Hill Farm Close: uncertainly over future of play area in Leavesden

Hill Farm Close: uncertainly over future of play area in Leavesden

The play area

Residents meet to protest about the development in 2012

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

Uncertainly still hangs over the play area in Leavesden where Tottenham Hotspur starlet Tom Carroll honed his skills.

Watford Community Housing Trust has not dropped its controversial ambition to build houses on the land in Hill Farm Close and is waiting to see if the area is allocated for development.

Three Rivers District Council is currently finalising its site allocation process, which will earmark areas for house building, and could determine the fate of the site.

Residents and politicians in the area have fought a two-year battle over the trust’s plans to build six houses and flats on the play area.

Gareth Lewis, the director of property and new business at Watford Community Housing Trust, said: "Once we know what the outcome of that [site allocation] process is, we’ll reconsider our options and then go from there."

He added: "Obviously, we’ve had the projects in the past. We have a responsibility to provide affordable housing for people to live in. so we do look at the options. There isn’t a situation where we have a formulated plan for Hill Farm Close - we’re just waiting for the allocations process to be complete."

Watford Community Housing Trust expects the site allocation process to be finished by the summer.

The housing trust owns the patch of land after purchasing Watford Borough Council’s housing stock in 2007 and submitted plans for Hill Farm Close in April 2012, only to be rejected later that year.

The housing trust appealed the decision but the planning inspectorate upheld the refusal by Three Rivers Council in June 2013 not to allow the development of this site.

This week, Stephen Giles-Medhurst, a district councillor for the area, said he believed the development of the site is "unlikely," but could not be ruled out.

He said: "I think it’s unlikely, but at the end of the day, the district council is not the total master of its own house. For instance, it could turn down a planning application, as indeed it did on this site last year and the Watford Community Housing Trust appealed to the planning inspectorate to overturn that refusal."

He added: "The planning inspectorate supported the council’s view that it should be rejected for development, but it wouldn’t stop the housing trust putting a plan in, having it refused by the council and again going to the planning inspectorate, and they would have the final say in the matter."

Comments (10)

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1:22pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

If the bosses of the trust want to build on the play area that is their prerogative.

Just as it is surely our prerogative to replace them.

What's the procedure for kicking out the bosses of the trust who want to develop this site and putting in new ones who would care about playgrounds and not just maximising income by building as much as possible?

I see parallels with Watford Council and the Wealth Campus development.

It's just wrong.
If the bosses of the trust want to build on the play area that is their prerogative. Just as it is surely our prerogative to replace them. What's the procedure for kicking out the bosses of the trust who want to develop this site and putting in new ones who would care about playgrounds and not just maximising income by building as much as possible? I see parallels with Watford Council and the Wealth Campus development. It's just wrong. Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: 3

1:31pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Hornets number 12 fan says...

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford wrote:
If the bosses of the trust want to build on the play area that is their prerogative.

Just as it is surely our prerogative to replace them.

What's the procedure for kicking out the bosses of the trust who want to develop this site and putting in new ones who would care about playgrounds and not just maximising income by building as much as possible?

I see parallels with Watford Council and the Wealth Campus development.

It's just wrong.
It does seem ridiculous on one hand we are talking about childhood obesity levels and lack of exercise when this housing trust are trying to take away their play areas? I sometimes wonder if these people have ONE iota of common sense!
[quote][p][bold]Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford[/bold] wrote: If the bosses of the trust want to build on the play area that is their prerogative. Just as it is surely our prerogative to replace them. What's the procedure for kicking out the bosses of the trust who want to develop this site and putting in new ones who would care about playgrounds and not just maximising income by building as much as possible? I see parallels with Watford Council and the Wealth Campus development. It's just wrong.[/p][/quote]It does seem ridiculous on one hand we are talking about childhood obesity levels and lack of exercise when this housing trust are trying to take away their play areas? I sometimes wonder if these people have ONE iota of common sense! Hornets number 12 fan
  • Score: 4

4:16pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Sara says...

The article is not totally accurate. There is no more uncertainty hanging over the land than any ordinary piece of land, probably less. Three Rivers completed their site allocations process last year and this site has been allocated as open space.

The council is waiting for the Inspector to deliver the final plan, but there is no opportunity to add or remove sites from the Local Plan, and whilst you can never say never,, as things stand this site is as likely to be developed as I am to join UKIP.
The article is not totally accurate. There is no more uncertainty hanging over the land than any ordinary piece of land, probably less. Three Rivers completed their site allocations process last year and this site has been allocated as open space. The council is waiting for the Inspector to deliver the final plan, but there is no opportunity to add or remove sites from the Local Plan, and whilst you can never say never,, as things stand this site is as likely to be developed as I am to join UKIP. Sara
  • Score: 4

5:00pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

Considering how many libDems are joining UKIP, even since Nicks blinding defence of the benefits of being in the EU, that should not fill people with confidence.

If you want to join UKIP just contact us. You wouldn't be the first LibDem politician to be fed up with the LibDem way of doing things and want to be a part of the new more honest way of representing the people.
Considering how many libDems are joining UKIP, even since Nicks blinding defence of the benefits of being in the EU, that should not fill people with confidence. If you want to join UKIP just contact us. You wouldn't be the first LibDem politician to be fed up with the LibDem way of doing things and want to be a part of the new more honest way of representing the people. Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: -9

6:03pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Retlas says...

Phil Cox

Can you please inform me what interest or influence you would have over Three Rivers District Council if, God forbid, you were elected Mayor of WBC.

Stop pushing your unelectable claptrap and confine it to WBC if that is your wish.

I presume that you agree with your party leader that Putin is a hero!!
Phil Cox Can you please inform me what interest or influence you would have over Three Rivers District Council if, God forbid, you were elected Mayor of WBC. Stop pushing your unelectable claptrap and confine it to WBC if that is your wish. I presume that you agree with your party leader that Putin is a hero!! Retlas
  • Score: 8

6:34pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Sara says...

Dear Mr Cox, As you have told me numerous times what a useless waste of space I am, I am surprised that you would seek to invite me to join. But UKIP are quite safe. There is no more chance that I would join UKIP than the I would join the Communists.
Dear Mr Cox, As you have told me numerous times what a useless waste of space I am, I am surprised that you would seek to invite me to join. But UKIP are quite safe. There is no more chance that I would join UKIP than the I would join the Communists. Sara
  • Score: 4

10:41pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

Retlas wrote:
Phil Cox

Can you please inform me what interest or influence you would have over Three Rivers District Council if, God forbid, you were elected Mayor of WBC.

Stop pushing your unelectable claptrap and confine it to WBC if that is your wish.

I presume that you agree with your party leader that Putin is a hero!!
Wasn't it your hero who made that wonderfully wooden and completely unfunny pun that Nigel was the leader of the party of Putin? Oh how we all laughed! Where does he get them from? Despite being unfunny and wooden, of course Nick Clegg was telling yet another falsehood.

Did you not understand the debate over EU membership where Nick was soundly defeated by Nigel?

Nigel was very clear about Putin despite the slurs and untruths told by Nick Clegg. The only way you could come to such a conclusion (that Putin is a hero) is if you were Nick Clegg or one of his dwindling band of faithful but misguided followers. Nick tried to make that argument and failed miserably. Why do you think you would have any more chance by repeating it here? Are you a better spinner than Nick Clegg? Unlikely, probably just desperate.

Please, and say this to Nick Clegg as well next time you see him, please keep to the truth and the issues. Play the ball and not the man. People just see through such obvious lies nowadays as you are trying to paint. You might have got away with it in the past when trying to smear UKIP but nowadays people have ceased to believe you are telling the truth and that makes your lies all the more obvious.

We are getting great feedback on the doorstep, but then you probably know that from your own doorstep feedback. Hence the attacks.

I haven't met anyone yet who wants to see Dorothy Thornhill re-elected and I am just knocking on random doors.
[quote][p][bold]Retlas[/bold] wrote: Phil Cox Can you please inform me what interest or influence you would have over Three Rivers District Council if, God forbid, you were elected Mayor of WBC. Stop pushing your unelectable claptrap and confine it to WBC if that is your wish. I presume that you agree with your party leader that Putin is a hero!![/p][/quote]Wasn't it your hero who made that wonderfully wooden and completely unfunny pun that Nigel was the leader of the party of Putin? Oh how we all laughed! Where does he get them from? Despite being unfunny and wooden, of course Nick Clegg was telling yet another falsehood. Did you not understand the debate over EU membership where Nick was soundly defeated by Nigel? Nigel was very clear about Putin despite the slurs and untruths told by Nick Clegg. The only way you could come to such a conclusion (that Putin is a hero) is if you were Nick Clegg or one of his dwindling band of faithful but misguided followers. Nick tried to make that argument and failed miserably. Why do you think you would have any more chance by repeating it here? Are you a better spinner than Nick Clegg? Unlikely, probably just desperate. Please, and say this to Nick Clegg as well next time you see him, please keep to the truth and the issues. Play the ball and not the man. People just see through such obvious lies nowadays as you are trying to paint. You might have got away with it in the past when trying to smear UKIP but nowadays people have ceased to believe you are telling the truth and that makes your lies all the more obvious. We are getting great feedback on the doorstep, but then you probably know that from your own doorstep feedback. Hence the attacks. I haven't met anyone yet who wants to see Dorothy Thornhill re-elected and I am just knocking on random doors. Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: -5

10:52pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

Sara wrote:
Dear Mr Cox, As you have told me numerous times what a useless waste of space I am, I am surprised that you would seek to invite me to join. But UKIP are quite safe. There is no more chance that I would join UKIP than the I would join the Communists.
I have never said that of you Sara.

I may believe your attitude leaves a lot to be desired but I have never said you are a waste of space.

I also wish you would stop being evasive and told us how much you take from your jobs as councillor. Why will you not tell the people who pay your wages exactly how much you earn? Are you embarrassed?
[quote][p][bold]Sara[/bold] wrote: Dear Mr Cox, As you have told me numerous times what a useless waste of space I am, I am surprised that you would seek to invite me to join. But UKIP are quite safe. There is no more chance that I would join UKIP than the I would join the Communists.[/p][/quote]I have never said that of you Sara. I may believe your attitude leaves a lot to be desired but I have never said you are a waste of space. I also wish you would stop being evasive and told us how much you take from your jobs as councillor. Why will you not tell the people who pay your wages exactly how much you earn? Are you embarrassed? Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: -4

10:22am Fri 11 Apr 14

Retlas says...

Mr Cox

You infer that I support the LibDems. I can asure that I never have and probably never will vote for them.
Mr Cox You infer that I support the LibDems. I can asure that I never have and probably never will vote for them. Retlas
  • Score: 2

10:45am Fri 11 Apr 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

So far only a failed LibDem Leader, Nick Clegg, has claimed that Putin is some sort of a hero to Mr Farage and/or UKIP. The claim was made in the recent TV debates and Mr Clegg tried to make some mischief out of it. Ok, he failed dismally but he did try to make this false claim. Not very statemanlike but I think he was getting desperate as his arguments over the EU were proved to be false time and time again so he tried to play the man and not the ball. When that happens you have lost the argument.

In UKIP we are quite clear about this, Putin is not a hero.

If you take the same line as the LibDem Leader it is far more likely you are a LibDem than a UKIP supporter.

I have not heard either the Tories or Labour following Cleggs appalling example of manipulating the statement made by Nigel Farage. The other parties tend to make up their own smears, they do not follow Clegg for obvious reasons.

Probability therefore says you are a LibDem. As you are anonymous we will likely never know.
So far only a failed LibDem Leader, Nick Clegg, has claimed that Putin is some sort of a hero to Mr Farage and/or UKIP. The claim was made in the recent TV debates and Mr Clegg tried to make some mischief out of it. Ok, he failed dismally but he did try to make this false claim. Not very statemanlike but I think he was getting desperate as his arguments over the EU were proved to be false time and time again so he tried to play the man and not the ball. When that happens you have lost the argument. In UKIP we are quite clear about this, Putin is not a hero. If you take the same line as the LibDem Leader it is far more likely you are a LibDem than a UKIP supporter. I have not heard either the Tories or Labour following Cleggs appalling example of manipulating the statement made by Nigel Farage. The other parties tend to make up their own smears, they do not follow Clegg for obvious reasons. Probability therefore says you are a LibDem. As you are anonymous we will likely never know. Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: -2

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