Four sites in Three Rivers stripped of Green Belt status

Watford Observer: Baldwins Lane site, which has lost Green Belt protection. Baldwins Lane site, which has lost Green Belt protection.

Three Rivers politicians have voiced their "disgust" after four sites in the district have been stripped of Green Belt status.

Following a visit by a Government inspector, Fairways Farm, off Bucknalls Lane, and fields off Woodside Road, both in Leavesden, no longer have the protective planning status.

The proposed Baldwins Lane school site, currently a horse field, and Killingdown Farm, off Little Green Lane, both in Croxley Green, have also had their Green Belt status revoked.

The inspector’s decision means the sites can now be targeted by developers to build hundreds of homes and two schools.

District council leader, Ann Shaw, said: "The Liberal Democrat administration of Three Rivers District Council has worked hard to produce a plan which meets the Government's requirements.

"We have consulted widely with residents, and not just once but several times, and we are deeply disappointed that the Inspector has insisted that housing should be built on some sites which residents have previously rejected and are in the Green Belt."

Leavesden representative, Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst said he is expecting developers will begin submitting applications to build on these sites imminently.

He added: "Frankly I am disgusted that an Inspector has the power to over-rule local wishes and impose unacceptable housing on Green Belt sites that residents and elected representatives have rejected not just once but on three occasions.

"He seems to have rolled over and agreed with the developers in the face of local opposition. The Leavesden area which has already seen a huge number of new homes."

Results of a local consultation in 2010 into the effect of a possible 160 homes being built in Killingdown Farm revealed that more than 1,300 residents opposed the plan.

The controversial plans to build a school in Baldwins Lane have also received considerable opposition from residents, despite being favoured by Hertfordshire County Council to be used to accommodate the rising demand for secondary school places.

Croxley councillor, Phil Brading, said: "The Inspector's decision to confirm the Baldwins Lane school site and to require nearly 200 new homes on Killingdown Farm in Croxley is contrary to the clearly expressed views of local residents. It is very disappointing that their views have been totally ignored."

The Government inspector’s ruling means 100 homes and a school could be built off Woodside Road and 100 homes could be built off Bucknalls Lane.

The district council’s planning committee cabinet member, Martin Trevett, said: "We are between a rock and hard place. The council has a legal requirement to agree to a plan that is acceptable to the Government Inspector, or the whole district would be at risk from inappropriate development - including these sites as well as others we have managed to protect.

"But it means that local people are not being allowed to make decisions for their own communities. If this is the Government's interpretation of Localism it is a farce."

Comments (15)

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12:22pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Mad_Hat says...

Who is this 'Government Inspector', who do they work for and who do we complain to?
Who is this 'Government Inspector', who do they work for and who do we complain to? Mad_Hat
  • Score: 10

12:32pm Wed 8 Jan 14

TRT says...

To be honest, that large field off Chequer's Lane, cradled in the crook of the M1 and M25, would be an ideal location for the health campus, with shuttle busses to King's Langley station and Bricket Wood station for patients coming from Hemel & St. Albans.

Green belt, it seems, no longer counts for anything.
To be honest, that large field off Chequer's Lane, cradled in the crook of the M1 and M25, would be an ideal location for the health campus, with shuttle busses to King's Langley station and Bricket Wood station for patients coming from Hemel & St. Albans. Green belt, it seems, no longer counts for anything. TRT
  • Score: 11

12:45pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

This is a disgrace!

I am not surprised by this grasping Tory government though allowing the desecration of our green belt.

Write to your MPs, they must not get away with this, though I fear they will. The arrogance of this government in destroying the green belt is breathtaking. Remember what the Tories and LibDems stand for, desecration of our green belt and the loss of ancient landscapes and woodlands. Others might call it out and out vandalism.

It's another nail in the coffin of the Tory party and the LibDems, because they are in power and are doing nothing to prevent it. If anything, they are encouraging it with their policies.

UKIP believe in people power. We also believe in having fewer migrants to this country which would take the pressure off building ever more homes, helping to save the green belt.

Will all the LibDem and Conservative councillors in Three Rivers now resign en-masse in protest at the actions of their government? Don't hold your breath, power is more important than principle for some politicians.
This is a disgrace! I am not surprised by this grasping Tory government though allowing the desecration of our green belt. Write to your MPs, they must not get away with this, though I fear they will. The arrogance of this government in destroying the green belt is breathtaking. Remember what the Tories and LibDems stand for, desecration of our green belt and the loss of ancient landscapes and woodlands. Others might call it out and out vandalism. It's another nail in the coffin of the Tory party and the LibDems, because they are in power and are doing nothing to prevent it. If anything, they are encouraging it with their policies. UKIP believe in people power. We also believe in having fewer migrants to this country which would take the pressure off building ever more homes, helping to save the green belt. Will all the LibDem and Conservative councillors in Three Rivers now resign en-masse in protest at the actions of their government? Don't hold your breath, power is more important than principle for some politicians. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 11

1:13pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Andrew1963 says...

TRT wrote:
To be honest, that large field off Chequer's Lane, cradled in the crook of the M1 and M25, would be an ideal location for the health campus, with shuttle busses to King's Langley station and Bricket Wood station for patients coming from Hemel & St. Albans. Green belt, it seems, no longer counts for anything.
You can already build hospitals (and schools) in the Green Belt. Northwick Park hospital was built on Metropolitan Green belt land in London (Green belt land is also within London not just the home counties).
[quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: To be honest, that large field off Chequer's Lane, cradled in the crook of the M1 and M25, would be an ideal location for the health campus, with shuttle busses to King's Langley station and Bricket Wood station for patients coming from Hemel & St. Albans. Green belt, it seems, no longer counts for anything.[/p][/quote]You can already build hospitals (and schools) in the Green Belt. Northwick Park hospital was built on Metropolitan Green belt land in London (Green belt land is also within London not just the home counties). Andrew1963
  • Score: 9

1:18pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Andrew1963 wrote:
TRT wrote: To be honest, that large field off Chequer's Lane, cradled in the crook of the M1 and M25, would be an ideal location for the health campus, with shuttle busses to King's Langley station and Bricket Wood station for patients coming from Hemel & St. Albans. Green belt, it seems, no longer counts for anything.
You can already build hospitals (and schools) in the Green Belt. Northwick Park hospital was built on Metropolitan Green belt land in London (Green belt land is also within London not just the home counties).
It looks like the green belt is finished under this government. If you can build houses on the green belt then there is no green belt worthy of the name.

What is Labour's take on building on the green belt? Any different?
[quote][p][bold]Andrew1963[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: To be honest, that large field off Chequer's Lane, cradled in the crook of the M1 and M25, would be an ideal location for the health campus, with shuttle busses to King's Langley station and Bricket Wood station for patients coming from Hemel & St. Albans. Green belt, it seems, no longer counts for anything.[/p][/quote]You can already build hospitals (and schools) in the Green Belt. Northwick Park hospital was built on Metropolitan Green belt land in London (Green belt land is also within London not just the home counties).[/p][/quote]It looks like the green belt is finished under this government. If you can build houses on the green belt then there is no green belt worthy of the name. What is Labour's take on building on the green belt? Any different? Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 11

1:22pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

UKIP is committed to protecting the green belt.
UKIP is committed to protecting the green belt. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 69

1:52pm Wed 8 Jan 14

TRT says...

"You can already build hospitals (and schools) in the Green Belt. "

Oh well, there you go; there's the solution. Stop the greedy developers from getting their hands on Green Belt by using it all up with new schools and hospitals, then flog the old brownfield school and hospital sites off at a premium. Or doesn't it work that way? No, thought not.
"You can already build hospitals (and schools) in the Green Belt. " Oh well, there you go; there's the solution. Stop the greedy developers from getting their hands on Green Belt by using it all up with new schools and hospitals, then flog the old brownfield school and hospital sites off at a premium. Or doesn't it work that way? No, thought not. TRT
  • Score: 15

2:09pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Question: Knowing how attached the public are to the green belt, what sort of government would trample all over it by building on it?

Answer. An arrogant and out of touch one more concerned with making a quick buck and no eye on the future.

Vote Blue, get Green? LibDems are green? If it weren't so tragic, it would be funny.

Our only hope is they do not do too much damage before they get thrown out in 2015. As I recall the first thing they wanted to do on being given the reins of power was to sell off the forests.

What an awful government, led by Tories and supported by LibDems.

Nick Clegg (LibDems) has vetoed some government policies. The fact this is going on means he is at ease with it or supports it.

Shame on them all.
Question: Knowing how attached the public are to the green belt, what sort of government would trample all over it by building on it? Answer. An arrogant and out of touch one more concerned with making a quick buck and no eye on the future. Vote Blue, get Green? LibDems are green? If it weren't so tragic, it would be funny. Our only hope is they do not do too much damage before they get thrown out in 2015. As I recall the first thing they wanted to do on being given the reins of power was to sell off the forests. What an awful government, led by Tories and supported by LibDems. Nick Clegg (LibDems) has vetoed some government policies. The fact this is going on means he is at ease with it or supports it. Shame on them all. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 39

4:55pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Green Gal says...

How is it so easy for the District Council to revoke Greenbelt status? They will do it to suit their needs. Surely if Greenbelt is protected then its protected- not just until the Council decide they want it for another use!
How is it so easy for the District Council to revoke Greenbelt status? They will do it to suit their needs. Surely if Greenbelt is protected then its protected- not just until the Council decide they want it for another use! Green Gal
  • Score: 14

5:28pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Andrew1963 says...

Green Belt status is part of the planning system, which is governed by national policies and lkocal plansa. As District councils are the bodies that set local plans for their area they can propose to add and delete land from the green belt. The plans are subject to public enquiry and adjudication by an inspector and tested sagainsat central government policies. So a coiuncil can designate land as green belt, the owner can object and an inspector can either agree oir disagreee withe proposed change. There are examples of land that has been designated green belt that was actually built on before designation.
Green Belt status is part of the planning system, which is governed by national policies and lkocal plansa. As District councils are the bodies that set local plans for their area they can propose to add and delete land from the green belt. The plans are subject to public enquiry and adjudication by an inspector and tested sagainsat central government policies. So a coiuncil can designate land as green belt, the owner can object and an inspector can either agree oir disagreee withe proposed change. There are examples of land that has been designated green belt that was actually built on before designation. Andrew1963
  • Score: 6

12:13pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Boosey says...

These locations have been stripped of their Green Belt status but and correct me if I'm wrong, Hertfordshire County Council are spending fortunes on securing empty buildings.
Why not build on the empty buildings in South Oxhey and Langleybury?
These locations have been stripped of their Green Belt status but and correct me if I'm wrong, Hertfordshire County Council are spending fortunes on securing empty buildings. Why not build on the empty buildings in South Oxhey and Langleybury? Boosey
  • Score: 4

1:46pm Thu 9 Jan 14

1982WFC says...

Boosey wrote:
These locations have been stripped of their Green Belt status but and correct me if I'm wrong, Hertfordshire County Council are spending fortunes on securing empty buildings.
Why not build on the empty buildings in South Oxhey and Langleybury?
Correct me if I am wrong but I think Langleybury is owned by Ralph Trustees, the people who built The Grove.
[quote][p][bold]Boosey[/bold] wrote: These locations have been stripped of their Green Belt status but and correct me if I'm wrong, Hertfordshire County Council are spending fortunes on securing empty buildings. Why not build on the empty buildings in South Oxhey and Langleybury?[/p][/quote]Correct me if I am wrong but I think Langleybury is owned by Ralph Trustees, the people who built The Grove. 1982WFC
  • Score: 4

5:53pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Mad_Hat says...

1982WFC wrote:
Boosey wrote:
These locations have been stripped of their Green Belt status but and correct me if I'm wrong, Hertfordshire County Council are spending fortunes on securing empty buildings.
Why not build on the empty buildings in South Oxhey and Langleybury?
Correct me if I am wrong but I think Langleybury is owned by Ralph Trustees, the people who built The Grove.
It was sold off to them in 2007... From Three Rivers DC website:

"In 2007 Ralph Trustees Limited, the owners of The Grove, purchased part of the Langleybury Estate including the closed Secondary School and Langleybury House which is on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk register."

Nice short-term monetary gain for the council......
[quote][p][bold]1982WFC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Boosey[/bold] wrote: These locations have been stripped of their Green Belt status but and correct me if I'm wrong, Hertfordshire County Council are spending fortunes on securing empty buildings. Why not build on the empty buildings in South Oxhey and Langleybury?[/p][/quote]Correct me if I am wrong but I think Langleybury is owned by Ralph Trustees, the people who built The Grove.[/p][/quote]It was sold off to them in 2007... From Three Rivers DC website: "In 2007 Ralph Trustees Limited, the owners of The Grove, purchased part of the Langleybury Estate including the closed Secondary School and Langleybury House which is on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk register." Nice short-term monetary gain for the council...... Mad_Hat
  • Score: 1

7:22pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Sara says...

Green Gal wrote:
How is it so easy for the District Council to revoke Greenbelt status? They will do it to suit their needs. Surely if Greenbelt is protected then its protected- not just until the Council decide they want it for another use!
The District Council have not revoked Green Belt status, the Government's inspector has done so.
[quote][p][bold]Green Gal[/bold] wrote: How is it so easy for the District Council to revoke Greenbelt status? They will do it to suit their needs. Surely if Greenbelt is protected then its protected- not just until the Council decide they want it for another use![/p][/quote]The District Council have not revoked Green Belt status, the Government's inspector has done so. Sara
  • Score: -1

6:22pm Sat 11 Jan 14

PCllrRRidley says...

Tory/Libdem government inspector, aren't they Sara!
Tory/Libdem government inspector, aren't they Sara! PCllrRRidley
  • Score: 1

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