Thursday, 26 November 2015

BPRA AGM Thursday 26th November 2015



THURSDAY 26th November 8.00pm



Chairperson’s report

Treasurer’s report

Election of Committee

Election of Officers



Thursday, 25 June 2015

New and extended local plan promoted sites

The council has published some newly proposed sites for the local plan which include extensions to some of the previous sites. There will be a cabinet meeting tonight which will include some discussion on these which we will report on later.
Here are plans of the newly proposed, and extended sites in this area;

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

BPRA Response Letter

The Brookmans Park Residents Association would like to comment on the proposed housing allocation and proposed sites for development within the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council Local Plan

The Housing Target
The target of 12,500 new dwellings seems to us to be far too high. It is a projected estimate, over a long period of time, which cannot be validated. In addition, it is excessively high when compared with neighbouring boroughs and would appear to have been skewed by recent significant development already completed on the airfield site in Hatfield. We believe that the council should re-assess the targets in line with the available brownfield sites, and also take into account the latest Government initiative in turning unwanted office space into residential dwellings.
The need to provide both 12,500 dwellings and 12,000 jobs in an area already heavily populated and with significant pressure on existing infrastructure, does not seem to be logical;  if both houses and jobs are needed then these could be sited in less heavily populated parts of the country, where brownfield sites are more abundant, and where regeneration is required.
Brownfield sites
We commend the council on finding brownfield sites capable of taking 5,000 new dwellings and we urge them to start building new homes on the brownfield sites in the area, before anywhere else whilst the target figures are re-assessed. We cannot see that the council has identified any brownfield sites in Brookmans Park.
Green Belt sites
We object to the proposal to develop any Green Belt land in the district. Welwyn Hatfield is an already heavily populated district and the Green Belt provides local communities with valuable recreational and visual amenities, as well as preventing coalescence. In the Government’s Press Release on 6th October 2014 it was stated that “Councils must protect our precious Green Belt land”. Any housing proposals must take into account the constraints of the Green Belt and at present no exceptional circumstances exist to outweigh harm to Green Belt land.
On the council maps of Green Belt land, it looks as if Brookmans Park has more Green Belt surrounding it than is the case.  The maps do not take into account the fact that much of it has already been developed. For example the RVC car park and playing fields, the Brookmans Park transmitting site, Queenswood School, Swanley Bar Lane, Swanley Bar Crescent, Boltons Farm, Reeves Cottages  and houses at Hawkshead Lane and Water End are all shown as Green Belt.
The Green Belt between Brookmans Park and Little Heath, and again between Brookmans Park and Welham Green, is very narrow. We need this to be preserved if the villages are not to coalesce. Some of it is agricultural land and we firmly believe that this should be maintained as such.
The overall impact on the Borough’s infrastructure of an additional 12,500 dwellings and 12,000 jobs as not been fully assessed and the budgets and plans to deal with this are not in place.
We would also raise concerns that the existing local infrastructure in Brookmans Park would not be suitable for large developments, particularly as we understand that the council is not going to undertake surveys of the individual sites until they are chosen. This seems to be rather ‘cart before the horse’.
In Brookmans Park, some of our sites are very susceptible to surface water flooding, and large developments there would exacerbate the problem.
We have a railway station in Brookmans Park, but unfortunately it is not supported by the fast train service. This results in some residents driving to Potters Bar or Hatfield for the fast trains. A large development here would mean many more cars on the roads going to the other two stations.
Our bus service is very poor – just one bus an hour.
Brookmans Park has an attractive village centre, with two small greens, which is essential to the character of the village. We already have problems with parking, and a large development would mean more cars in the centre and perhaps the loss of one or both greens to accommodate the cars.
Individual sites in Brookmans Park
We agree with the council on the designation of the Brookmans Park sites, and the resulting exclusion from the main body of the plan. As well as the reasons already identified by the council for not including them in the plan, we attach a detailed list of additional planning reasons for not permitting development, for each individual site.
Supporting the call for a new Garden City
We commend and support the council’s decision to write to the Government, putting the case for a new Garden City in non-Green Belt land. We strongly believe that this would be the best way forward.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Planning Consultation Response Letters

The BPRA has compiled some response letters for the planning consultation for each of the areas in Brookmans Park. They are in MS Word format but printed versions will also be available on Saturday 7th March at The Brookmans

Click on the link to select and download the files, open them in WORD then make sure you put your name and address at the top and sign at the bottom after printing it. You may leave the final letter at the Newsagents for collection by the BPRA

You can send your responses on as many of the areas as you like and add any further comments if you have any. Please note that all responses will be available to the public on the council's website

BrP1 - Land at Bell Lane
BrP2 - Land North East of the Great North Road
BrP4 - West of Brookmans Park
BrP6 - Land at Bluebridge Road
BrP9 - Friday Grove
BrP10 - Raybrook Farm
BrP12 - Peplins Wood
BrP13 - Land West of Golf Club Road
BrP14 - East of Golf Club Road

Infrastructure response letter

New Barnfield  

BPRA drop-in advice session on the Local Plan Saturday 7th March

The BPRA is holding a drop-in advice and help session this coming Saturday 7th March 9.00am - 3.30pm at the Brookmans. This will be for local residents who would like help to respond to WHBC's Local Plan public consultation.

It is important to stress that although most of the sites originally identified for development in Brookmans Park are not in the main body of the Local Plan consultation, they are still in the Appendices. This means that they could come back into consideration at any time! 

It is important for as many residents as possible to respond to the consultation.

On Saturday, we will have template letters available to take away or complete on the spot, and we hope to have a computer or two on site to help residents to access the WHBC consultation portal, or to send emails.

WHBC are inviting responses by:

  • email to
  • online at
  • by post to Planning Policy, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6AE

We will be providing:

  • General advice on how to respond
  • Pre-formatted letters including good planning reasons for each site
  • Access to the internet to enable online responses
  • A drop-off point for your letters, which we will hand-deliver to the council before the 19th March.

Notes from NMPC meeting for residents on WHBC Local Plan

A brief report on the North Mymms Parish Council meeting for residents last night, in which Parish Councillors were keen to hear the views of residents on WHBC's Local Plan These views will form the basis of the NMPC's response to the consultation.

It will come as no surprise that the overwhelming majority of residents attending expressed opposition to any loss of Green Belt land, and support for the idea of a new Garden City in Hertfordshire's non-Green Belt land.

Objections to large-scale development around Brookmans Park and Little Heath included the need to protect precious Green Belt land, the need to prevent coalescence of villages and towns, the lack of infrastructure to support hundreds of extra dwellings, the desire to retain the village community.

The meeting ended with Councillors appealing for residents to 'really look around' the North Mymms area for possible brownfield sites - even small ones - and to advise the council of any they may find. Every small development will count, and a few small developments may obviate the need for one large development. Already Brookmans Park is experiencing some increase in new dwellings through houses being turned into flats, and in addition, plans are being submitted to demolish detached houses to build pairs of semis. These can be viewed on WHBC's planning portal.

The CPRE (Council for the Protection of Rural England) ran a successful national campaign last year inviting people to identify brownfield sites in their area, and found land enough for 1 million new homes. Their website is  

Friday, 20 February 2015

Local Plan drop-in advice session Saturday 7th March 2015 9.00am - 3.30pm

The BPRA is to hold a drop-in advice session on responding to WHBC's Local Plan on Saturday 7th March 2015 from 9.00am to 3.30pm at the Brookmans.

Members of the development committee will be on hand with official consultation forms, drafts of letters for different roads which can be personalised, and laptop computers for immediate access to the WHBC consultation portal.

It is very important that every resident who can respond to the consultation, does so. Although Brookmans Park only has two small 'more favourable' sites, the designation of 'finely balanced' (and perhaps even 'less favourable') could change at any time to 'more favourable' and thus be back in the running for development.

Every household should have received the NMDGBS letters by now, and the BPRA flyers will be following shortly.

It is anticipated that BPRA residents in roads most 'under threat' will get together and go door to door to alert neighbours to the need to respond to the consultation. If anyone would like to assist with this and be part of one of the teams, please email us on

Thursday, 12 February 2015

NMPC to hold meeting on Local Plan Tuesday 3rd March 2015

North Mymms Parish Council are to hold a meeting for residents to 'give their views' on WHBC's Local Plan. The meeting will take place on Tuesday 3rd March 2015 at Chancellors School in Brookmans Park at 7.30pm.

Notes from WHBC's Local Plan 'Consultation Event' 4th February 2015

With thanks to BPRA committee member MC for the following:

  • All sites should be commented on, not just the 'More Favourable', for the reason below.
  • It is quite possible that sites currently designated 'Finely Balanced' or 'Less Favourable', may be re-designated 'More Favourable' as developers lobby for their land to be developed.
  • There may be sites which might still come forward, but these will be put into the SHLAA first before going into the Consultation Document (amended).
  • There may be another 'mini consultation' to pick up on any extra sites put forward.
  • WHBC would like residents to comment on 'preferred sites'. 
  • WHBC would prefer comments to be made online.
  • Comments made should concentrate on points of planning and Green Belt ONLY. Comments such as "it will be unsightly", "it will spoil my view" etc will NOT be taken into account.

WHBC Local Plan 'Consultation Event' on Wednesday 4th February 2014

WHBC's Local Plan drop-in 'Consultation Event' should be interesting and informative, and the BPRA urges everyone who can attend, to do so. The times are from 3.30pm to 7.30pm at the Brookmans Park United Reformed Church.

There will be a team of 5 Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council Principal Planners led by Paul Everard, all of whom will be on hand to answer questions about the Local Plan. They will also explain how best to respond to the consultation, for those who may not be sure.

In the display, there will be 14 - 15 boards giving the context of the Local Plan, the research underpinning it, the evidence for the strategy, the proposed distribution for housing and jobs, the economy, the infrastructure, and the likely impact on the Green Belt.

This is an excellent opportunity to get information direct from the people that have put the Local Plan together!

Responses to the WHBC Local Plan

North Mymms District Green Belt Society has now published a letter about the Local Plan and how to comment/object, together with a map of the More Favourable, Finely Balanced and Less Favourable proposed development sites around Brookmans Park, and a guide to the key relevant planning objection points on a site by site basis. These will be distributed to all households in Brookmans Park over the next few weeks. Please be aware that these designations could change over the course of the coming year as further evidence could be submitted by developers that affect a site's suitability and therefore it is important that any comments you have about any of the proposed sites are made now, before the Public Consultation ends on March 19th 2015.

The letter and maps can be found by clicking through here into the forum,92.msg37504.html#msg37504

Notes from meetings of NMDGBS and BPRA 26th Jan and 27th Jan 2015

Here is an update following the NMDGBS meeting on Monday 26th January and the BPRA meeting Tuesday 27th January.

The NMDGBS is preparing a defence of all Green Belt sites within North Mymms - the 'more favourable', the 'finely balanced' and the 'less favourable'. Although it is only the 'more favourable' sites in the public consultation, the other two categories still appear in the appendix.

The NMDGBS will then issue a map for each village, showing all sites, and giving a list of valid objections to development in each site, for residents to use in their responses to the consultation.

The BPRA will provide a list of more 'local' issues that we consider to be of importance for specific sites (eg some residents in The Gardens backing BrP6 have had trouble negotiating household insurance because of localised flooding). 

Both the above should be completed in the next 2 weeks, the BPRA will then add our list to the NMDGBS list, and there will be a door-to-door leaflet drop with residents able to 'pick and choose' what to put in their letters.

The BPRA is also planning a 'drop-in' day in early March, in the village centre, where residents can come for advice and help on drafting responses by letter or on the WHBC consultation portal. More detail as soon as we have it.

WHBC Local Plan Public Consultation Jan 23 - March 19 2015

The consultation on WHBC's Local Plan will run from Friday 23rd January to Thursday 19th March. There will be a WHBC consultation event on Wednesday 4th February 3.30pm - 7.30pm at the United Reformed Church in BP.

Link to the whole:

Specific BP housing:   

Consultation portal:

Minutes of WHBC CHPP meeting 15th January 2015

Meeting of WHBC CHPP Thursday 15th January 2015

The Welwyn Hatfield Cabinet Housing Policy Panel is meeting again this coming Thursday 15th Jan 7.30pm in the Maple room, Salvation House, 2 Sterling Court, Mundells, WGC AL7 1FT

Members of the Brookmans Park Residents Association development committee will be attending on behalf of BP residents, and if anyone wishes to join us, please pm me.

The agenda can be found here:

The public info pack here:   

Notes from meeting of WHBC Cabinet meeting 17th December 2014

A lively meeting tonight with members of various local groups making clear their opposition to the proposals of the CHPP at the last meeting. However, the Cabinet Housing and Planning Panel's recommendations were unanimously adopted by the Cabinet. The public consultation will take place between mid January and mid March 2015.

Minutes of the meeting can be found here:

And on YouTube here:

Meeting of WHBC Cabinet Wednesday 17th December 2014

The WHBC Cabinet meeting is Wednesday 17th December, 7.30 in The Cypress Room, Salvation House, Mundells. This will be the 'ratification' of the WHBC Local Plan for consultation, and it will be interesting to see if the Cabinet accepts last week's recommendations from the CHPP.

Members of the BPRA's development committee will be there on behalf of BP residents. If anyone wishes to join us, please let me know by IM.

The Agenda can be found here:

The Public Report Pack here:

Notes from meeting of WHBC CHPP on 11th December 2014

A very interesting meeting last night at the CHPP. Obviously things can change before next week's ratification meeting, and even after that, the full Cabinet may choose to disregard the recommendations made by the Panel. 

It was agreed that WHBC should send a letter to Eric Pickles making the case for a new Garden City or New Town in Hertfordshire, outside the Green Belt. This is something that the BPRA and others have been urging WHBC to do for some time.

However, WHBC still has to proceed with the Local Plan and the following are points that were agreed last night, and will (may?) go forward for ratification at the CHPP meeting on 17th December.

The option for a new Garden City or New Town will go into the public consultation.

Only the 'more favourable' sites will go forward to public consultation, this would yield 10,100 new dwellings. The 'finely balanced' and 'less favourable' sites will not go forward to public consultation but will appear in the public document to show that they had been considered.

Panshanger will be upgraded to 'more favourable' from 'finely balanced', as it is not Green Belt and it has been earmarked for development since 1993.

Less proposed development in NW Hatfield, particularly on the HAT1 so as to avoid coalescence with WGC.

Marshmoor in Welham Green will move from 'finely balanced' to 'more favourable', on the basis of job creation.

WHBC's minutes of the meeting can be found here:

And on YouTube here:

Meeting of WHBC CHPP Thursday 11th December 2014

The next meeting of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council's Cabinet Housing and Planning Panel is tomorrow night  7.30pm at The Cypress Room, Salvation House, Mundells. Members of the BPRA's development committee will be there on behalf of Brookmans Park residents and anyone who wishes to join us will be welcome.

The Agenda can be found at this link:

Notes from Public Meeting on 27th November 2014

Last night was very well attended and Paul Zukowskyj gave a very informative slide presentation on the latest draft of WHBC's Local Plan

The point of the meeting was to keep residents informed of the progress of the Local Plan and the timeline that the council is working to, this being:

Dec 11 - the CHPP will present the draft Local Plan
Dec 17 - the CHPP will ratify the draft Local Plan
Early January - the Local Plan will be published for public consultation, and we may have 8 - 12 weeks to respond.

The North Mymms Parish Council, the North Mymms District Green Belt Society, the Brookmans Park Residents Association (and, I believe the Welham Green Residents Association and the Little Heath Action Group) will continue to attend the CHPP meetings. We will all examine the Local Plan in detail when it is finally published and issue statements/guidance/recommendations at that point, for residents to use in the consultation.

We do not yet know which proposed sites will appear in the consultation, but it could be all of those currently under consideration ie BrP1, BrP2, BrP4, BrP6, BrP7, BrP9, BrP10, BrP12, BrP13, BrP14.
Most questions raised were about the suitability/viability of the sites, so what follows is a precis of those. Note that WHBC has already thought of ways to circumvent most grounds for objections to developing the sites. Note also that full modelling will only take place after the site(s) is/are chosen.

Q     The land floods, so is unsuitable for housing.
A      The council expects the developer to incorporate a drainage system in the new housing development. This could be the underground storm water drainage tank mentioned before.

Q      The roads are not up to taking another possible 300 - 600 cars, and access to many of the sites is minimal - how can Highways afford the changes necessary?
A       Highways has done some modelling, but the full-scale modelling will be done only after the site(s) has/have been chosen in the consultation. WHBC expects the developer to pay for this, and possibly a contribution to the new roads too.

Q      The infrastructure cannot support another 300 plus houses.
A       When the site(s) is/are chosen, the developer will have to demonstrate that they can plan for, and pay for, adequate drainage, water, utilities etc

Q       The schools are not big enough
A        There is almost certainly going to be provision for new schools in developers' plans,

Q       There will not be enough medical provision, Potterells will be overwhelmed.
A        There may be additional provision in developers' plans, and this will be modelled after the site(s) is/are chosen.

Q       Has an Environmental Impact Survey been commissioned.
A       WHBC have already taken into account information from the Environment Agency. More detailed work will be done after the site(s) is/are chosen.

Q        The sites proposed are all Green Belt and the Government has said that it is committed to protecting the Green Belt.
A         The Government has said that there should only be development on the Green Belt 'in exceptional circumstances'. A requirement to build houses to meet 'an objectively assessed housing need', may qualify as 'exceptional circumstances'. WHBC has an 'objectively assessed housing need' of 12,500 new dwellings.

Paul Zukowskyj is calling on WHBC to challenge the Government’s policy and urge them to consider a new Garden City in Hertfordshire, outside the Green Belt. The LibDems have a petition on this on their website which everybody is invited to sign if they are in favour: