NORTH MYMMS DISTRICT GREEN BELT SOCIETY

Newsletter No. 35 – February 2007

 

Diary dates      

Monday 26 March 2007 at 8 pm.

Our AGM at Brookmans Park United Reformed Church. 

See below for details

 

Sat 13 Oct 2007 at noon

NM Memorial Hall.  Our 22nd Michaelmas Lunch. 

Tickets available via our Secretary in September.

 

 

New President

Bob Wilson moved away in 2006, and stood down after 24 years as our President. 

 

We are delighted that Gary Mabbutt MBE has agreed to be our President.  Having been a defender for Spurs and England, he is now defending our Green Belt. 

 

9,000+ homes on the Green Belt in Welwyn Hatfield

 

Just think about it - 7 times the size of Brookmans Park or Welham Green 

 

This is the Government’s latest proposal for the East of England - details in the attached letter.

 

IT IS VITAL that everyone, including the 658 who replied to our previous Newsletter, demonstrates their objections to this latest proposal.   This is your last chance to stop it.

Please act now.

What can you do?

 

Simply add your name and address to the attached letter, plus your own comments if you wish, and send it to us by 28 February. 

Mail it to us at 19 Swanley Bar Lane, Potters Bar, EN6 1NR, or use our collection boxes at

·         Brookmans Park News on Bradmore Green, and

·         the Post Office on Dellsome Lane.

 

We will send them in bulk to the Government. 

 

Bob Wilson and Gary Mabbutt presented Welwyn Hatfield Council with the 658 replies to our September Newsletter supporting the council’s opposition to the extra homes.  They were then delivered 10 Downing Street together with the ‘NoWayTo10K’ petition organised by the Welwyn Hatfield Times newspaper.

 

Treasury Report affects the Green Belt

Kate Barker’s report on ‘Land use planning’ issued in December 2006 recommended a review of Green Belt boundaries and a ‘more positive approach to applications that will enhance the quality of Green Belts’.  The report admitted that ‘some individuals and groups will be adversely affected’.  The report noted that Green Belts were originally created to provide open space near towns.  However, ‘checking urban sprawl’ became the first objective of Green Belts in the government’s own planning guidance.

 

Our successes in 2006

Planning applications - In 2006 there were182 applications in the parish, compared with 162 in 2005.  We objected to or commented on 28 of them (15%), with 17 refused or withdrawn,

7 approved (one with modification) and 4 still to be decided.  As these figures show, we do not oppose or comment on the vast majority of planning applications.

 

In 2006 the council rejected a further application for a ‘country house’ at Friday Grove, Bluebridge Road.  An appeal has been made and we intend to speak at the Public Inquiry which should be later this year.

 

We keep you informed

Read about what is happening by means of:

-          www.greenbeltsociety.org.uk , our website which is updated regularly,

-          Chancellor's Community Newsletter, and

-          this annual Newsletter.

Membership counts

The East of England Regional Assembly gave our contact details to other organisations as an example of how our strong membership and our campaign in 2005 produced a huge response on the draft East of England Plan.  Just one example of how our voice is noticed by authorities.

 

Annual membership costs just £1 a head, so why not enrol each member of your family? 

An application form is below.  Enrol at our AGM, or mail the form with a cheque/postal order payable to 'North Mymms District Green Belt Society'

 

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NORTH MYMMS DISTRICT GREEN BELT SOCIETY

President – Gary Mabbutt MBE

 

This Society will hold its Annual General Meeting on Monday 26 March 2007 at 8 p.m. in the United Reformed Church Hall, Bluebridge Road, Brookmans Park, Herts.  All are warmly welcome but only members of the Society can vote.

 

AGENDA

1.         To confirm the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 27 March 2006

2.         To deal with matters arising from those Minutes

3.         To receive the Chairman's report

4.         The presentation of the Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2006

5.         To receive the Membership Secretary's report

6.         Election of Officers and Committee Members

7.         Election of the Honorary Auditor

8.         Any other business

 

Tim Hill will then give an illustrated talk on the work of the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust.

Tea, coffee, and biscuits will be served afterwards.

 

  

MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION & RENEWAL FORM

To Carol McCarthy, 1 The Firs, Woodside Lane, Bell Bar, Hatfield, Herts AL9 6DF

 

Please enrol...............member(s) of my family into the North Mymms District Green Belt Society

to 31 December 2007.

                    First name or initials           Surname                       Address                       

 

Mr./Mrs/Ms_____________        _________________     ___________________________

 

    CAPITAL LETTERS PLEASE                                      _____________________________

Cheque / P.O enclosed for £        being  £.............annual membership (£1 per person)

                                                            and / or  £............... voluntary contribution to funds.

 

  Tick here if you require a membership card, otherwise we will not issue one, thereby reducing our overheads. The paid cheque acts as your receipt.   If you require a card, we would appreciate it if you enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope.   Please allow 28 days for delivery.

 

For office use:             CARD ISSUED  (                )                   Entered in Register (              )

 

 

You can copy the text below onto a sheet of paper, fill it in and return it to us by 28 February 2007.

To The Government Office – East of England

For official use only

 

Resp No:

 

Rep No:

 

Date Rec:

 

Date Ack:

 

 

From (Enter your name and address here)

 

PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE EAST OF ENGLAND PLAN

 

I am /we are:                            Objecting

Policy H1 regional housing provision,                      

Policy LA3 Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield (Key Centre for Development and Change),

Policy SS7 Green Belt

I/we object to the proposed 10,000 new homes in Welwyn Hatfield.  The figure should revert back to 5,800 as stated in the original draft East of England Plan (EEP)

The report following the Examination in Public in 2006 gave no justification for the increase to 10,000.  The Sustainability Appraisal did not properly assess the impact of this scale of development in Welwyn Hatfield. There is no technical examination to support the deliverability and impact of the proposals. The increase is undemocratic due to the lack of examination, public consultation and scrutiny. 

The sudden imposition of housing figures as minimums at this late stage is outrageous and dictatorial. 

Welwyn Hatfield does not have the infrastructure to support this scale of development, and Government funding is exhibiting signs of great strain.  Roads in the borough are already heavily congested and trains overcrowded.  The new Hatfield Hospital, mentioned in the ‘Proposed Changes’ document, has been cancelled due to lack of funds.  The QE2 hospital in Welwyn Garden City is expected to close.  Schools and libraries are closing and the police force is under-funded.  Water, sewerage and waste management are operating at their limits.

Welwyn Hatfield Council states that the original figure of 5,800 homes might be accommodated without a significant incursion into the Green Belt.   However the increase to 10,000 means that the extra 4,200 homes will have to be built on Green Belt land.  The ‘Proposed Changes’ states that Green Belt boundaries will have to be further rolled back to accommodate another 5000 homes.  This will result in settlements merging together and a loss of countryside. This extra 9,200 homes, equivalent to the size of Hatfield, will have a huge environmental impact due to the loss of trees, fields and countryside which is so essential to us all in today’s stressful world

The ‘Proposed Changes’ document implies an immediate review of Green Belt boundaries in Welwyn Hatfield, yet it cannot happen until 2010 when the District Plan is next updated.  The document does not give specific parameters for the timing and scope of any Green Belt review.  It is too vague, leading to confusion.