In road name order. Updated 21 May 2007

Folly Arch, Hawkshead Road, Little Heath - Update 1 Nov 2001 - The Parish Council have been advised by the owner of the Arch that the cracking has not got worse, and work will commence next Spring. This is the first definite date to be given by the owner.

on 30 July 2001, English Heritage wrote to update us, and the Parish Council, on the situation. The following is the relevant extract from that letter:

'English Heritage offered a substantial grant to the owners in November 2000. This was accepted in February 2001, and we were expecting a start to be made in Spring or Summer; Winter not being an appropriate time for such repairs.

As there appeared to be no further developments, we wrote to the owners in June, and I followed this with a personal approach to them. I am advised that negotiations have just been concluded with Welwyn Hatfield District Council in connection with the eff ect of the adjoining trees on the stability of the structure. There have also been negotiations with the building contractors over the additional scope of the works. The contractors had been formally engaged in September 1999 to carry out a more limited scheme of work, but as they began to set up their site equipment, further displacement of the structure took place, indicating a need for more extensive repairs, and greater expenditure.

As their contract could not be cancelled without incurring a financial penalty, the professional advisors have been engaged in agreeing a price with them for the additional work. Should this exercise prove unsuccessful, the work will be competitively tendered again. Nevertheless, the intention is to commence and complete t he work before this Winter. The appointment of the contractors in 1999 shows commitment and I am hopeful that the current intention will be realised. I shall remain in contact with the owners and their advisors. '

Background information re Folly Arch

In November 1998 a crack appeared in the Arch and we notified Welwyn Hatfield Council and English Heritage. A meeting was held on 14 July (1999?) between English Heritage's architect and engineer, the owner's engineer and a representative of Welwyn Hatfield Council to agree the course of action now that costs of the new scheme of repairs had been received. These had been drawn up in conjunction with the Building Research Establishment. In August 1999 the crack got bigger and a large iron beam and 4 jacks were put in place to give temporary support to the curved part of the arch. In 2000 a second major crack appeared. We were told that should work not start soon, the Arch would be monitored to ensure that the supports remained adequate pending the start of work.

Early in October 1999 we heard from EH and WHC, and the owner has written to North Mymms Parish Council. They said approval of the EH grant was imminent, which would enable the owner to carry out the necessary work, costing more than 100,000. In October 2000 another major crack appeared in the central span, and the right hand tower was visibly leaning back i.e. to the north. We wrote several times to Welwyn Hatfield Council and English Heritage, urging that remedial work be done a.s.a.p.

In December 2000 we wrote yet again to English Heritage to find out what was happening. We half expected the Arch to blow down in the recent high winds. In June 2001 we heard that English Heritage had approved the grant and repairs would take place when the recent wet weather allows. In October 2001 the cracks appear to be getting bigger, a possible indication of further movement of the right-hand tower.

Swan Yard, Bell Lane, Bell Bar These appeals were against refusals of two planning applications. The Public Hearing was held on 27 April 2000 and the Planning Inspector dismissed the appeals in his report dated 24 May 2000. The land has now been acquired by the owner of the adjoining property and incorporated into the garden of that house.

The gypsy owner of Swan Yard, Bell Lane, Bell Bar, near Hatfield bought the site in 1998 and in 1999 the Council refused his two planning applications. One was for a house on the site, and the other for a residential caravan pitch for his family to live in two caravans on the site.  The Council then sought an Injunction to stop him living on the site without planning permission. At the Court Hearing last February, he agreed to clear the site within 7 days if there was an adverse appeal decision.   

A 1991 appeal was dismissed against refusal of a planning application for a house on the site.  The current appeal was also rejected on the same grounds, that it would be out of keeping with the generally more spacious pattern of development in Bell Lane, which is in the Green Belt.  It would increase the built up character of the junction of Bell Lane and the A1000 Great North Road.  

In considering the second appeal, for a gypsy site, the Inspector considered that the appellant - Mr Johnson - fell within the statutory definition of a gypsy at the time of the Inquiry i.e. 'persons of nomadic habit of life, whatever their race or origin' (Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960).  Various Court judgements have interpreted this to mean that a gypsy may have a permanent place of residence yet travel for the purpose of making or seeking a livelihood.  

804/2000 - Charcoal Meadows, Dixons Hill Close, North Mymms - application for a pet cemetery - a curious one since cemeteries are a permitted use of Green Belt land. However we consider that a pet cemetery is a commercial venture, and have objected to this application on those grounds (no pun intended!). UPDATE 28 August - planning application turned down by the Council

513/2000 - land at rear 45 Dixons Hill Close - erect livery stables - Green Belt land so we have objected to this commercial use. Application approved by the Council 25 August 2000

28/2000- Moat Farm. Dixons Hill Close, North Mymms - cert of lawfulness for existing use of agricultural barn for breeding and housing exotic birds - we have objected to this change of use from agricultural use, which is permitted in the Green Belt, to a commercial use.

361/2000 - land at rear 148-150 Dixons Hill Road change to residential use - we objected because it is Green Belt land. Planning application refused by WHDC. Plans approved for 324/2000 -148/150 Dixons Hill Rd (demolish & build 12 houses)

land to rear of 148-150 Dixons Hill Rd, Welham Green Hatfield - site for residential development - S6/2000/381/OP - this is Green Belt land so we have objected.UPDATE 27 May 2000 - application refused by the Council.

Brookmans Park Transmitting Station - 4 more satellite dishes (ref 904/2000) - Updated 19.12.2000 - This planning application was approved by the Council in December 2000.

This application is in accordance with the approved Master Plan for the site, we have no grounds for objection. See 753/99 on Objections and comments- 1999 for details of the last application. Local residents were to have met on Thursday 13 July, but did not, but we had supplied information. We have asked for confirmation that these dishes will not exceed the National Radiological Protection Board licence - we expect they will be within the limit, but we will feel happier with confirmation. UPDATE 13.8.200 - this reply has been received from the applicant, Castle Communications via Welwyn Hatfield Council. A copy of it is available for public inspection at the Council - reference S6/2000/904/FP


Introduction. There have been objections from local residents with particular reference to the current planning application for 4 new satellite dishes , 2 of 9.3m, 1 of 6.3m and 1 of 3.8m diameter. These objections are, I believe, based on fears of perceived unproven health risks and fears of increased interference to domestic electronic equipment and telephones. This explanation seeks to show that the satellite dish installations should not be adding to these fears.

Interference. The Brookmans Park site has been used for medium frequency broadcasting since the late 1920's. The nature of this type of radio transmission is that the power emitted from the antennas is in all directions and the powers used quite high. For example, Radio 5 has a transmitter power of 150 kilowatts and this is but one of several services transmitted from the site. For a mile or so around the site, therefore, the signal is very strong and any length of wire or pipe will act as a receiving antenna and pick up a strong signal. e.g. telephone lines, loudspeaker wires etc. Unless precautions are taken, which could include careful routing of cables and the fitting of filters, then the equipment connected to the cable can turn this energy into audible sounds.

The nature of the transmissions from satellite dishes is that the frequencies used are very much higher, and thus well removed from the medium wave band. On that score they would be unlikely to interfere with domestic equipment. However, the satellite dish emits and receives on a very narrow beam, rather like a very narrow searchlight beam, to pin-point the satellite many thousands of miles away. The transmitter power is a fraction of the broadcast transmitters. Also the dishes are elevated upwards and thus the beam is way above people and houses.

There will be no increase in interference to domestic equipment due to the installation of satellite dishes.

Health. The guidelines of the National Radiological Protection Board are followed at all times. i.e. levels of radio frequency energy are well below NRPB recommended levels in areas to which people have access.

What is worth emphasising is as stated above under "Interference", i.e. the very narrow beam used by the satellite dish ensures that any radio energy is directed well away from people and buildings.

How Many Dishes on the Site? The "commercial" answer is as many as possible but only within the area defined below (see 'Master Strategy'). A submitted planning application is the result of an enquiry from a potential operator and does not necessarily mean more dishes. Before any agreement can be catered into that operator needs to know if planning permission would be granted. If it is, then the operator has a 5 year option to build those dishes. This may or may not happen. Additionally, there are physical limitations in that a dish must not obstruct the beam of another dish.

Master Strategy. In 1993 a "Master Strategy for future development of the site was drawn up and agreed with the Planning Authority (Welwyn Hatfield Council). Briefly, this will restrict the installation of satellite (or any other aerials) to a north - south strip some 110 metres wide, at the rear (east) of the site. This leaves the whole of the front of the site, from the A1000 road and inw ards to a depth of about 200 metres, clear of any future development. The area of the site for future satellite dish installation is restricted to a strip of land at the rear of the site.

Landscaping A landscaping scheme has also been agreed with the Local Authority. This involves the planting of several strips of trees and bushes right across the site between the "dish area" and the public roads, together with re-enforcing existing and the planting o f new hedgerows. Extensive planting scheme is ongoing in consultation with the Planning Authority.

Preservation of Wildlife and Grazing. The woodland area in the north field by the public footpath is preserved under the agreed Master Strategy. Thus the wildlife therein is flourishing. All other unused areas of grassland are fenced and used for grazing animals. Existing Woodland retained and grazing continues.

Written by George Bath, Castle Communications International.

The western end of Hawkshead Lane is narrow and twisty, with houses either side, totally unsuitable for heavy traffic. Despite the 3 ton weight limit, traffic of all sizes uses this lane as a cut-through from the South Mimms junction of the M25 and A1(M). The Vet College encourage drivers to approach the college from the eastern end of this lane - see website for directions on how to get to the College. .We have urged the Council to carry out their own traffic surveys to see what size of problem there is, and take any necessary traffic management action.

In late February residents of Hawkshead Lane alerted us to problems with the hump back bridge on Hawkshead Lane. In March 2000 the County Council have rebuilt the damaged parapet. In July 2000 the bridge was hit, dislodging sections of brickwork. We advised Herts CC who put protective netting and traffic cones in place to reduce the risk of another hit, pending repair works being carried out. In August 2000 Welwyn Hatfield Council noted our concerns and proposed gateway features, traffic calming, chicanes and a 30 mph speed limit. A lorry ban for the west end of the lane was another feature the council consider to be desirable. Our concerns were registered for consideration for inclusion in the Traffic and Environment Priority List. UPDATE 16.12.2000 - Herts County Council have now put up new 3-ton weight limit signs at each end of the lane, and announced proposals to improve road safety and reduce accidents by 30 mph speed restrictions in North Mymms, namely

- Hawkshead Lane from the junction with Warrengate Road to 20m. east of the Vet College entrance,

- Warrengate Road from 5m. east of the Swanland Rd junction to 56m. south of Abdale House driveway,

- Warrengate Road from 10m. north of 60 Warrengate Road to 32m. south of Hawkshead Lane, and

- Bradmore Lane from the junction with Warrengate Road for a distance of 20m.

Plans etc. at Welwyn Hatfield Council, Council Offices, WGC, and Hatfield Town Council, Town Centre, Kennelwood, Hatfield, and Herts CC, Room 223 County Hall, Hertford. Objections must be made by 12 January 2001 to the County Secretary, County Hall, Hertford SG13 8DE, quoting reference AS.

39/2000 - Royal Vet College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms - new learning resource centre, reception, admin offices, new vehicular access and car parking - this proposal is within the area designated as a major development site in the Council District Plan, so we have no objections as such. However we are concerned at the likely increase in traffic particularly when viewed in conjunction with the proposed large animal clinical centre. The Council have advised of traffic calming proposals for Hawkshead Lane on which we have commented. Update - approved 29 June 2000 with conditions.

778/99 - Royal Vet College, Hawkshead Lane - large animal clinical centre. We have objected since they plan to build beyond the approved development site boundary on Green Belt land. A prime objective of the Green Belt is to safeguard the surrounding countryside from further encroachment. We thank the RVC for showing us round to see what is proposed, and what would be replaced. The plans etc are on . Update 20 June 2000 - the proposals have now been brought within the boundary of the Major Developed Site boundary. UPDATE 16.12.2000 - plans approved by the Council in December 2000, subject to a Section 106 agreement.

771/2000 - land at 30 Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms -outline application for a dwelling - being a backland development on Green Belt land we have objected to this application. Update 14 November 2000 - Planning has been refused by the Council.

735/99 - 54 Holloways Lane - erect bungalow to the rear. An appeal against refusal of planning permission was rejected by the Planning Inspectorate on 27 March 2000. The Inspector said that the site was too small for the proposed bungalow which covered too great a proportion of the site and appearted cramped in relation to its surrounding. It's scale and design would also be incongrupous with nearby developments.

1045 & 1046/99 - build new house on land at rear of 2 & 4 Moffats Lane, Brookmans Park - back land development out of keeping with the area, so we have objected. On 24 January the Council refused the 1046 application, and new plans have been submitted for 1045. It is now a 4 bedroomed detached dwelling which is smaller floor area. the first floor bedrooms are accommodated within the roof space so the overall height is reduced. We consider that the property is still too large and an inappropriate siting, with windows and a doorway overlooking the rear of a house on Bluebridge Avenue. We have objected to these revised plans. In May, further revised plans have been submitted, for a slightly narrower building, but still not acceptable to us or the neighbours. UPDATE 26 May 2000 - revised plans passed by the Council. Update 24 July - revised plans submitted including a conservatory, which neighbours advise us will improve their privacy. We have queried this proposed enlargement of a house which had to be reduced in size to get it approved. Update 4 Sept - Council advise that clear glass is proposed for conservatory which is not acceptable, and is being taken up with the applicant. Update 15 Sept - plans approved by the Council


Back to Home Page

Back to the top