Objection to Hatfield Green (HAT2)

Summary of Points

  • the loss of the vast majority of the open space for residents as promised in the 1999 planning permission;  the country park is a vital part of the community, supporting the health and well-being of the residents of Hatfield.
  • the excessive concentration of housing development in the Hatfield Garden Villages area
  • the impact  caused by the increase in housing and the cumulative effect of all the many developments in the local area on the traffic  congestion which is already a significant issue  in this area
  • the increase in noise and air pollution which is detrimental to the health and well-being of local residents and frequenters of the area
  • the potential risk to our drinking water caused by development on a site where bromate is present
  • the reneging on the Section 106 agreement as part of the planning permission for the creation of the Country Park for local residents

For full details of our draft submission please see the attached document.

We intend to submit our objections on the 11th December which is just prior to the deadline set by the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council (WHBC) Planning Department of the 12th December.

We invite you to read our draft submission and let us know by 10am on Monday 10th December any comments you have on our proposed submission so we can take your views into account when completing the final version.

We have spoken to WHBC Planning and they would very much appreciate if you could also submit your own individual comments before the 12th December on the WHBC website http://planning.welhat.gov.uk/. This will show the planning committee, and any subsequent appeal that the developers may make, the strength of feeling within this community.

It can be quite clumsy trying to find your way through the planning portal so we have created an easy to follow guide to accessing the comments section of this planning portal on the EARA website at

http://ellenbrookresidents.org/2018/11/28/1100-houses-on-ellenbrook-fields-objection/

John on behalf of

Ellenbrook Area Residents Association Committee

 

 

Ellenbrook Area Residents Association – Comments on Planning Application No 6/2018/2768/OUTLINE to build 1100 homes in Ellenbrook Country Park (to be known as Hatfield Green)

 ​​​​ 

This submission is on behalf of the Ellenbrook Area​​ Residents Association. EARA represents over 500 dwellings in the area bounded by St Albans Road West, Wilkins Green Lane, Ellenbrook Lane, Comet Way and Ashbury Close.  The submission has been approved by the Committee of EARA and was circulated to residents on the EARA mailing list to allow them to comment prior to submission.

 

Background

In 1999 as part of the planning application for the former British Aerospace site, the aerodrome was split into four main areas for development. These included permission​​ to create areas for:

 

  • a Business Park

  • an extension of the University of Hertfordshire into a second campus

  • housing

  • a country park (funded by a Section 106)​​ 

 

The four areas recognised the need to fill the employment gap left by the closure of British Aerospace; the need for the university to expand beyond its College Lane site; the requirement for housing in the borough and finally the recognition of the loss of a valuable green belt space in the area occupied by the aerodrome. The Supplementary Planning Guidance adopted by St Albans District Council and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council in November 1999 confirmed the Ellenbrook Country Park in its Landscape Masterplan.  Local residents involved in the consultations at the time believed that the Park was secured as a benefit to the local community and would be delivered. 

 

The Business Park is nearing completion with the majority of the earmarked land occupied, the University has created a second campus, and the area allocated for housing has been developed creating 2000 dwellings. However although the Country Park exists in a raw state, it is virtually unchanged from when occupied by British Aerospace, ​​ the Section 106 money intended for the upkeep, maintenance and development of the Country Park from Arlingtons (the developers) has not yet materialised nor has the Trust itself been set up.

 

Despite the creation of the country park clearly being recognised as an important amenity for local residents and one that was assured under a legal agreement as part of the original planning permission, the landowners Arlingtons have now twice attempted to release a section of the land promised to local residents for a country park, to build houses for financial gain. The first proposal was part of the Local Plan for the site known as Hat 2 (1100 houses). This was rejected by WHBC due to the number of sites concentrated in the area and the fact that it took a significant part of the country park away. Arlington have now submitted this second application, known as Hatfield Green, to again create 1100 houses in the same area as the rejected Hat 2.​​ 

 

 

Ellenbrook Area Residents Association objects to the Hatfield Green proposal on the following grounds.

 

New planning application for Hatfield Green​​ 

 

This new planning​​ application covers a very large area comprising of 67.5 hectares (the size of 94 football pitches!). This is approx 40% of the total country park area consisting of circa 172 hectares. If you combine this with the gravel extraction area of 86.6 hectares, a​​ total of 154.1 hectares will be affected by the quarry and Hatfield Green developments totalling just under 90% of the total area. This means that only 10% of the current country park will be left for residents to enjoy. During the gravel extraction a minimum of 40% of the 86.6 hectares will be inaccessible whilst gravel extraction and remedial work is undertaken. However it has been indicated by WHBC that a larger percentage of the site is likely to be unavailable to the public for health and safety reasons. ​​ This means that 40% of the park will be permanently lost to housing and a large proportion of the remainder will not be accessible over the next 32 years. This is not in the spirit of the original agreement and associated planning permission previously approved.​​ 

The map below (taken from the Hatfield Green outline planning application document) illustrates the huge area of Ellenbrook Country Park that will be given over to the housing development and the gravel extraction leaving a very small park for​​ residents, which will be virtually inaccessible from St Albans Road West