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Green belt auction concern

Friday Grove
The local green belt society has called on the agents behind the auction of Friday Grove to make it clear in the sale details that the site is green belt land.

The North Mymms District Green Belt Society (NMDGBS) fears the omission of the fact in the published details could mislead prospective purchasers.

The agents behind the auction of the site, Drivers & Norris, say they do not consider it important to declare on their website that the site is green belt land.

A representative of Drivers & Norris said the information was contained in their legal pack and they didn’t consider it misleading to omit it from the publicity for the auction.

In response to a call from this site, a company representative explained that there is only a limited amount of information they can put on the website and in the brochure, but he stressed that the green belt issue is addressed in supporting information that will be given to anyone wanting to buy the land.

The Drivers & Norris auction site describes Friday Grove as

“A rural site extending to approximately 21 acres with a large frontage to Hawkshead Road situated on the outskirts of the prestigious village of Brookmans Park with mainline station (Moorgate Line) and a good variety of local shops, restaurants and both JMI and senior schools are close by.

“The vendor informs us that he has previously applied for planning consent to contruct an eco-friendly detached house extending to approximately 16,000 sq ft which was refused on appeal despite planning officer recommendation.”

The auction price is set at £900,000+.

The NMDGBS says it is hard to imagine anyone being prepared to pay that much for land restricted by green belt laws and maintains that the auction publicity should make it clear that the site is on green belt so that potential investors are not misled.

In a letter to Drivers & Norris, the NMDGBS wrote:

“We note that the details for the auction of Friday Grove omits any mention of this land being designated as Metropolitan Green Belt.

“You must be aware that this puts severe limitations on the development potential of the land.

“The owner has twice tried to obtain planning permission to build a house on the land without success and his recent appeal was also dismissed.

“It is immaterial that the planning officer who dealt with the second application recommended approval.

“The fact is that the Welwyn Hatfield Council planning control committee and the subsequent planning appeal both refused permission.”

In a reply to the NMDGBS, forwarded to this site, Drivers & Norris wrote:

“We quite clearly state the facts in respect of the recent planning history and have prepared additional details which include the planning inspectors decision report which is sent as a matter of course to any one specifically enquiring for this property.

“The legal pack, which any potential buyer will inspect, will also contain a local authority search which will contain full details of the planning history including its inclusion in the Green Belt.”

An advert in the property section of the Welwyn Hatfield Times on Wednesday 4 October, 2007, also failed to mention the fact that the site up for auction is green belt land.

The Drivers & Norris site says the plot is offered freehold with full vacant possession upon completion.

The auction of Friday Grove is set to take place at 11am on Tuesday 16 October at the Emirates Stadium.

Viewing of Friday Grove prior to the auction is by appointment with the auctioneers. brochure details on the Drivers & Norris site.

Concern has been expressed about this issue in this site’s forum. Registered users can join the debate. Registration for the forum is free-of-charge.

4 October 2007

Related News
Friday Grove under the hammer - 30 September 2007
Friday Grove appeal decision - 14 July 2007
Friday Grove appeal dismissed - 14 July 2007
Friday Grove appeal set - 14 March 2007
Public inquiry re Friday Grove - 24 October 2006
20-acre field owner to appeal - 12 April 2006
Green belt country house rejected - 6 April 2006
Opposition to country house urged - 3 April 2006
Country house rejected by council - 29 July 2004
Letters set out green belt concerns - 2 January 2004
Country house proposed on green belt land - 29 December 2003
Friday Grove letter from NMDGBS - 29 December 2003
Council handed second greenbelt petition - 23 July 2003
Council to be handed second greenbelt petition - 22 July 2003
Green belt petition handed to council - 17 June 2003
Green belt letter to council - 17 June 2003
Opposition to green belt changes grows - 8 June 2003
Green belt update meeting planned - 29 May 2003
Politicians back green belt campaign - 22 May 2003
Green belt proposal opposed - 20 May 2003

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