It is possible that the quarry application will be heard at the September meeting of HCC’s Development Control meeting, hence the reason for this late submission of behalf of Brett, so we will be preparing for the meeting over the summer.
EARA have submitted all three responses as requested HCC by 31st August 2023.
Regulation 25: Request for further environmental information
Ellenbrook Country Park (Ellenbrook Fields) and Ellenbrook Park Trust
Dear All, This email is by way of an update on progress on matters concerning the Ellenbrook Country Park (Ellenbrook Fields) and Ellenbrook Park Trust. You may recall from a previous update that in January 2022 the three local planning authorities concerned with the Ellenbrook Park had obtained legal advice from Counsel concerning the enforcement of the relevant planning obligations in the Section 106 Agreement from December 2000. Following receipt of that advice, the authorities wrote to Arlington to stress the importance of the Landscape Management Document (LMD) for the Park being revised and submitted for final approval, and for a programme to complete the outstanding Establishment Works within the Park to be agreed. After Arlington’s reply to that letter, in April 2022, and a further letter from the authorities in May, a revised LMD was submitted in July. The authorities have worked with their landscape advisers to comment further on the document and there remains a dialogue ongoing with the landowner to seek a suitable final version. In May 2022, due to corporate restructuring, Arlington Business Parks changed its name to Advanced Research Clusters GP Ltd (ARC). ARC retains responsibility for Ellenbrook Park and the same personnel continue to be involved in discussions with the local authorities. The authorities have been progressing towards the setting up of the Ellenbrook Park Trust and specialist external solicitors are advising Welwyn Hatfield BC and St Albans DC on this. At the time of local council elections last year, each of the five councils involved in the Trust board were asked to nominate a councillor representative to the Trust. These nominees were invited to an initial online meeting which took place on 10th February 2023, where they received updates from council officers and a presentation on the legal process to be followed in establishing the Trust from the appointed external solicitor. The rights and responsibilities of Trustees were also discussed. Alongside the setting up of the Trust the authorities will undertake legal work to ensure that the form of the Lease from the landowner to the Trust is in the most appropriate form. Representatives from ARC attended the second part of the meeting on 10th February and indicated their willingness to work collaboratively with the authorities to complete the LMD and Establishment Works, and in setting up the formal Trust board, which includes five landowner representatives. A key point to emerge from the meeting was that the LMD should reflect a ‘without mineral extraction’ scenario as well as a ‘with mineral extraction’ scenario whilst the current minerals application by Brett Aggregates remains to be determined by HCC (or at any subsequent appeal). HCC has recently consulted widely on additional information submitted as part of the planning application and is currently considering responses. Another important point discussed at the meeting was that of wider resident involvement in the future management of the Park and a number of options were discussed. It was agreed that further thought would be given to the best way of involving interested local residents and that involvement should ideally start before finalisation of the LMD, to allow residents’ views and local knowledge to be taken into account, within the framework laid down by the Section 106 Agreement. Once the Trust exists, it will be able to work with the agreed LMD and develop landscape management proposals of its own over time. The next meeting of the member nominees to the Trust is planned to take place in June this year, following local elections, to take account of any nominations being revisited at the start of the new council year, following which there will be a further email update. I hope you find this update helpful. Kind regards, Simon Chivers MRTPI Consultant Planner on behalf of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council