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Bovingdon gipsy site plan for Green Belt site, adjacent to the Bobsleigh Hotel, is thrown out by Dacorum Borough Councillors
A packed council chamber erupted in applause last night, when contentious plans for a gipsy caravan site on Bovingdon Green Belt land were thrown out.
The application, which was submitted to Dacorum Borough Council in July, proposed a change of use of the Green Belt site, adjacent to the Bobsleigh Hotel, to be used as a residential caravan site for eight gipsy families, each with up to two caravans.
Residents have had the opportunity to write letters of objection to Dacorum Borough Council ahead of their decision and Bovingdon Action Group has set up a website in an attempt to "save Bovingdon Green Belt" and advise villagers on how best to go about this.
Last night hundreds of those residents, as well as representatives from Bovingdon Action Group and Bovingdon parish council, packed out the council chamber.
It was revealed that Dacorum has received more than 1,000 emails and letters of objection to the proposals in the last three months.
Glenn Povey, chairman of Bovingdon parish council, said: "At the parish council’s planning committee meeting on September 2, over 230 residents attended to voice their concerns over this application. This was an unprecedented number and I am pleased to say that the parish council voted unanimously against the application."
He told councillors that previous applications to develop this same piece of land have been refused by the Borough Council in the past.
Mr Povey added: "The residents of Bovingdon have send a very clear message, supported by the parish council, that a development of this nature represents a wholly detrimental and inappropriate development of the Green Belt which is essentially designed to protect villages, such as Bovingdon, from becoming an urban sprawl; to protect the open countryside, wildlife habitats and preserve the very nature of what makes a village."
The parish council chairman urged the committee to refuse the application.
The development control committee also voiced their objections to the application before unanimously voting against it.
Councillor John Whitman said: "It is a very inappropriate place to put it and I will go along with the case officer's recommendation."
Councillor Rosemarie Hollinghurst added: "If someone had come forward with an application for a house on this site, would we even have considered it? I am not quite sure why this application has gone as far as it has actually got."
Although the application has been refused councillors said they would reconsider the proposals should there be any amendments to it.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Povey said: "It’s a step in the right direction."
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