local people attend the meeting? Will it serve as a visible reminder to the enquiry that there is local opposition to the scheme? Will it make a difference to have a show of force I suppose is what I'm asking?

Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on May 25, 2007, 06:25:53 pm
In a word    YES

The Planning Inspector chairing this Public Inquiry will have all the paperwork relating to this application and will have seen the number of people who wrote to Welwyn Hatfield Council about it.  The Inspector will be impressed if a number of people take the trouble to participate, even if simply by attending to hear the case for and against.

Normally a Hearing (not as formal as this Inquiry) is held in an ordinary meeting room.  In this case they are using the Council Chamber which can hold up to 200 people.  There is a Public Address system so everyone should be able to hear OK.

This is the room used for Welwyn Hatfield planning meetings.  From personal experience I can tell you this committee is always impressed when a number of local residents turn up to hear the debate and decision on a planning application.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: LongTallSally on May 25, 2007, 06:50:18 pm
Bob,

Do I have to apply to attend or can I just turn up?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mermaid on May 26, 2007, 09:00:59 am


I believe one can just turn up. Anyone fancy getting together and going as a group?

 :)
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on May 29, 2007, 11:09:27 am
It is open to the public and you simply turn up.  Start time is 10am next Tuesday 5th June.  You may be asked to sign in so they know who attended, but it is not compulsory.

There is a car park next to the building (not free, naturally), and the railway station is only 10 minutes walk  if you prefer to use the train.

I believe Cllr Stephen Boulton (our local WHBC councillor and also a parish councillor) will be speaking as chairman of the WH Planning Control Committee.  There should be at least 2 or 3 parish councillors (I am going as chairman of the parish council planning committee) and several Green Belt Soc committee members including the chairman Claire Taylor.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on June 06, 2007, 07:53:18 pm
The Public Inquiry has been adjourned after over-running the two days of Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th June.  The final day is likely to be at the end of June, with the decision report expected to be issued in late July.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on June 07, 2007, 11:23:45 am
Just as a by-the-by, this topic started in January 2002 and now has been viewed over 21,000 times.  That is roughly 4,000 viewings per year, or more than 10 a day on average.

Is this the most popular topic on this website?

It would certainly seem to indicate a high degree of interest.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: ADM on June 07, 2007, 12:29:03 pm
Bob,

How's it going so far?

Or is it too early to tell?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on June 08, 2007, 12:58:21 pm
Too early to tell.

What did emerge was that there have been no precedents of an 'isolated house' being approved on Green Belt land under the current PPS7 paragraph 11. That paragraph 11 seems to be the main justification for approval.

The final day of the Public Inquiry is to be 25th June in the Conference Room, Welwyn Hatfield Council offices. This will be open for the public to attend.  I think that is in the main Campus East building, not where Roller City is.  The two barristers will sum up their cases, agree conditions to be attached and any Section 106 agreement should approval be given.  This is standard procedure and gives no indication of which way the decision will go.  It is so that the Inspector does not have to re-open contact with the main parties if approval is given.

After the summings up there will be a site visit so the Inspector can formally enter the site and be shown the exact spot on the site where the house would be built.  This should enable him to assess how visible it might be from houses and roads in Brookmans Park, and other public viewpoints such as Gobions Wood.

To be honest, the first two days were rather long, drawn out legal questioning and cross examination of the main witnesses.  I then spoke as a parish councillor, Claire Taylor as chairman of the NM Green Belt Soc, and Bernard Spatz as a trustee of Gobions Woodland Trust, and also a Hawkshead Lane resident who spoke in support of the application.  Thankfully the barristers were very gentle in their questions put to us.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on June 26, 2007, 11:35:15 am
At the final day of this Public Inquiry the Inspector said the decision report should be issued about 16th July. 

The site visit lasted well over an hour with the Inspector and us all tramping all over the site.  Fortunately the rain held off.  The site visit was to enable the Inspector to relate what was on the plans with real life.  In my humble opinion he was very thorough.

I was agreeably surprised at how many houses in the village were visible at various points on the site.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Peter Hastings on June 26, 2007, 09:32:01 pm
I am pleased you all got to go on the site after all. it must have been an education for the inspector too-did he go round the boundary to see what could be seen from where?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on June 27, 2007, 10:32:51 am
The site visit covered most of the fields, centring (that word looks odd but I check the spelling)   on a large oak tree which would be next to the house.  The tree was said to be 20 metres high so the house and the new mound would rise to just over half of its height.  This gave a good measure of how prominent the house would be above the existing ground levels.

We walked over most of the site and a landscaping map was looked at and referred to at each stopping point so the Inspector could see exactly how visible the development would be.

At our request (the three local representatives) the Inspector drove around the area to see how near the site is to Swanley Bar/Potters Bar as well as Brookmans Park.   We also asked him to go to the car park at Gobions Open Space, and Mymms Drive at the junction with Brookmans Avenue and Georges Wood Rd where the site is also visible.

As I said, he was very thorough.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mallow on June 27, 2007, 01:54:43 pm
I am clearly in the minority here but I don't see the problem with one house in 20 acres of land.  On a site where there was originally a dwelling.

My concern is that at sometime in the future, when the government needs more housing they will overrule any green belt regulation in place and build five houses per acre on this piece of land.  What is wrong with being able to see one house in the middle of a 20 acre field?

 ???


 
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: sasquartch on June 27, 2007, 02:09:16 pm
Because to allow it sets a precedent.

Before long there wouldn't be any open countryside - surely that's one of the attractions of living in a rural location such as BP.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on June 27, 2007, 06:05:10 pm
Not everyone is against this house.

A major problem is that the old maps do not say what 'Friday Grove' was.  I have an 1822 map showing 'Fridays Grove' but map makers in that era were not known for absolute accuracy with their locations etc.  Friday Grove disappeared off maps about 1860 or so.  It has been open countryside for about 150 years.  To claim a link with something that has not existed for 150 years is stretching the imagination somewhat!

The Green Belt between Brookmans Park and Swanley Bar/Potters Bar is very narrow so it is classed in the County Structure Plan as a vulnerable piece of Green Belt.  It is highly unlikely that any government will allow housing there at least for many years otherwise Brookmans Park will become an annexe to Potters Bar.  Simlarly Brookmans Park will join up with Welham Green and Hatfield.  Potters Bar will join with Barnet and London will expand even more than it did before Green Belts came into force 50 years ago.

5 houses per acre is also unlikely.  The current minimum is 30 per hectare, equalling 12 per acre. 

I agree with Sasquartch because I moved to Brookmans Park, and then Swanley Bar, as a complete change from living and working in big cities - Manchester and then London.  On the train journey home the sight of green fields told me that I was out of London.  Phew, was I glad.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on July 14, 2007, 12:07:53 pm
The appeal has been dismissed.

To quote from the 7-page report received today, the Inspector concluded that the proposals would be innovative and exciting in architectural and landscape design, but in this location would cause harm to the rural character and appearance and for that reason would fail to reach the standard required in PPS7 [the isolated house criteria].  The siting within the Green Belt sets additional requirements, but the height and disposition of the building and earth banks would erode the openness.  No very special circumsatnces have been put forward sufficient to outweigh the harm identified and hence the proposal would be contary to policies and government guidance.

The Inspector also found the site to be an attractive rural agricultural scene, and that the development would not be sensitive to the defining rural characteristics of the local area.  He found 'the existing agricultural land pleasant and of value in its own right.'

On the self-sustaining and energy saving aspects of the design the Inspector accepted that 'it proposed the husbanding of finite resources of energy but this, in his view and as expressed by an interested party at the Inquiry [me], at the expense of a substantial area of another finite and valuable resource - open countryside.' 
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: sasquartch on July 14, 2007, 02:16:27 pm
That's good news !!!

Thank you to Bob for his efforts which benefit us all in BP.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: James Bentall on July 14, 2007, 02:56:17 pm
Seconded - thank you to everyone for their work in ensuring that the green belt remains as it is...

James
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Peter Hastings on July 14, 2007, 03:06:27 pm
Yes well done the Inspector- the bits of the appeal I heard left me thinking this was a tough decision to make and I certainly wouldnt have wanted to call the outcome.


Well done to you Bob and your colleagues at the Green Belt Society.

No doubt this decision will also be quoted round the country particularly as the pressure on the green belt grows.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mermaid on July 14, 2007, 03:29:38 pm

That's brilliant news! Well done indeed Bob, to you and your team.

Let's hope that decision sends out a signal to those who would develop the Green Belt for their own gain - that existing communities who would be affected by the development deserve to have their views taken into account.

Happily, it seems money can't buy everything!



Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on July 14, 2007, 07:11:30 pm
Bob popped a copy of the full appeal decision through my letter box this evening, so I have scanned it and put it on the site for anyone interested in reading it.

Click here for the Friday Grove appeal decision. (http://www.brookmans.com/news/july07/countryhouse11.shtml)
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on July 15, 2007, 05:37:43 pm
The local opposition was a team effort.  Claire Taylor spoke as chairman of the NM Green Belt Soc, and Bernard Spatz on behalf of Gobions Woodland Trust.  I spoke on behalf of the parish council.  Also my thanks to Dave for putting a copy of the Inspector's report on this site, and his encouragement over the years.

The community spirit in and around Brookmans Park is very evident and I wish to record my thanks to everyone who contacts me to ensure that the parish council and Green Belt Soc are aware of potential and actual developments.

It will be more than interesting to see what happens now.  A lot of money was spent on the two planning applications and the appeal.  In addition the purchase price paid was well in excess of the agricultural value.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: ADM on July 16, 2007, 10:23:52 am
I don't want to go all Churchillian on you, but well done 'the few'.  And you're right, this probably isn't the end, but it is the end of the beginning.  We shall fight them on the beaches etc...
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mallow on July 16, 2007, 01:06:58 pm
"8. I consider that the building would not blend in with its wider surroundings but rather would stand out as something alien and discordant"

Above is a quote from the the seven page report.

Would this be the same authority, that sanctioned the carbuncle or an extension to the Comet Hotel ???
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on July 20, 2007, 05:05:37 pm
It was the Planning Inspectorate that decided on Friday Grove.  I am afraid I do not know who approved the Comet Hotel application.  Could Mallow please advise if it was Welwyn Hatfield Council or an appeal where that decision was made?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mermaid on September 28, 2007, 05:01:04 pm
Is this land now up for sale? Spotted a 'Land for Auction' notice as I drove by there just now .......
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on September 30, 2007, 01:26:43 pm
Is this land now up for sale? Spotted a 'Land for Auction' notice as I drove by there just now .......

Hi Mermaid,

Yes, it is up for auction next month as a ‘freehold site with development potential (subject to necessary consents).'   The price is put at £900,000+.

Click here (http://www.brookmans.com/news/september07/countryhouse12.shtml) for more details.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mermaid on October 01, 2007, 06:11:48 pm
I notice that nowhere in the description does it say that this is green belt agricultural land.

Are auctioneers not bound by the same 'accuracy' rules as estate agents?  >:(
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on October 02, 2007, 10:43:29 am
Another local Green Belt site was auctioned a year or so ago and I made the mistake of giving my email address to the auctioneer in order to see the details in the catalogue.  The details omitted to mention the Green Belt location and the NM Green Belt Soc asked for this to be stated at the auction.  Memory fails me and I cannot recall if this was done.  The land was sold but I do not know at what price etc.

Be warned - I cannot persuade the company to remove my email address from their circulation list.  It costs them nothing to email me, but it is very annoying for me.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mermaid on October 02, 2007, 04:59:45 pm
Having spoken to The National Association of Estate Agents (of which Drivers and Norris is a member) I can now answer my own question - yes there is a requirement for them to be accurate in the details of  land - as well as property - which they offer for sale. The fact that this land is Green Belt should be mentioned in the details.

Has anyone registered to receive the full sales pack? I have a catalogue on pdf downloaded from their website which does not mention the fact that the land is Green Belt and I'd like to know if it's mentioned elsewhere at all.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on October 03, 2007, 11:45:12 am
NM Green Belt Soc has contacted the auctioneer, copy to the Nat. Assoc of Estate Agents and Welwyn Hatfield Council.  The Soc has pointed out the apparent non-compliance with the Estate Agents Code, and asked that the limitations on development of Green Belt land are drawn to the attention of potential bidders.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mermaid on October 03, 2007, 12:15:06 pm
That's good news Bob, let's hope that the auctioneers comply.

At a guide price of £900,000, any bidders will only be interested in development potential! I can't see it being bought by a philanthropist for the local community to continue to enjoy being surrounded by green fields!!
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob on October 03, 2007, 12:42:29 pm
Large advert in the property section of today's WHT. No mention of green belt  ::)
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mermaid on October 04, 2007, 09:56:50 am

Surely it's misleading not to include in the advertisements the fact that the land is green belt?

All property details that estate agents publish in the public domain should be as accurate as possible. In my view, it is quite wrong to leave out of the advertisements and on their website, such an important detail as the land being green belt!



Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on October 04, 2007, 12:23:01 pm
The local green belt society has called on the agents behind the auction of Friday Grove to make it clear in the sale details that the site is green belt land. The North Mymms District Green Belt Society (NMDGBS) fears the omission of the fact in the published details could mislead prospective purchasers.

The agents behind the auction of the site, Drivers & Norris, say they do not consider it important to declare on their website that the site is green belt land. A representative of Drivers & Norris said the information was contained in their legal pack and they didn’t consider it misleading to omit it from the publicity for the auction.

Click here (http://www.brookmans.com/news/october07/countryhouse13.shtml) for more details...
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: speedwell on October 04, 2007, 05:35:21 pm
does anybody know how much it was purchased for by the current owner?  Surely by omitting 'greenbelt' from the description this could mean somebody else buying it and trying for a development???  Also if greenbelt is missing surely this could affect the price paid
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: peppermint on October 04, 2007, 09:39:22 pm
I phoned the agents today and asked was the land on green belt.   They said they were not aware that it was on green belt land.
I told them that it was and that perhaps they should make it clear in their advertising as the way it is being advertised, referring to shops, schools, mainline station, etc., would suggest that the land is being advertised for sale as a development site for homes.

I was told they will pass my comments on (to who I dont know).
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: James Bentall on October 04, 2007, 10:15:44 pm
I would have thought that any property developer who is willing to spent the best part of £1m buying a field would check first with the authorities to see whether land can be built on or not first and not just rely on the estate agent's description of the land (which, with all due respect to Neville and friends can be viewed through rose tinted glasses at times....)

James
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Neville Hobbs on October 05, 2007, 07:52:08 am
Thanks James.  Agent details must portray the property accurately but we dont have to state negative points eg. within close earshot of noisey trains and a pub. Those points will be apparant to viewers.

I seem to remember that Neil Bedford paid about £180,000 for Friday Grove. I think that the guide price of £900,000 is hilarious! As James states, no-one is going to bid for a parcel of potential building land without checking its planning history and zoning first. When Mr Bedfors bought the land, he also paid for what we call "hope value" that possibly one day the land can be developed. Now he has had a planning application refused especially at appeal level, there is no hope value at all. I will watch the auction result with interest.

Neville
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: sasquartch on October 05, 2007, 09:21:14 am
I think agricultural land has a value of around £5000/acre I seem to recall reading somewhere (perhaps Neville could confirm ??) , therefore it's real value must be in the region of £100,000 for 21 acres.

I think there could still be 'hope' value, if a change in government policy results in land use being reviewed. Also I believe that as agricultural land you could run a business, perhaps stables or a riding school or something like that which in an area like BP may be profitable even if the land is purchased at well above agricultural rates.

It will be interesting to see what happens.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on October 07, 2007, 11:32:36 am
The Land Registry entry shows the price paid was £150,000 in 2002.

The RVC put in an offer at that time believed to be £90,000, which ties in with Sasquartch's figure.

Even Property Spy or 'travellers' would be unlikely to be interested because of the £900,000+ price tag. 

We do have the East of England Plan hanging over our heads with the Government proposing 15,000 homes in Welwyn Hatfield between 2001 and 2031.   The final figure may be known in the next few months.  In view of the current state of the housing market......

Who said life is dull.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: speedwell on October 07, 2007, 12:47:54 pm
500% increase in price in 5 years , now thats what I call a return!  Will he have to pay capital gains tax on that?
what a pity the vet college didn't get it for grazing etc back in 2002.  Think of the money its cost the local council to make and uphold the decision about planning.

Sadly there just might be somebody out there prepared to buy it at the hughly inflated price hoping to sell it to the govt for another hughly inflated price as part of the east of england plan and low and behold suddenly planning permission would be granted.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Neville Hobbs on October 10, 2007, 05:57:17 am
"500% increase in price in 5 years , now thats what I call a return! " 

Don't get too excited speedwell, it hasn't  sold yet! The guide price was probably given to D & N by the vendor as often happens. It would be interesting to know what D & N valued the land at.

The Auction brochure states: N.B. Please note that these are not quoting prices but are an indication of the lowest price which may be acceptable, and they are liable to change at any time.

Auction date is 16th October and it is LOT 13 !

Neville
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: speedwell on October 10, 2007, 08:17:44 pm
wasn't assuming he would get the £900k, however, if you work on the basis that is what he is looking for then it does work out at that stupid figure.

Personally, hope nobody bids on it once they realise that it is greenbelt land with refused planning permission at appeal stage but if anybody does bid on it hope its not enough so he is stuck with a plot of land and then I'm sure the auction house would still charge????

Maybe just  maybe he'll want to off load it to the vet college for a reasonable sum.

what is the average increase around here for the last five years?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: JLC on October 16, 2007, 04:32:57 pm
Anyone know the outcome of the auction?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on October 17, 2007, 10:35:37 am
I am told that the auctioneer clearly stated that the site is in the Green Belt but that the government's requirements for more housing meant that there was development potential.

He then asked for bids starting at £750,000 with no bidders.  He then tried to start bidding at £650,000 and again there were no bids so this LOT 13 was withdrawn.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Neville Hobbs on October 19, 2007, 05:51:33 am
I am  not at all surprised that a sale was not effected.
Perhaps the auctioneer should have asked for bids over £100,000 to start the bids rolling. If he had done that, it would have been interesting to see what the highest bid was.

Neville
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mermaid on October 19, 2007, 04:03:21 pm
I see that the site is still 'available' on the Drivers site, but the price is now £1m!

Such greed!!
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bobb on October 19, 2007, 04:10:02 pm
FANTASTIC!

It didn't sell for £650,000 so I'll put the price up to a cool £1m - the man is a genius!

Haven’t laughed so hard for ages.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: John_fraser on November 07, 2007, 08:58:55 am
Driving past today I noticed that the "Land for Auction" notice has gone. I'm not sure if it blew down or was taken down; The structure that supported it is still there, but I couldn't see the actual notice lying around anywhere and the supporting structure looked undamaged. The Driver & Norris site (http://www.drivers.co.uk/auction/current.htm) doesn't list anything for the December 4th auction, so I wonder if it may have moved agents.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on April 17, 2009, 05:49:47 pm
Part of the 20-acre field is up for sale. Click here (http://www.brookmans.com/news/april09/20_acre_field.shtml) for more details.

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/april09/land_for_sale_at_the_20_acre_field.jpg)

Nice plot for grazing sheep, or perhaps a big house or 50 affordable homes.
Title: Re: 20 acre field - consortium anybody?
Post by: hilarycarlen on April 29, 2009, 10:00:06 pm
5.8 acres at £25K an acre? that's not a load if you divided it by a hundred folk.

Would anyone be interested in forming a consortium and buying it up for the benefit of Brooky P Yoof, and doing stuff outdoors?  I haven't got much but I'd contribute a few K.    I dunno what for exactly - a bit of land secured in perpetuity for whatever the future needed?  Somewhere where nothing special had to happen, but there wouldn't be building and kids could build a bike circuit, camp a bit, ride horses, plant spuds, play footy, set up a youthclub - whatever?  If nothing else turned up it could always be used to graze horses or something. 

Word on the streets is that we're down for a whole load more houses sooner or later, and that'll be a whole load more kids, and  BP will be a whole lot bigger - wouldn't it be nice if in the midst of all the urbanisation we'd secured a bit of land that wouldn't get built on?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: James Bentall on April 29, 2009, 10:57:43 pm
Already thought about that one, and applying for grants etc...

But I think it does all come down to Liability. if we let kids do anything - play football, plant spuds, build bike jumps, rope swings etc, and one of them falls off and breaks their arm I have this nasty feeling whoever purchased the land and gave them permission to do that could be sued by, well, probably anyone really.

Maybe getting old and cynical, but if anyone can think of a way around that I would be up for helping.

James

Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Greybeard on April 30, 2009, 07:23:05 am
Maybe the Parish Council can tell us how public liability insurance works and what it costs? Would / could they be involved in this?

If residents bought the land, what would the recurring costs be?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: peppermint on April 30, 2009, 10:54:04 am
Sounds like a great idea, my only worry is where it is.   It would probably be a pretty dangerous place to access on that bend.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: awill on April 30, 2009, 12:12:32 pm
Never underestimate people power! When I lived in Crouch End a developer threatened to build houses on the small brownfield site behind our houses (being used to store damaged cars). We formed an action group, convinced the  the council to refuse the application and subsequently bought the land. It is now a private garden accessed by all those who clubbed together to buy the land. You can read about the fight here:

http://www.geocities.com/splodjy/backsitefight/index.htm

This is the website for the group that then was formed to buy the land and includes some of the press coverage of the victory:

http://priorygardens.com/

The reason for mentioning this is that I can chat to the folks who run the Priory Gardens Management company and find out how we addressed liability issues etc, and also to show what can be done by a community if you want it enough.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on November 24, 2009, 11:19:25 am
Part of Friday Grove is in an auction on 9th December at St John's Wood.  Estate Agents www.drivers.co.uk have included 4 of the 20 acres in their auction sale with a suggested price of £90,000+ i.e. over £20,000 per acre for arable land.  You can see the details on their website.

It is described as  'A freehold site extending to approximately 4 acres with gated entrance. The site is currently used as a level pasture. Situated at the junction of Hawkshead Road and Blue Bridge Road on the outskirts of the popular residential location of Brookmans Park with mainline station (Moorgate Line) within approximately 3⁄4 of a mile.'

Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mermaid on November 24, 2009, 11:37:02 am
So no mention of it being Green Belt land then?
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on November 25, 2009, 02:35:43 pm
The legal details document might say it is Green Belt land, but if you sign up to see that document the auctioneer will send you emails for the next decade about future sales.  Anyone wishing to bid for the land would be foolish not to find out from the council about any development potential before the sale.

On closer examination of the site there appears to be the remains of an old gate near the eastern end of the site but it has not been used for ages, and there is no cross-over onto the highway.  Herts Highways might not allow an access so close to the sharp bend in the road but that is pure guesswork on my part.
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on December 10, 2009, 04:20:44 pm
The auctioneer advised that this lot did not sell. 

It is on offer at £90,000 if anyone would like to buy it
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Mermaid on December 10, 2009, 05:22:19 pm
I would love to, but just need to win the Lottery first .........   ;D
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: PS on December 11, 2009, 06:49:59 am
Quote
The auctioneer advised that this lot did not sell.
 

Overpriced !!
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: stevea on December 11, 2009, 09:09:05 am
If my calculations are correct, 1220 caravans would fit in to 20 acres quite comfortably!  ;D and
ample room for a scrap metal yard!!!!!!
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: PS on December 14, 2009, 05:35:51 am
Did we have another "housekeeping" error !!??  :o

It seems that another of my posting to this topic went 'missing' after last week ?

I am truly mystified and still remain in the  dark ??
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Editor on December 21, 2009, 07:38:08 am
Hi PS,

Sorry for the delay in replying. I have been off line for a week. Your comment was removed for being racist. (I think you probably knew it would). I didn't message you because it is becoming tiresome and all too frequent.
 
David
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: Bob Horrocks on November 16, 2011, 02:17:46 pm
The car boot sale season has finished and caused few problems apart from slight delays as cars queued to get onto the site.

However in the last few weeks anyone driving along Hawkshead Road must be aware of the vast embankment at the bottom of the field, the huge earth diggers and the number of R J Mitchell trucks going onto the land and leaving empty.

At my request the Welwyn Hatfield Council Enforcement Officer has visited the site for the second time today and she has now involved someone at the County Council.  The site owner told her, and me, that it was drainage work.  We shall see!
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: epiphany on November 16, 2011, 07:35:12 pm
However in the last few weeks anyone driving along Hawkshead Road must be aware of the vast embankment at the bottom of the field, the huge earth diggers and the number of R J Mitchell trucks going onto the land and leaving empty.


Make sure you have a close look - It could be a teletubbie eco house!
Title: Re: 20 acre field
Post by: E the T on November 16, 2011, 07:48:21 pm
Looks like they were doing a bit of digging and dumping of rubble which has been smoothed down to make a road of sorts. Fair play I suppose if it makes the car booters' lives a bit easier, though I wish they wouldn't clog up the road as they queue for it to open so as to get a good pitch.

And with my less kind hat on - after they had caked Hawkshead in mud, they seem not to have met their obligation of cleaning it up and instead stuck up a couple of skiddy car signs, (one at a gravity defying angle). Should be interesting when it rains.
Title: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: peppermint on March 05, 2014, 01:26:23 pm
Does anyone know what is happening In the car boot sale field on Hawkshead Road and who is responsible for cleaning the mud from the road.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Mermaid on March 05, 2014, 02:15:02 pm
As I understand it, the owner was seeking permission from HCC to level the field, but I'm not sure if permission was granted.

Presumably if the owner is having work done, then he is responsible for clearing up any mess.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: GGDT on March 05, 2014, 06:38:57 pm
Followed two tipper lorries full of hardcore down there at 07:30 this morning. They seem to be trying to turn the field into some sort of hard standing car park, presumably because it's too waterlogged for car boot sales?

Not sure whether they need permission to effectively dump tons of rubble on green belt land?

The road surface is becoming more dangerous by the day with all the mud on it.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: pinchefalise on March 07, 2014, 09:31:01 am
There were two trucks waiting to go into the field yesterday afternoon - both full. There had also been several loads of clay soil/ mud dumped in there as well. So it's not entirely hard standing being done.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: JMain on March 07, 2014, 04:49:56 pm
I have just looked this up and have found that two applications have been made to level the site, and both have been refused with a recommendation to take enforcement action to secure the removal of the waste materials already imported and deposited on the land in 2012 or before, with full restoration of the site, should the landowner fail to voluntarily carry out these works. 
The applications were 01/12/2011 - S6/2011/2677/CD and 31/08/2012 - S6/2012/1859/CD
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: JMain on March 10, 2014, 09:58:45 am
It has been permitted. I couldn't find it because it was dealt with by Hertfordshire County Council as a waste operation and planning permission was granted by a Planning Inspector on appeal.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Mermaid on March 10, 2014, 10:17:01 am
Welhat has received 'a lot of phone calls and emails about this', but would like residents to be aware that 'phone calls and emails about the site should be sent to Herts CC and NOT Welhat.

The contact is Rob Egan, email rob (dot) egan (at) hertfordshire.gov.uk
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: James Bentall on March 10, 2014, 12:19:13 pm
Planning permission was granted on appeal at Friday Grove Farm for “import of 2900 cbm of inert soil for agricultural upgrade to level an area of depression in the field that is seasonally waterlogged”.  Hertfordshire County Council is responsible for enforcement of ‘waste’ and the Principal Planning Officer, Rob Egan, is aware of the activity and visited the site last week on Friday.
 
Note: the Parish Council and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council objected to the planning application and it was refused by Hertfordshire County Council but planning permission was granted on appeal by the Planning Inspector (Appeal Reference APP/M1900/A/13/2200249).
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: motherchuck on March 10, 2014, 02:10:57 pm
James your comment is not correct.
Welwyn Hatfield Council did not object to the application they supported it.
Local Councillor Bill Storey informed the planning committee that he knew the site well and confirmed the waterlogging problem.
The parish council did object to the proposals even though they had not visited the site. When invited for a site visit it was declined.
Likewise the Green Belt Society also declined an invitation to visit the site.
Letters were sent to 16 local residents to the site by Herts CC to comment and not one objected.
The application details were attached to the field gate for a month for any interested party to respond but no comments made.
Details of the appeal were attached to the field gate for a month for any interested party to respond but no comments made.
A road cleaning vehicle is making regular visits along Hawkshead Road at slow speed and will no doubt be a huge inconvenience
to contributors to this site but if it stops people rushing about the area so much the better.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Editor on March 10, 2014, 02:57:40 pm
Which field is it in this embedded Google map of the area? Map data ©2014 Google Imagery ©2014 DigitalGlobe, Getmapping plc, Infoterra Ltd & Bluesky

Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: James Bentall on March 10, 2014, 09:31:28 pm
James your comment is not correct.
Welwyn Hatfield Council did not object to the application

Yes, sorry, that was a mistake. You are correct. I'm also glad to hear that the roads are going to be swept as mud on the road can be a safety hazard for all road users.

James
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Mermaid on March 12, 2014, 08:14:25 pm
I have removed a post from here which may be trolling.

The allegation will be investigated tomorrow and if true, the post will be re-instated.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Mermaid on March 13, 2014, 10:37:41 am
The post will not be re-instated and the forum member will be reminded that trolling is not allowed on this site.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: GGDT on March 15, 2014, 07:00:39 pm
A road cleaning vehicle is making regular visits along Hawkshead Road at slow speed and will no doubt be a huge inconvenience to contributors to this site but if it stops people rushing about the area so much the better.

It's not doing a very good job, neither is the old boy with the broom who seems to be there every morning sweeping the road.

The road is that bumpy now from all the mud that travelling towards Little Heath is like driving along a cobbled street!
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: saffie on March 16, 2014, 07:01:24 am
Ring VOSA and complain about the road, if you tell them the site address and the companies transporting mud out of the site they will get down there and sort out. 

All trucks should be covered and all the ones I have seen are not.

They will act quickly and can revoke transport licenses with immediate effect if they are causing dangers to the road.

I have done this a few times to the sites on the A414 and Hatfield Road as they get dangerous with the amount of mud, aggregate that comes off.  They soon sort it out.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: larrylamb on March 17, 2014, 06:36:06 am
Ring VOSA and complain about the road, if you tell them the site address and the companies transporting mud out of the site they will get down there and sort out. 

All trucks should be covered and all the ones I have seen are not.

They will act quickly and can revoke transport licenses with immediate effect if they are causing dangers to the road.

I have done this a few times to the sites on the A414 and Hatfield Road as they get dangerous with the amount of mud, aggregate that comes off.  They soon sort it out.
Out on my motorcycle yesterday and couldn't believe how much mud was on the road! the first bit of rain will make that a lethal.

On the plus side at least the pot holes were filled!!!!
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Editor on March 18, 2014, 02:43:04 pm
Welwyn Hatfield Council did not object to the application they supported it.
Local Councillor Bill Storey informed the planning committee that he knew the site well and confirmed the waterlogging problem.
The parish council did object to the proposals even though they had not visited the site. When invited for a site visit it was declined.
Likewise the Green Belt Society also declined an invitation to visit the site.
Letters were sent to 16 local residents to the site by Herts CC to comment and not one objected.
The application details were attached to the field gate for a month for any interested party to respond but no comments made.
Details of the appeal were attached to the field gate for a month for any interested party to respond but no comments made.
A road cleaning vehicle is making regular visits along Hawkshead Road at slow speed and will no doubt be a huge inconvenience
to contributors to this site but if it stops people rushing about the area so much the better.

But can you confirm what is going on? It's been almost two weeks of lorries removing material and delivering material. It looks like a massive investment. What was the planning permission for, when will the work be over, and what is going to be done with the land when the work is finished?
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Editor on March 18, 2014, 03:18:08 pm
Thanks to @WelHatCouncil for the tweeted reply:


I have uploaded the document as a pdf so I could embed it below.

http://www.brookmans.com/pdfs/devconctteeitem1new20121212.pdf
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Mark Drinkwater on March 18, 2014, 05:49:07 pm
The second condition of the Highway Authority is definitely not being adhered to and Hawkshead Road is covered in a staggering amount of mud and clay.

To someone's credit, the road is being swept by a road sweeper.  Unfortunately, it is no match for the job in hand. I followed one this morning on my bike and it had almost no impact other than polishing the hard-packed clay like a big shoe-shine machine.

i.e. From Page 9 on the pdf previously embedded by David Brewer.

(ii) a requirement that best practicable means are taken at all times to ensure that all vehicles leaving the development site during the construction of the development are in a condition such as not to emit dust or deposit mud, slurry or other debris on the highway, with efficient means being installed prior to commencement of the development and thereafter maintained and employed at all times during construction for the cleaning of wheels of all lorries leaving the site, in order to minimise the impact of construction vehicles and to improve the amenity of the area
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Aqila on March 18, 2014, 06:40:24 pm
Re section 3.7 - so all of this is so that some chickens (which don't yet exist) can be seen from the road and the farm shop (which doesn't yet exist) sells more eggs!  As a marketing scheme this is ludicrous - indirect cost per egg (not yet laid) is likely to be thousands of pounds!

  I am amazed this reason was seen as a valid excuse!
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Editor on March 18, 2014, 08:33:09 pm
Re section 3.7 - so all of this is so that some chickens (which don't yet exist) can be seen from the road and the farm shop (which doesn't yet exist) sells more eggs!  As a marketing scheme this is ludicrous - indirect cost per egg (not yet laid) is likely to be thousands of pounds!

  I am amazed this reason was seen as a valid excuse!

What I can't understand is how something so strongly opposed in an earlier submission can get through. Surely this is about more than drainage, chickens and eggs.  I suppose there could be a new question. What came first, the chicken, egg or industrial/housing development?
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: hilarycarlen on March 18, 2014, 08:57:26 pm
But it's nonsense isn't it?  This isn't about hens or hay, clearly. The owner's (interim) intention for the land was undisguised in his initial application: (quoted at 6.17 of the paper atached above)
" When the applicant was first questioned about the nature of the works, he indicated that he allowed car boot sales to take place on the land and wished to improve part of the field that was subject to flooding to prevent car boot sellers’ vehicles from becoming bogged down on the site. "
Car boot sales are doubtless profitable, so adding to the area he can use for that may help offset his investment whilst he waits for the planning laws to change so he can build an estate there - whereas keeping hens entails a great deal of work and even then it is close to impossible to make a profit.  I would be very surprised if he ever bothers to put hens on the land as they would only get in the way of his car-bootery (car booters aren't going to like competing with chicken poop...)  And I can't see much hay coming off the land either after a few thousand cars have driven over it!
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: epiphany on March 18, 2014, 09:47:40 pm
What is nonsense is that Borough Council are responsible for all planning applications other than waste which is dealt with by County Council ???
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: pinchefalise on March 19, 2014, 04:44:24 pm
There has been a lot more movement of lorries delivering than the estimated 12 per day. Very few have been covered trucks and the road is a disaster area. It is like driving down a cobbled road even after the road-sweeper has just been along. The two men with brooms are wasting their time! I just hope that when it rains no motorcyclist comes off his bike along that stretch. And as for the idea that chickens are to be kept in the field.....don't make me laugh.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: larrylamb on March 19, 2014, 05:31:47 pm
There has been a lot more movement of lorries delivering than the estimated 12 per day. Very few have been covered trucks and the road is a disaster area. It is like driving down a cobbled road even after the road-sweeper has just been along. The two men with brooms are wasting their time! I just hope that when it rains no motorcyclist comes off his bike along that stretch. And as for the idea that chickens are to be kept in the field.....don't make me laugh.
what astounds me is the authorities, and I include the police in this, show no urgency in dealing with this potentially lethal situation, firstly to get the mess cleaned up and then those responsible to account.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: motherchuck on March 19, 2014, 05:52:09 pm
A new road cleaning vehicle has been engaged and will be operating from tomorrow morning.
Planning permission was granted to solve water logging problems at the field.
The work has nothing to do with any form of development or traveller site, should be finished by next week and will be reseeded.
The work has nothing to do with boot sales and was granted permission on appeal by a government appointed planning inspector.
What I can't understand is why I am amazed that so much nonsense has been posted about publicly available information and would like to know if anyone knows what can be done about it.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: James Bentall on March 19, 2014, 06:14:35 pm
Hi motherchuck

I think it is natural on a forum devoted to local issues that people will comment and discuss any issues of local interest. I am not aware however of anything that has been posted that is against our forum guidelines. If you have any specific concerns, please IM me directly and myself and the moderating team will look into it.

I am glad to hear that you have got a new road cleaning vehicle coming tomorrow - cycling up there the last couple of days has proved interesting!

Thanks

James (Editor)
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Editor on March 20, 2014, 07:30:52 am
Motherchuck, you wrote:

What I can't understand is why I am amazed that so much nonsense has been posted about publicly available information and would like to know if anyone knows what can be done about it.

I think it’s perfectly understandable for people to ask questions about what appears to be a massive investment in time, effort and money to “solve” what you describe as “water logging problems at the field.” And people will probably wonder what crop could possibly begin to create the financial return to pay that back. I do.

There will also be those to whom this work came as a bit of a shock. You list those who were notified and did or did not respond.

Welwyn Hatfield Council did not object to the application they supported it.
Local Councillor Bill Storey informed the planning committee that he knew the site well and confirmed the waterlogging problem.
The parish council did object to the proposals even though they had not visited the site. When invited for a site visit it was declined.
Likewise the Green Belt Society also declined an invitation to visit the site.
Letters were sent to 16 local residents to the site by Herts CC to comment and not one objected.
The application details were attached to the field gate for a month for any interested party to respond but no comments made.
Details of the appeal were attached to the field gate for a month for any interested party to respond but no comments made.

However, I did not know about or attend the WHC planning committee, I am not on the parish council and I wasn't sent any information about this from that source. I am not in the local green belt society, and nor am I one of the 16 local residents who you say were notified.

As for details being attached to the field gate, you will know that the spot is on a blind bend, and there are no footpaths passing directly past the gate, so despite being a regular walker in the area, I didn’t see those notices, either.

Which means that those of us who are in the dark turn to our local forum to try to find out what is going on.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: epiphany on March 20, 2014, 08:39:36 am

I think it’s perfectly understandable for people to ask questions about what appears to be a massive investment in time, effort and money to “solve” what you describe as “water logging problems at the field.” And people will probably wonder what crop could possibly begin to create the financial return to pay that back. I do.



This is only a theory and IMHO but it is possible that Friday Grove is in fact a giant land fill site with income being generated per lorry load.


My thoughts are...........

Year 1 - Mobile poultry arks

Year 2 - Static poultry buildings

Year 3 - Erection of domestic residence to support agricultural business.

Year 5 - Collapse of poultry business, change of use of residence from agricultural to domestic.

Year 6 - Precedent now set for additional development.

I hope I am proved wrong.


I notice that Councillor Bill Storey was wheeled out for his opinion - I assume this is the same Bill Storey who appears to be quite happy to build the New Barnfield incinerator on green belt land.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Trent on March 20, 2014, 10:55:49 am
Road cleaning vehicle at 8.30 this morning appeared to be putting water down on a 20m stretch. At 10 MPH (I had to stop for the cleaning vehicle) my car skidded on the surface. It was like driving on ice and is so dangerous. I fear there will be a horrendous accident.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: hilarycarlen on March 20, 2014, 07:25:30 pm
Epiphany - I have a simpler theory.

The putative "farm shop" being  (don't we already have one of those just next door at Geoff's farm?) is a Trojan Horse for one of those big "country store" developments, with shops selling a) horsey tack and overpriced "country" clothes b) posh sweets in "ye olde country jars" c)Aga's etc.

Year one: market style stall
Year two: permanent little shop
Year three: big commercial venture and lots of lovely parking on the (goodness me! nice and solid!) hard standing behind.

Hey ho!
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Ferdie on March 20, 2014, 07:42:52 pm
As David has said people use the Forum to find out information. I haven't used that road for several weeks and was wondering what the fuss was about. Not sure how bad it has been, but this evening I had cause to drive that way. The road surface was covered in caked on & compacted mud. Not good. Sadly, that stretch of road did have a fatality on it in 2006 when a young lads' life was cut short in an accident there. I trust the owners of the land being worked on ensure that the road is properly cleaned and such a tragedy is not repeated.

It is an offence under the Highway Act to deposit mud/debris on the road. An offender can be prosecuted by either the police or by the Highway Authority.

The Act also makes the person responsible for causing mud and debris to be spread on a road, to provide warning signs and clean any debris up. Warning signs should be triangular 'Slippery Road' signs. There are signs to this effect on the verge in both directions. However, the way my car was bumping along over the road, there clearly was a lot of debris still there this evening.

Under Highways Act 1980, Herts Highways have a duty to clean the road and power to recover the costs from the persons responsible.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Editor on March 21, 2014, 06:24:40 am
The parish council did object to the proposals even though they had not visited the site. When invited for a site visit it was declined.
Likewise the Green Belt Society also declined an invitation to visit the site.

Three questions:

1) If the information, posted in this thread above is correct - and the North Mymms Parish Council and the local green belt society objected to this proposal - what was the basis of their concern and why were they against work which, we are told, is merely to deal with a waterlogged field?
2) Why did they decline an invitation to visit the site?
3) And, if they did object, how loud did they make their voice heard in this community? Did they post in this forum expressing their concern and setting out what they were objecting to? Were there any other community-wide information campaigns?

Could anyone from the parish council or green belt society throw answer the questions above, please?

David
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: James Bentall on March 21, 2014, 07:16:34 am
David

The basis for the objections can be found in the PDF you attached on earlier in the thread. In summary...

North Mymms Parish Council:
Quote
The proposal would be an inappropriate alteration to Green Belt land where agricultural use has not been evident and it is questionable whether or not this proposal would improve drainage.

Green Belt Society:
Quote
!We would bring to your attention the comments made in our letter dated 3 January 2012 where we stated the following:

“Having consulted a civil engineer on this subject, we would like answers to the following questions:

What will be the consequences to the surrounding land and are there any other drainage systems being proposed? The normal method would be for porous clay pipes to be buried in the field with a filter media to a suitable outfall.

We know from a member of the Society who has in the past kept horses at Raybrook Farm further down the hill from Friday Grove of flooding problems. Will this proposal make this situation worse?”

We note in the new submission there are no satisfactory answers to the drainage problems, the result of which could have an adverse effect on this agricultural piece of land. In view of this there could also be considerable harm inflicted on this area of Green Belt. We are also concerned that 50% of this work has already been carried out without approval.

The Parish Council receives 100s of planning applications each year, and it would be impractical to do a site visit for every single one. Besides which, a huge amount of information (technical drawings, photos, plans, reports etc) is submitted with each planning application which allows councillors to make an informed decision. Information about all planning decisions made by the Parish Council can be found on the website, or members of the public or press are welcome to attend any of the planning meetings held throughout the year.  Planning meetings are held every 2-3 weeks as advertised on the website and on the noticeboards throughout the parish. The next one is Wed 26th March starting at 8:30pm at the Council Office (off Bushwood Close in Welham Green)
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Editor on March 21, 2014, 08:35:15 am
Thanks James,

Did the parish council and the green belt society have a say during the appeal process, or doesn't it work like that?

Planning permission was granted on appeal at Friday Grove Farm for “import of 2900 cbm of inert soil for agricultural upgrade to level an area of depression in the field that is seasonally waterlogged”.  Hertfordshire County Council is responsible for enforcement of ‘waste’ and the Principal Planning Officer, Rob Egan, is aware of the activity and visited the site last week on Friday.
 
Note: the Parish Council and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council objected to the planning application and it was refused by Hertfordshire County Council but planning permission was granted on appeal by the Planning Inspector (Appeal Reference APP/M1900/A/13/2200249).

Also, as well as the forms of communications you listed in your post.

Information about all planning decisions made by the Parish Council can be found on the website, or members of the public or press are welcome to attend any of the planning meetings held throughout the year.  Planning meetings are held every 2-3 weeks as advertised on the website and on the noticeboards throughout the parish.

Could the parish council not make more use of forums like this and social media to get the word around? I am sure the noticeboard is great, and the NMPC website is too, but in terms of making as many people as possible aware of planning issues it might be good for the parish council to use forums like this along with Twitter and Facebook, perhaps?
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Ejjmsn on March 21, 2014, 09:56:05 am
Just to add to this, been having to sit behind these every day so far.
Apart from ruining the roads  there is a 3 ton bridge at the end of it.
Don't think he is carrying a 3 ton load either!
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Ex Libris on March 21, 2014, 04:47:26 pm

Did the parish council and the green belt society have a say during the appeal process, or doesn't it work like that?


As objectors to the original Planning Application, it would have been usual for the Parish Council and Green Belt Society to have been advised of the Appeal and offered the opportunity to submit further (new) evidence to the Inspector.  All previous correspondence/objections would have been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by Hertfordshire County Council.

All the documents that would have been submitted can be accessed from https://cloud1.atriumsoft.com/HCCePlanningOPS/searchPageLoad.do (https://cloud1.atriumsoft.com/HCCePlanningOPS/searchPageLoad.do)
– type Friday Grove Farm in the Keyword(s) search box. 

Application PL\0396\11 (6/2677-11) is the original Planning Application, refused by HCC, and PL\0451\12 (6/01859-12) is the Appeal documents, including “Plng Inspect Friday Grove Farm 19.8.13.pdf” which is the response from the Parish Council. 

The Appeal case can be viewed at http://www.pcs.planningportal.gov.uk/pcsportal/ViewCase.asp?caseid=2200249&coid=4257
 (http://www.pcs.planningportal.gov.uk/pcsportal/ViewCase.asp?caseid=2200249&coid=4257)
There is a link to the Decision document at the foot of the page.

At paragraph 15 of the Decision document the Inspector states, “I am conscious that there are a number of objections from third parties which are centred on alleged conflict with Green Belt policy but also include concerns regarding the potential for flooding elsewhere and, bearing in mind the planning history of the site, the fear that the levelling of the depression could be a precursor to other forms of development. However, there is no evidence to suggest that the minor landraising proposed would create drainage problems elsewhere, the physical circumstances of the site do not suggest that to be a probability, and most other forms of development would require specific planning permission in any event.”
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Editor on March 21, 2014, 07:04:52 pm
Thanks Ex Libris, that's really helpful. Glad you know your way around these things.

But I am still concerned that the report you point to refers to the work as a 'minor landraising proposal' (taken from your post and shortened), and seems to assume that the planning process would, in future, protect what we have been encouraged to believe is a waterlogged field issue from becoming a development issue.

At paragraph 15 of the Decision document the Inspector states, “... However, there is no evidence to suggest that the minor landraising proposed would create drainage problems elsewhere, the physical circumstances of the site do not suggest that to be a probability, and most other forms of development would require specific planning permission in any event.”
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Midnight on March 25, 2014, 01:37:58 am
The summary details of this case say "THE IMPORT OF 2,900 cubic metres OF CLEAN INERT SOIL FOR AN AGRICULTURAL UPGRADE ...". 

However I've seen lorry loads of rubble being emptied onto the site.  How can that be "clean inert soil"?  Maybe it's just me and "inert soil" has a different connotation in the agricultural world that includes building rubble.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Editor on March 25, 2014, 08:52:44 am
I have merged this thread with two existing threads which refer to part of the land currently being worked on. Those threads were the Friday Grove thread and the 20-acre field thread. Earlier comments (http://www.brookmans.com/forum/index.php/topic,4.0.html) (for those who want to click through), and concerns expressed, might be relevant in terms of helping people understand the history of the area.

Incidentally, from an earlier post quoting documents on the site, I read that we are getting 2,900 cubic metres of 'clean, inert soil' dumped on the waterlogged field at Friday Grove for the development.

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/march14/inertsoils.jpg)

The picture (below) is of one cubic metre of concrete. I am told that a lorry can carry five of these cubic metres. Not sure if that is true, but if it is, does that mean there will be 580 lorry loads? Or 1,160 return trips?

Attribution - The cube was cast by the Laboratory of Construction Materials at EPF (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/EPFL) (the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne),  and the picture is by Rama (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Rama)
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: James Bentall on March 25, 2014, 10:02:57 am
The summary details of this case say "THE IMPORT OF 2,900 cubic metres OF CLEAN INERT SOIL FOR AN AGRICULTURAL UPGRADE ...". 

However I've seen lorry loads of rubble being emptied onto the site.  How can that be "clean inert soil"?  Maybe it's just me and "inert soil" has a different connotation in the agricultural world that includes building rubble.

I believe the landowner has had permission to install some hardcore to allow the vehicles to get on and move around the site otherwise they would sink into the mud. I also believe he is required to remove it when the work has been finished.

James
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Editor on March 25, 2014, 10:39:20 am

I believe the landowner has had permission to install some hardcore to allow the vehicles to get on and move around the site otherwise they would sink into the mud. I also believe he is required to remove it when the work has been finished.

James

So that will be on top of the 2,900 cm of 'inert soil', I guess?  Any idea how much hardcore has been allowed - in cm and lorry loads?
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Nimbus on March 25, 2014, 10:57:41 am
The summary details of this case say "THE IMPORT OF 2,900 cubic metres OF CLEAN INERT SOIL FOR AN AGRICULTURAL UPGRADE ...". 

However I've seen lorry loads of rubble being emptied onto the site.  How can that be "clean inert soil"?  Maybe it's just me and "inert soil" has a different connotation in the agricultural world that includes building rubble.
The usual popular measure is in units of "Olympic-sized swimming pools", I believe. Can anyone provide a conversion in the case under discussion please? By any measure, that 'dip' in the field sounds enormous.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Albert Ross on March 25, 2014, 11:53:26 am
An average tipper lorry carries around 15 cubic metres of topsoil so on that basis there will be 193 lorry loads.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Conor on March 27, 2014, 08:45:32 pm
The work has nothing to do with any form of development or traveller site, should be finished by next week and will be reseeded.
The work has nothing to do with boot sales and was granted permission on appeal by a government appointed planning inspector.
What I can't understand is why I am amazed that so much nonsense has been posted about publicly available information and would like to know if anyone knows what can be done about it.

Motherchuck

I notice on the responses to the emerging core strategy that Neil Bedford has kindly offered the piece of land currently being levelled as a potential location for housing. See

http://consult.welhat.gov.uk/file/862244 (http://consult.welhat.gov.uk/file/862244)

On the grounds that are now saying that your sole reason for levelling the ground is to provide an area for free range chicken farming, can we presume that you will be writing to the council to inform them that this land is no longer available for potential development?

Conor
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Editor on March 27, 2014, 10:11:36 pm
The work has nothing to do with any form of development or traveller site, should be finished by next week and will be reseeded.
The work has nothing to do with boot sales and was granted permission on appeal by a government appointed planning inspector.
What I can't understand is why I am amazed that so much nonsense has been posted about publicly available information and would like to know if anyone knows what can be done about it.

Motherchuck

I notice on the responses to the emerging core strategy that Neil Bedford has kindly offered the piece of land currently being levelled as a potential location for housing. See

http://consult.welhat.gov.uk/file/862244 (http://consult.welhat.gov.uk/file/862244)

On the grounds that are now saying that your sole reason for levelling the ground is to provide an area for free range chicken farming, can we presume that you will be writing to the council to inform them that this land is no longer available for potential development?

Conor

Hi Conor,

That document makes interesting reading. I have embedded it below so that people can read it here on the site without having to download. (I have blacked out the address of the developer)

David

http://www.brookmans.com/pdfs/50329FridayGrove.pdf
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Mermaid on March 28, 2014, 12:48:39 pm
Neil Bedford was not the only local landowner to offer their land for development, most - if not all - did. For example the RVC had 4 sites in mind, one of which has been put forward by consultants on their behalf. These documents can also be seen on the WHBC website.

I was more surprised to learn that someone can propose a site for development, without even owning the land. A family member of mine who has a single storey house on a nice wide plot was staggered to receive a letter from WHBC advising that the land and property had been proposed to them for development! 
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: motherchuck on March 29, 2014, 11:30:07 am
What has happened to the post from Parish Councillor James Bentall at 01:48:51 pm yesterday?
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: mannyd on March 29, 2014, 09:26:08 pm
Motherchuck - I don't know where the post has gone, but James posts in a personal capacity - the fact that he is a parish councillor is not relevant to his views on here
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Editor on March 30, 2014, 07:58:06 am
What has happened to the post from Parish Councillor James Bentall at 01:48:51 pm yesterday?

Hi motherchuck, sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this. I have removed a couple of posts in this thread and edited others. In all cases I have written to the correspondents explaining the reason for the actions taken.

David
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: motherchuck on March 30, 2014, 10:38:24 am
Hi David, can you please advise the rest of us the reason for the removal of the post from Parish Councillor James Bentall and why it has also been removed from my post yesterday at 11:30:07am?
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Editor on March 30, 2014, 10:45:39 am
Hi David, can you please advise the rest of us the reason for the removal of the post from Parish Councillor James Bentall and why it has also been removed from my post yesterday at 11:30:07am?

Hi motherchuck, our policy is to explain the reason for edits or the removal of posts to the correspondents who posted in the first place, rather than publicly in the forum. David
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Homebird on April 10, 2014, 09:45:53 am
Does anybody have an update on what's happening re the work going on in this field?  As I work away from BP a lot and when I'm at home I commute from BP station rather than drive past here on a regular basis I'm a bit out of touch on the current situation.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: GGDT on April 10, 2014, 01:45:33 pm
Does anybody have an update on what's happening re the work going on in this field?  As I work away from BP a lot and when I'm at home I commute from BP station rather than drive past here on a regular basis I'm a bit out of touch on the current situation.

I assume whatever work they were doing is now finished.

I drive past the site twice a day and yesterday morning I had to wait whilst an articulated lorry reversed into the field presumably to collect the heavy earth moving / digging machinery that was on site.

This morning there were no workers in evidence, the road is a lot cleaner now as well.
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Ex Libris on April 16, 2014, 01:36:10 pm
The following may be of interest.

On 20 March 2014, the Planning Inspectorate issued a Decision Notice dismissing the landowner’s Appeal against Welwyn Hatfield Council’s refusal to grant a Certificate of Lawful Use or Development (LDC) for the erection of a barn on what appears to be the car boot sale site.

The original application to WHBC for an LDC for the erection of an agricultural building/barn can be found at
http://publicaccess.welhat.gov.uk/rpp/index.asp?caseref=S6/2010/3136/AG
 (http://publicaccess.welhat.gov.uk/rpp/index.asp?caseref=S6/2010/3136/AG)

The landowner was seeking to build the barn under Permitted Development Rights – See “Developing farmland: regulations on land use” - https://www.gov.uk/developing-farmland-regulations-on-land-use 

 (https://www.gov.uk/developing-farmland-regulations-on-land-use)WHBC refused to grant an LDC because it was concluded that the proposal did not constitute Permitted Development.  Therefore planning permission was required, for which a full planning application would have to have been made to WHBC.

No planning application was submitted, instead the landowner chose to challenge WHBC’s original decision on Appeal.  See http://publicaccess.welhat.gov.uk/rpp/index.asp?caseref=S6/2013/0465/LUP (http://publicaccess.welhat.gov.uk/rpp/index.asp?caseref=S6/2013/0465/LUP)

The Appeal Decision Notice can be found by clicking on the PDF icon to the left of “Appeal Decision” on the above link or at http://www.pcs.planningportal.gov.uk/pcsportal/ViewCase.asp?caseid=2202085&coid=353  (http://www.pcs.planningportal.gov.uk/pcsportal/ViewCase.asp?caseid=2202085&coid=353)
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Editor on April 16, 2014, 03:07:14 pm
Hi Ex Libris,

I have embedded the appeal decision below to save people having to click through to find it.

http://www.pcs.planningportal.gov.uk/pcsportal/fscdav/READONLY?OBJ=COO.2036.300.12.6392930&NAME=/DECISION.pdf

David
Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Aqila on April 16, 2014, 06:53:48 pm
Am I the only one confused here?  If  the appeal was refused, why has the work gone ahead?

Title: Re: Hawkshead Road Car Boot Sale Field
Post by: Editor on April 17, 2014, 08:30:23 am
Am I the only one confused here?  If  the appeal was refused, why has the work gone ahead?

J

Aren't they different appeals? One to deal with the waterlogged field and the other for buildings?