On the 31st May 2019 a complaint against Broxbourne Borough Council was finalised and the complaint was upheld. This complaint was in relation to the late overnight works for High Leigh Garden Village.
Summary: Mr Y complains about the Council’s decision not to enforce against breaches of planning control at a development site close to his home. The Ombudsman does not uphold this part of the complaint because the Council was entitled to resolve the breaches informally. Mr Y also complains about the Council’s decision to grant permission for noisy works under Section 61 of the Control of Pollution Act. The Ombudsman finds fault because the Council approved the application without visiting the site and noting errors in the measurements. This meant the developer was not required to install additional acoustic barriers, and so Mr Y suffered more disturbance than necessary for eight nights in total. The Council will apologise and pay £150 to Mr Y.
Dear Broxbourne Borough Council, Hertfordshire County Council and Lands Improvement Holdings,
As you’ll be aware the highly disputed and planning permission breaching works have already begun on Lord Street. From the 4th February 2019 onwards Lord Street will be subject to closures, causing current residents to unfairly suffer. It is clear in the planning documents that the gas and electricity utilities were meant to come via Hertford Road, instead you have chosen to ignore this and have done so without informing local residents as to why. We still don’t know why, and honestly it is hard going to get the truth from you. Will you tell us why the planning permission has changed?
Throughout the High Leigh Garden Village development so far there have been numerous planning permission breaches, some of these breaches have resorted in Broxbourne Council contacting Lands Improvement Holdings or Breheny Civil Engineering, requesting that they adhere to the planning permission or planning conditions. It is believed that a formal planning enforcement notice has never been served on Lands Improvement Holdings or Breheny Civil Engineering.
In response to questions 1, 4 and 5, the information that the Council holds on those with an interest in High Leigh is taken from the 2015 section 106 agreement on which the following names appear:
Mr D E Brock-Jest Mr A C Spicer and Mr F T O’Connell (administrators for Hubert C Leach (High Leigh) Ltd Hubert C Leach (High Leigh) Ltd The Directors Empire LIH Limited Mr R A N Jest Mr T B Perkins
It is known to the Council that LIH has taken possession of the interests of Hubert C Leach (High Leigh) Ltd and it is understood that this company has no remaining interest.
The Council has met with the prospective developer of the majority of the High Leigh site and it is understood that LIH will publicise the identity of that developer shortly. However, at the present time that information is confidential.
Broxbourne Council has received the following information from the developers:
The following utilities are currently being brought into the development from Lord Street within a four week period that we are about two weeks into:
A new sewer from Rosehill Bowls Club to the King William pub; An electricity connection from Langton Road to Box Lane A gas connection from the entrance to the High Leigh conference centre to the vicinity of Box Lane.
These are all expected to be completed by early March.
The area of the development to the north of the Dinant Link Road will be serviced through a new service corridor from Hertford Road. Water for the whole development to the north of Lord Street will be taken through this corridor.
With regard to the contents of the committee report, the contents of paragraphs 8.102 to 105 were factual statements in respect of the intention for service connections at that time. Note that paragraph 8.104 explicitly sates that the development would be sewered through Lord Street and it is that sewer connection that has been the principal cause of the road closure. There has been a change in strategy for gas and electricity for the housing south of the Dinant Link Road. Those works within Lord Street are however, coinciding with the sewer connection. There is nothing uncommon about this in a large development. It is a normal progression of the details as to how utilities will connect into a development.
Notwithstanding the above, none of the utility works within Lord Street require planning permission and there is no breach of the planning permission in that respect. Should there be any breaches of the conditions attaching to that permission, the Council will take any action deemed expedient at that time. For the reasons outlined previously, it would not have been appropriate to take enforcement action relating to the surfacing of the road and roundabouts outside of the permitted hours.
I trust this clarifies the position.
Jeff Stack Chief Executive | Broxbourne Borough Council Bishops’ College | Churchgate | Cheshunt | Herts | EN8 9XQ
Residents are missing deliveries, post and friends/ family are unable to locate their property as the postcode of EN11 8SJ has been moved on Google Maps.
We believe this has occurred as the contractors Breheny Civil Engineering were using residents postcode as a way to locate somewhere near their construction site. This is not acceptable and though they now have their own postcode, the issue they caused still exists.
It is not fair that Lands Improvement Holdings and Breheny Civil Engineering have affected residents lives, but not put things right. Residents are having to try and get this issue resolved.
We once again call on the incompetent councils, Hertfordshire County Council and Broxbourne Borough Council to monitor the development and prevent local residents lives being unfairly impacted.
To residents of Lord Street, Kennedy Avenue, Langton Road, Box Lane, all adjoining roads, councillors of Broxbourne and Hertfordshire and supporters of this campaign, you are invited to a group photo on the Saturday 9th February 2019, at 2:30pm on Lord Street where it joins Langton Road with the Hertfordshire Mercury.
Everyone is invited to attended, please let your neighbours and friends near Lord Street know and anyone affected by these works.
We reached out to Phil Bibby regarding the dire ongoing Dinant Link Road situation, as many residents were unsure as to what is going on.
Will the same contractors be allowed to carry out the works in Spring of 2019? In regards to this, many residents are concerned that the current contractors have failed to adequately carry out the works numerous times and questions regarding competency are now being raised.
Under the Section 278 Agreement we have with the developer, it is their responsibility to appoint a contractor for these works and to ensure that these works are carried out to an appropriate standard.
There is a document produced in 2014 that clarifies the intended use of Lord Street (page A35/ A36) and it is clear from this document that Lord Street is being misused for utilities, when clearly these were meant to come via Hertford Road, except the sewer which was only advised.
“8.102 The principal service corridor into the site will be from Hertford Road to the north through land that is in the applicant’s ownership. Gas, water and electricity will brought in from this point. ”
It is extremely clear where the utilities were meant to come from (Hertford Road) and not via Lord Street. We hope Jeff Stack, the chief executive of Broxbourne Borough Council is able to provide some more insight regarding this document as his signature and name are listed on the final page.
In regards to the sewage it does however state: “8.104 The applicants have advised that the development would be sewered through Lord Street which is likely to necessitate the need for pumping from large parts of the development”
The document makes no reference to the need for a total closure or closure of any kind in regards to Lord Street for sewer works. The closure is unexpected and comes as a surprise to many residents who will be left inconvenienced.
The stance that utilities were always going to come via Lord Street, that Lands Improvement Holdings maintain is misguided and clearly false due to publication of this document and other meetings, such as at the spotlight.
Residents continue to be left in the dark as to why Lord Street is being used for utilities.