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Green Belt Society opposes two local plans

The North Mymms District Green Belt Society has called for the public's help in opposing two local planning applications.

They say one could create a fire hazard at the end of a residential cul-de-sac in Welham Green and the other is in contravention of the local District Plan and Green Belt restrictions.

The society's honorary secretary, Bob Horrocks, has written to this site and the Welwyn Hatfield Times seeking publicity for the two applications.

The following is the full text of his letter.

"The North Mymms District Green Belt Society would appreciate any publicity you can give regarding a couple of recent planning applications. We ask local people to contact the Planning Department at Welwyn Hatfield Council expressing their views, and local knowledge.

The first is that the owner of a commercial property at the end of Welham Manor, a narrow residential cul-de-sac off Dixons Hill Road, Welham Green, has applied for a certificate of lawfulness for his business as a motor vehicle repair workshop. The authorised use of the site is for the sale of car tyres. The owner has to prove 10 years use as a repair workshop otherwise the application can be rejected by Welwyn Hatfield Council.

People should contact Welwyn Hatfield Council, Planning Dept. if they can say, conclusively, whether or not these premises have been used for this purpose for at least 10 years

We have written to the Council objecting to this application on the grounds that the site is at the end of a narrow residential cul-de-sac and the use and storage of acetylene for welding, and cellulose for spraying constitute a fire hazard. If a fire started, parked cars may make it difficult or impossible for a fire engine to reach the site. Earlier this year, the owner applied to erect a new building on the site for use as a workshop and spraying but this was refused by the Council. The land borders onto the Green belt, or may even be in the Green belt - the boundary is a bit uncertain just there

The second application is for a residential caravan pitch for one gypsy family (two caravans) with ancillary amenity block at Swan Yard, Bell Lane, Bell Bar, Brookmans Park. This site, almost on the corner of Bell Lane and the Great North Road, has planning permission for the storage of caravans. It is in the Green Belt.

About 16 months ago a number of gypsies moved onto the site (it is owned by one of them) and have been living there ever since. They built what appears to be a toilet block and extended the hardstanding in contravention of the planning restrictions on the land. Welwyn Hatfield Council are taking Court action, and a Hearing is due before Christmas at which the Council expect to obtain an Injunction to stop the current unauthorised use of the site.

We have objected to this application most strongly, and seek support from local residents. The site is next to an Elizabethan Grade 11 listed farmhouse so a gypsy site is completely out of character with the neighbouring property. The site is highly visible from the A1000 Great North Road and cannot be shielded from view without putting up a very high fence and gates. In addition, although the application is for just one family in two caravans, what is to stop other gypsies visiting for an indefinite time, thereby continuing the current unauthorised use of the land.

The Welwyn Hatfield District Plan states that Green Belt land is not suitable for gypsy sites, but other planning applications have been approved which do not conform to the District Plan. We seek support from the public to ensure that this application is not approved.

If it is approved, it could send a signal to other gypsies to buy other plots of land in the area and residents may find they have gypsies moving in next door to them. As the residents of Bell Bar have found, it can be very difficult if not almost impossible to remove them."

Bob Horrocks - hon sec North Mymms Green Belt Society

Oct 24, 1999

A list of all Welwyn Hatfield planning applications, and the society's objections, can be found on the society's website which is maintained by Bob Horrocks.

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