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Green Close ‘hotchpotch’ rejected

site of proposed flats top left - image courtesy of Paul Large of Falcon Media
The plans were for the triangle of green land to the top left of this picture

Too cramped, overdeveloped, unduly dominating, and failing to reflect the established character of Brookmans Park.

Just some of reasons given by council planners for rejecting plans for 14 flats in Green Close.

The official delegate decision for the refusal of planning application S6/2008/0918/MA, says that the proposed building, "by virtue of its bulk, design, scale and mass would appear as a cramped form of development on this restricted site to an extent which would represent overdevelopment, as it would significantly reduce and harm the existing spacious character of the street scene and surrounding area."

The published decision went on to say that the proposal "would represent an unduly dominating and prominent feature within the street scene of Green Close and Station Road, thereby failing to respect or reflect the established character of this part of Brookmans Park."

It continued to describe the architecture of the proposed building as "a ‘hotchpotch’ of roofs, varied ridgelines, window design and fenestration details, which would appear incongruous to the detriment of the character and appearance of the site and the surrounding area."

Such a building, the decision reads, "fails to comply with PPS1 (Delivering Sustainable Development) and Local Plan Policies D1 and D2 of the Welwyn Hatfield District Plan 2005 and Supplementary Design Guidance and Policy ENV7 of the East of England Plan 2008."

Lack of space

The decision cited lack of space for prospective residents.

"The proposal would provide inadequate outside private amenity space for future residents as it is not considered sufficiently functional or usable by virtue of the limited areas, location, shape and varied gradients of the site and as such is contrary to PPS1 (Delivering Sustainable Development), Local Plan Policy D1 of the Welwyn Hatfield District Plan and Supplementary Design Guidance (Statement of Council Policy)."

Habitable rooms

The proposed standards of habitable rooms was also questioned.

"The proposal would result in poor standards of residential amenity to habitable rooms of future residents located to the southern elevation of the building (in particular flats 1, 3, 8, 10 and 11) as identified on drawing number 07 009 01. This fails to comply with Policy D1 of the Welwyn Hatfield District Plan 2005 and the accompanying Supplementary Design Guidance 2005."

Renewable resources

It was deemed not to meet energy efficiency targets.

"The applicant has failed to show that the development could obtain 10% of its energy requirement from renewable sources and has provided no justification to prove that the provision of energy is not practical or viable, the proposal has therefore failed to comply with Policy ENG1 of the East of England Plan 2008."


The decision said the applicant has failed to satisfy the sustainability aims of the plan and "to secure the proper planning of the area by failing to ensure that the development proposed provides the necessary infrastructure, services and facilities which are directly related to the proposal and necessary for the grant of planning permission."

It continued...

"The applicant has failed to provide a planning obligation under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) relating to the payment of financial contributions required for sustainable transport measures, education, childcare, youth facilities and library.

"The Local Planning Authority considers that it would be inappropriate to secure the required financial contributions by any method other than a legal agreement and the proposal is therefore contrary to Policy IM2 and M4 of the Welwyn Hatfield District Plan 2005.

The design company that drew up the plans for the proposed development on former Network Rail land between Green Close and Station Road offered this site the planning application documents supporting the project in July this year so that they could be published online.

The plans were for 14 new residential flats made up of nine two-bed flats and five three-bed flats in a two and three storey block.

The documents are available on the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council website, but are in large files and in black and white.

Jeremy Stephens, of Stephens Design Associates approached this site through the contact us form and offered full quality PDF files for all who want to take a more detailed look at what was being proposed.

Please be aware that these are extremely large files and will take time to download. You will need to have Adobe Reader installed to be able to view them. (This site is not responsible for any errors caused by downloading Adobe Reader.)

The documents are:

You can discuss this issue in this site's forum.

13 September 2008

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