Bovingdon traveller site: 'the only person that has not objected to this application is the applicant'

Picture from stock

Picture from stock

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A planning application to transform land next to Bovingdon’s Bobsleigh Hotel into a traveller site has been thrown out unanimously for the second time, in what a councillor has called a "deserving victory".

Michael Cash submitted plans to Dacorum Borough Council’s development control committee in December for eight traveller families to set up on green fields next to Hempstead Road.

The application, which would house two caravans per family as well as a utility building with two toilets, was first considered by the committee last September.

At a meeting on Thursday March 20 in the Civic Centre in Hemel Hempstead the village’s parish council chairman Glenn Povey and two other speakers, one representing Bovingdon Action Group, urged councillors to reject the proposals in line with planning officers’ recommendations.

Councillor Gbola Adeleke, who represents the Bovingdon ward, said at the meeting: "The number of objections to this application has been overwhelming.

"So far, the only person that has not objected to this application is the applicant.

"This application is clearly inappropriate and random development and Green Belt land is not an acceptable option or solution.

"The site in question is not only green within the Green Belt but home to wildlife.  The Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust has identified the site as having potential implication for wildlife and biodiversity.

"According to the Environmental Agency, the site is above the ‘Drinking Water catchment’ area.  It means the groundwater beneath the site forms part of the public drinking water supply.  Consequently, water storage and collection will pose health and environmental danger. 

"There is also the question of Highway safety on the already busy Hempstead road, a concern voiced by the Highway Authority.

"The site in question is Green Field, in the Green Belt, at an edge of village location.  Its protection is therefore crucial to the identity of Bovingdon Village and its surroundings.

"There is already undue pressure on local infrastructure and essential services would be compromised by this application. I appeal to you to refuse this application."

Before the meeting last week over 2,000 flyers were distributed by campaigners and online the application received 156 objections. 

Speaking after the meeting Councillor Adeleke said: "The Bovingdon Action Group (BAG), the Bovingdon Parish Council and the residents were united in their opposition to this development.  They put up a good and commendable fight.  It was a deserving victory for those who believe in the protection of the Green Belt, open spaces and our environment."

All present members of the committee voted to reject the application.

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