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 brookmansparkresidentsassoc@gmail.com

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 brookmans.com forum

http://www.brookmans.com/forum/index.php/topic,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:    http://www.welhat.gov.uk/localplan

Specific BP housing:             http://consult.welhat.gov.uk/portal/planning_policy/local_plan_consultation_january_2015/local_plan_consultation_january_2015?pointId=1421325221870#section-1421325221870

Consultation portal:  http://consult.welhat.gov.uk/portal

Minutes of WHBC CHPP meeting 15th January 2015

http://www.welhat.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=9824&p=0

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:     http://www.welhat.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=9752&p=0

The public info pack here:             http://www.welhat.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=9753&p=0

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:  http://www.welhat.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=9805&p=0

And on YouTube here:   https://www.youtube.com/user/WelwynHatfieldBC

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:  http://www.welhat.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=9712&p=0

The Public Report Pack here:  http://www.welhat.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=9732&p=0

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:  


http://www.welhat.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=9738&p=0

And on YouTube here:  https://www.youtube.com/user/WelwynHatfieldBC

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:

http://www.welhat.gov.uk/cabinethousingplanningpanel

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:

http://welhatlibdems.co.uk/en/petition/say-no-to-sprawl