Lists of planning applications - Welwyn Hatfield Council website
now contains lists of each week's planning applications. We now list only those
Friday Grove, north of Hawkshead Road,
In summary the grounds for appeal are
- the Council gave insufficient weight to the support from the Council’s Landscape Officer and Architects Advisory Panel who refer to the positive benefits to the local landscape and architecture of the County.
- With regards to the concerns of precedence, the proposal is designed to integrate with the surrounding landscape. One of the associated benefits would be the Appellant’s wishes to keep rare breed cattle on site, an uncommon ancillary use unlikely to be associated with other proposals for country houses of this scale. Furthermore the very special circumstances given overcome the issue of precedence.
- WHDC considered it did not meet the criteria set out in paragraph 3.21 of PPG7. The Council states that the proposal is not isolated and not of the highest quality nor truly outstanding in terms of architecture and landscape. The Appellant had supplied written supporting evidence to show that the site is suitably isolated in comparison with other country houses. The Council described the proposal as sporadic in its first reason for refusal, implies that it does not adhere to any pattern and appears singly in a scattered location. The proposal was designed to be visually unobtrusive and to minimise the impact on the Green Belt. It is onerous and impractical for the Appellant to be required to improve the wider setting beyond his land holdings.
- The third reason for refusal related to archaeological field excavation. We (NM Green Belt Soc) do not wish to enter into that debate.
NM Green Belt Soc has asked the Planning Inspectorate for permission to speak at the Public Inquiry.
Airport expansion opposed by Councils.
Herts CC and
Planning applications we have objected to or commented upon in 2004 (alphabetical order by name of road):
1139/2004. Lower Farm,
438/2004 – Raybrook
Farm, Bluebridge Rd,
1696/2004. land off Booths Close. Outline application for a bungalow. Resubmission of refused application 2002.686/OP. We have checked against the latest District Plan and can find no justification for approval. We have re-affirmed our original objections. Permission refused 10.1.05
1705/2004. White Lodge Farm, Bulls Lane. Convert derelict outbuilding into residential annexe. The proposal is 12% bigger floorspace than the existing building which together with the converted slaughterhouse (now also an annexe) represents a huge increase in living space. The building is so derelict it does not appear capable of being converted. Permission refused 13.1.05
1741/2003 – land at
1323/2004. Moat Farm, Dixons Hill Close, Welham Green. New bungalow for agricultural use. Farm is said to be only 8 hectares and used for horse grazing and a building for breeding macaws. We do not believe this justifies a new dwelling on this smallholding. Refused by WHDC Oct 2004.
1152/2004. 1-3 Georges Wood Rd, Brookmans Park. Demolish & erect two blocks totalling ten 2-bed flats. We have objected on the same grounds as previous applications for flats on 2 Georges Wood Rd. We have asked that this application is considered together with the latest application fo 6 flats at 2 Georges Wood Road. The two properties form a major gateway into Brookmans Park, and flats would be totally out of keeping with the character of the village. This is a hazardous dog-leg junction with the A1000 and Kentish Lane carrying school traffic from Chancellor’s School. The amount of car parking provision may well lead to on-street parking which would add to the dangers at this junction. Refused by WHDC 21 Oct 2004.
1623/2003 – 2 Georges Wood Rd – 6 flats. A previous application has been refused by WHDC. Revised plans show insufficient differences to overcome the refusal grounds and we have objected. Refused by WH Council 17.3.04. Out of character with the area, and cramped on site.
1266/2004. 2 Georges Wood Rd. Demolish and erect six flats. Being the third application in a year for six flats on this site, the previous two having been refused permission, we have written to WHDC saying this was a vexatious application and appropriate action must be taken. We have strongly objected because although the new design is for smaller flats it was still out of character with the area and at a busy crossroads. It must also be taken in context with the application for ten flats opposite at 1-3 Georges Wood Road. Application withdrawn 14 Oct 2004.
1803/2004. 2 Georges Wood Road. 6 flats. Another application but this time with two buildings, one of 2 flats and the other of 4 flats. There is now a glass roof over the stair well in the 4-flat block, otherwise no other changes noticed.
1248/2004. 17 Georges Wood Rd, Brookmans Park. Extension. The redesigned windows appear to reduce privacy for neighbours with a loss of amenity, and the current work does not appear to be in accordance with approved plans. We have objected. Refused by WHDC Oct 2004. An appeal has been lodged.
120/2004/DT – land at Rookery Café, Great North Road, Bell Bar – 15m mobile phone mast (O2) . Refused by Welwyn Hatfield Council as being too visible. An appeal has also been dismissed on 10 December 20904 as inappropriate and harmful to the Green Belt because the mast would be 5m higher that the surrounding tree-line.
131/2004/DT – land at Marshmoor Lane, WG – 15m mobile phone mast (Vodaphone) – these two masts would be very close to one another and we asked that one mast be shared. WHDC have refused the Rookery Cafe mast as being too visible
1440/2004. Marshmoor Bungalow, Great North Road, near Welham Green. Demolish bungalow and erect a replacement dwelling. In the Green Belt, and 73% bigger than the existing dwelling so we have objected on those grounds. Refused by WHDC 23.11.04
1700/2003 – San Felice, Great North Road, Bell Bar. Convert into 8 flats. We decided not to object. However we noted to WHDC the lack of information on landscaping and car parking, and garages should not be permitted. We also said that this must not be compared with any other proposals for flats in the area. Approved by WH Council
San Felice, Gt N Rd, Bell Bar. Application dated 1 August 2004 for Public Entertainment Licence extension to 2am Wednesdays to Saturdays.
The new owner now intends to re-open the restaurant and has applied to renew an expired licence extension. We have expressed our concern in case the licence could enable the premises to be used for a nightclub. . WHDC Licensing Officer said there had been no complaints of noise since the original licence approval in 1991 so we withdrew our objection.
1192/2004. Rookery Café, Gt N Rd. Welham Green Car wash in car park (retrospective). We have objected as inappropriate change of use in GB, and queried the claim that drainage is into public sewer since no drainage is apparent, and it could pollute the stream at rear of the site. Refused by WHDC 29 Sept 2004.
435/2004 – Sunnymeade, Great North Rd (next to Marshmoor factory) – extension and loft conversion. In Green Belt – we have objected as overdevelopment in the Green Belt. Refused by WHDC. Interseting that this property is now for sale. (January 2005)
Villa Rosa, Gt North Rd, Brookmans Park. A trench has been dug for what appears to be foundations for a new extension. No planning application has been made and we have alerted WHDC in September 2004. . The Council advise us that permission was granted in 1990 and for technical reasons, there was no time limit of when the work had to be carried out.
624/2004 – Rose Cottage, Leggatts Park, Gt North Rd. Redesign the cottage. The plans were not very clear so we said that if it increased the floor area over the approved size then we objected. Approved by WHDC
1256/2004. Rose Cottage, Leggatts Park. Relocation of the cottage. This is a demolition and replacement, not relocation, with a bungalow replaced by a two-storey house. We have objected on grounds of insufficient information on enlargement. Approved by WHDC on 24 Sept 2004. It transpires that the previously approved replacement of Rose Cottage is simply being rotated on the same site. We would not have commented had the application made that clear.
886/2004 – Leggatts Park, Gt North Rd – revised garages design with room over the three triple-garages. We consider that these rooms are habitable rooms and therefore an increase over the approved replacement floor areas. We have objected on those grounds. Permission refused by WHDC
865 & 867/2004 – Videne, Hawkshead Road, Little Heath. Extensions and replacement stables (plus swimming pool extension on one application) . We objected as over-development in the Green Belt. Permission refused by WHDC
1701/2003 – Friday Grove, Hawkshead Rd,
BP – erect new Country House.
We had carefully read all the many documents submitted with the
application. We have circulated details
to over 400 houses nearest the site and received thanks from residents. Information has also been put on www.brookmans.com and WH Times had an article on it. We objected as inappropriate in the GB, and
the very special circumstances listed were not ‘special’.
21 acre site is the four fields at the junction of Hawkshead Road and
Bluebridge Rd, opposite Hawkshead Lane.
The owner submitted plans for a huge 1,190 sq m house built into a
crescent shaped mound. He also proposed
a rare breed farm of about 20 cattle or more sheep, and a public footpath along
the eastern side of the land enabling walkers to get from Hawkshead Road to
Gobions Wood. The documents stated that
the farm would produce a modest income.
Green Belt policies are in
We objected most strongly as being against Green Belt policies and the ‘very special circumstances’ offered are not sufficiently special, in our opinion, to override Green Belt policies.
Update 4.8.04 - The Council refused permission because:
· The proposal represented a sporadic and inappropriate development in open countryside, damaging the rural character of this area of Green Belt and could set a precedent for further such developments. No exceptional circumstances were apparent.
· With regard to the provisions of PPG7 paragraph 3.21, the proposal is not isolated and is not truly outstanding in terms of its architecture and landscape, and would fail to significantly enhance its setting and wider surroundings.
1104/2004. land adjoining 45 Kentish Lane . This application was for a new large detached house on large next to the property, which is in the Green Belt. We objected since new housing is inappropriate in GB. The application was refused by WHDC on 10 Sept. 2004.
987-2004. Timbers, Lysley Place, Shepherds Way, Brookmans Park. Various extensions. We have objected as over-development in the Green Belt. Approved by WHDC
332/2004 – Well House, Lysley Place, Shepherds Way – extension to form annex. In Green Belt. Difficult to assess how big this large extension would be. We have told WHDC that if this proposal plus stables approved in 2002 exceed 40% of the original building then we object as overdevelopment in the Green Belt
1406/2004. 14 Mymms Drive, Brookmans Park. Extension, conservatory and security wall and gates. We do not object to the extension or conservatory, but the security wall and gates are out of character with the rest of the road where the only other ‘security wall and gates’ is at number 42, and that is unauthorised according to a Planning Inspector who rejected this feature at 60 Mymms Drive. Withdrawn 11.11.04
1635/2003 – 8 Potterells, Station Rd – convert garage into room, erect new garage. We objected as extending the footprint which we believed is not permitted by the original planning approval. Approved by WHDC
1138/2004. land at junction Station Rd/Bradmore Lane, Brookmans Park. Erect 12.5m mobile phone mast. We have objected on grounds of not sharing adjacent mast. Application withdrawn and new application submitted with shares the existing mast so we have not objected.
1759/2003 – land at end of Welham Manor – nine 2-bed dwellings and garages. GB land so we objected. A previous application for 3 houses on this ¾ acre site was refused on GB grounds, and on appeal but mainly because of the low density. The London Green Belt Council wrote to the Dep. Prime Minister’s Office about this appeal report and was assured of the government’s commitment to the GB. We sent copies of this correspondence with our objection letter. Refused by WH Council 3 June 2004. The applicant has lodged an objection.
Other actions taken in 2004
Cash wash at Rookery Café, A1000 – we had advised WHDC of this change of use, the unauthorised advert, and possible pollution of a nearby stream. The sign has now gone but the carwash is still operating. We advised WHDC again. A retrospective planning application has now been made – see above.
Old Maypole, Warrengate Rd – a neighbour has alerted us to a possible car park extension using hardcore. We advised WHDC.
Welwyn Hatfield District Plan review – in 2003 a Public Inquiry into the review was held. The Inspector’s report was presented to the Council on 18 May. The report says there is no need to change the existing green belt boundaries. This means that our actions last year were worth while, and public opinion still counts.
We have now read the relevant parts of the Inspector's Report.
During the Inquiry in 2003 the North Mymms District Green Belt Soc became aware of three objections by landowners/developers who wanted their land taking out of the Green Belt on the edge of Welham Green, a village in the North Mymms parish. If housing were allowed on those sites it could have joined Welham Green to Hatfield, and increased the village from about 1,400 dwellings to 2,100 - a 50% increase.
There was a fourth site being the frontages of houses on Hawkshead Road, Little Heath between the Jehovah’s Witness Hall and the houses to the east of Osborne Farm.
We issued two Newsletters to all residents and held two public meeting attended by about 200 people and 120 resp. The resulting petitions of almost 1,000 signatures were presented by our President Bob Wilson, the former Arsenal goalkeeper and broadcaster, to WH Council. They virtually all opposed every proposal by landowners - a few would have liked the site at the end of Welham Manor* to be developed to get rid of a nuisance user. WH Council was very pleased to receive the petition because the Council did not see any need to build on Green Belt land in order to meet its current housing requirement for the Plan period to 2011. We attended the Inquiry and gave feedback at our second meeting.
The Inspector's report thought the housing capacity had been under-estimated and there was more than sufficient capacity for housing land in the urban areas (mainly Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City) without using land in the Green Belt. He saw no justification to amend current boundaries of the Green Belt as proposed by the landowners/developers unless there were specific exceptional circumstances. He did not consider the Plan set a precedent for piecemeal erosion of the Green Belt around Welham Green or anywhere else.
In going into his detail examination of each site he said they fulfilled the objectives of Green Belts by preventing urban sprawl, encroachment into the countryside, and development of the largest site at Marshmoor would have an adverse effect on the openness of the countryside.
What struck us was his description of Welham Green as a 'sustainable location for housing and is a relatively large and vibrant village'. His report specifically mentioned Welham Green in several places i.e. 'Welham Green or anywhere else'. Our assumption is that he was particularly aware of Welham Green and the residents’ feelings due to the actions of this Society and the resulting petitions. In other words, it pays to take action.
Another pertinent point was that the Inspector refused to consider what might be in RPG14 (planning guidance to be issued by the East of England Regional Government) and the effects it might have on housing requirements for the District. He did say that once RPG14 had been issued and its implications fed downwards, it could cause the Council to revisit the Plan.
* - Last year a Planning Inspector dismissed an appeal relating to plans for three houses on this site, not because of its Green Belt location but because of the low density. He thought the scruffy appearance of the site together with the removal of the nuisance motor repair business were very special circumstances justifying development on the Green Belt land. However the three houses on ¾ acre (11 per hectare) was below the 30 minimum, so he dismissed the appeal.
The sites were 52 acres at Marshmoor (between the railway and A1000 northwards from Dixons Hill Road up to the junction of the A1000 and a1001 South Way), Skimpans Farm meadows (10 acres between the railway and Station Rd, south of Bulls Lane, owned by the Crawford Trust - NOT the owners of Skimpans Farmhouse, Bulls Lane), and 2.2 acres at the end of Welham Manor, off Dixons Hill Road). If these three sites were allowed for housing they could increase Welham Green by 700+ dwellings, from about 1,400 to 2,100+. This 50% increase would destroy the village concept of Welham Green.