Gladman have submitted revisions to their original proposal (see Timeline). NHDC have asked members of the public to submit comments on these revisions by Thurs Oct 11th.

Reviewing the revised proposals

Details can be found on the NHDC planning portal where the following revised documents can be found:

  • Development Framework Plan 7407-L-02 rev F
  • Design and Access Statement September 2018
  • Landscape Appraisal September 2018
  • Planning Statement September 2018
  • Illustrative Masterplan 18/09/2018
  • Arboricultural Addendum September 2018

Submitting your objections

Below are additional points in response to the amended planning application that, if you have time we would recommend adding to your objection. We suggest doing this by email, and personalising if you can, and sending to Melissa Tyler directly melissa.tyler@north-herts.gov.uk.

(For reference: our guidance for objections to the original proposal for the public consultation which ended in July 2018 can be found here)

Visual Impact

The proposed development by reason of its size, depth, width, height and massing would have an unacceptably adverse impact on the amenity of the local public right of ways systems and Therfield Heath (SSSI), located immediately adjacent to the site, and to the surrounding countryside area by reason of its visually overbearing impact.

The proposed reduction in building heights has only been proposed in some areas of the central parts of the site, the outer higher ridges of the site are still proposing 2 storey development. These locations and the development of the site in its own right would represent, by some distance, the highest area of built development within the south western part of the town, and in some of the public views the new houses would still appear on the skyline. The Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVA) therefore still underestimates the significant effect the development proposals would have.

The updated LVA still does not give sufficient consideration to the direct effects of the access proposals and the need to widen a significant length of Briary Lane. The widening and surfacing of the existing narrow, unsurfaced public right of way, together with the removal of parts of a much used public common land (local residents open space and parking), the existing stone wall along its western side and some of the trees and other vegetation alongside it would completely change its character from that of a rural track located between common land and a SSSI, into a suburban residential access road. This is an important landscape effect in its own right, and the LVA has underestimated the significant impact the proposals will have to a public rights of way within a sensitive and environmentally important setting. This access and setting was given significant weight in the recent enquiry associated with the de-registration of the common land.

Impact on Common Land

The loss of common land and parking areas will have a significant social harm and will be a detriment to local residents. The Inspector of the recent enquiry, regarding the deregistration of the common land stated:

“I accept that there are car parks elsewhere on the common but the loss of this facility would impact on people who park in this area to access the common. The evidence indicates that it is a fairly well used public facility and its removal may lead to cars parking on the surrounding streets to the detriment of local residents.

The proposal by Gladman is for the car parking facilities to be located some distance away from its current location, a distance from the current popular access to the Heath. This access has been assessed as the third most popular access route into the heath, by Ecology Footprint a Survey on behalf of Natural England. The proposal by Gladman will only increase the potential conflict between pedestrians and motorists, increase the amount of parking on street to existing local residents and will hinder the current accessibility to the existing Heath.

The impact from the removal of common land has not been mitigated for and the proposed land swap is located in an area to the benefit of proposed residents at a detriment to the existing residents and users of the Heath.

Social Harm

School places were referenced by Hertfordshire County Council in their original response to this application (e-mail dated 24 May 2018) stating only a maximum of 50 dwellings can be accommodated at this site. This has not been addressed by Gladman and therefore the proposals will still amount to a significant social harm.

Highway Safety Risk

The proposed access route is adjacent to the retained common land, situated off Briary Lane and Sun Hill. This land is of local importance to walkers and is a used play area for local children. The previous highway works assessed the impact of the development with this land being used for housing. The recent decision by the planning inspector ensures this land is retained as common land and therefore the impacts of the development should take this into account. An independent safety audit should be undertaken with this in mind and with the parking areas retained and the common land used by the public.

Optional if you border the site

If you are residents that back onto the field we encourage you to specifically mention the impact that the development will have on your privacy and that the amended proposals make this worse for some residents.

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