More than 50 local residents attended a meeting of the Hertsmere planning committee, where plans to build 310 homes on green belt land at Harts Farm in Little Bushey, Hertfordshire were unanimously refused.
The developer, Redrow, had argued the homes were “much-needed”, but campaigners from the Little Bushey Community group raised concerns about increased traffic on busy roads and the risk of flooding in the area.
The council said that had the application been put to them before an appeal was lodged, it would not have been granted planning permission. The council will now defend the appeal made to the planning inspectorate for a final decision on the plans. The committee refused the outline planning application on robust grounds, giving reasons such as potential traffic and flooding issues. These findings will put the council and Little Bushey Community in a stronger position should the appeal be heard by the planning inspectorate.
- Inappropriate development in the green belt
- Harm to the character and appearance of the landscape
- Failure to demonstrate that it would not result in increased flood risk to the surrounding areas
Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden met with Little Bushey Community this morning to give his backing to the campaign to save Harts Farm.
He reiterated his commitment to saving the green belt in the borough and vowed to continue to influence the Department for Levelling Up at the national level.
Said Oliver, ‘There are no special circumstances for building on the green belt here, but given Hertsmere’s location there will always be demands to build housing in the borough and we have few brownfield sites remaining.’
In presenting Little Bushey Community’s case, Chair, Daren Nathan said: “We love our community and we are asking you for strong and robust reasons to refuse this application – to protect the green belt, to protect the character and appearance of this part of Little Bushey Lane and to protect the wildlife which the green belt on Little Bushey Lane gives a natural home.”
Continued Daren: “The applicant uses spurious examples as to why it says its application represents such very special circumstances, but there is nothing very special about them whatsoever.”
After the meeting, Little Bushey Community’s spokesperson, Nik Oakley, said: “We were pleased that more robust reasons for refusal were brought to committee and that there was unanimous agreement that the application was completely unsuitable for Harts Farm.”
John Mann, for Redrow South Midlands, said: “Our aim is to bring a range of much-needed new homes and jobs to the area, as well as making a substantial investment in community facilities.”