Planning permission for the High Leigh Garden Village development was contentious from the start, with multiple objections from residents during the initial stages. Some of the concerns raised by residents have been ignored, including the use of Lord Street and Dinant link road – now these issues that were raised many years ago are cropping up.
You can see multiple concerns that were previously raised if you visit Broxbournes Planning Portal and input the reference: 07/13/0899/O Concerns were also raised by CPRE Hertfordshire over the destruction of the Green Belt.
Residents again call on the local authorities, Broxbourne Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council to see that local amenity is not unacceptably affected and that the planning permission is upheld from this point on.
Attached below is the planning permission which is also available on Broxbourne Borough Councils planning portal by searching using the reference 07/13/0899/O on this site (select search by reference): http://planning.broxbourne.gov.uk/Planning/lg/GFPlanningWelcome.page
What are “reserved matters”?
High Leigh Garden Village Overnight works and planning permission
The planning permission states: “No construction work or delivery of materials relating to this permission shall be carried out on any Sunday, Public or Bank Holiday nor at any other time, except between the hours of 8.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays and between the hours of 8.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m. on Saturdays. Reason – to protect neighbouring amenity“
As people of Hoddesdon will know these works on the A10 were initially carried out in July 2018 for multiple nights, the surface of the road was found to be unacceptable and subsequently had to be redone in October 2018 for multiple nights. Lands Improvement Holdings or their contractors blame the hot weather and being forced by Hertfordshire County Council to undertake the works at night, but for reasons unknown to us decided to carry out the works at night and in hot weather regardless of their concerns…
Hertfordshire County Council still have concerns over the surface of the roundabout again and require Lands Improvement Holdings (or their contractor Breheny) to undertake further works. This will be the third time that the works will need to be carried out on Dinant link road, as they were not found the first two times to be of the standards required by Hertfordshire County Council. This begs the question, are Breheny Civil Engineering suitable to carry out these works? Or are Hertfordshire County Council being too picky?
Due to the current hot weather and the in-sufficient time available for the surface to “cool”, I have had to cancel tomorrow’s night surfacing to the link road, Hoddesdon. Indeed area’s of the surfacing laid on Tuesday evening now requires planing out and re-applying due to it’s decimation by the hot weather and heavy trafficking that followed.Breheny Civil Engineering 26th July 2018 – Source: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/534266/response/1275127/attach/6/16407%20Redacted..pdf?cookie_passthrough=1
Breheny state that hot weather and heavy trafficking that followed caused decimation to the road in July. The A10 and Dinant Link road is very busy and this should of surely been anticipated? Regarding the hot weather they should of looked at the weather forecast and used a thermometer before undertaking the failed works, it was fully broadcast by the Met office that we were in a heatwave. It is not unreasonable to expect that a company that states they have civil engineers to predict such basic things, especially when undertaking sensitive work in close proximity to residents.
It is hoped that Broxbourne Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council will thoroughly investigate the failure to undertake these overnight works twice. If works do need to be undertaken again to resolve the issues with the road it is hoped that these will be carefully monitored and planned by all parties involved. The works must also not be undertaken at night again.
Local residents in the area were affected by the nuisances of noise, light, dust and vibration being released from the construction site during the overnight works, leaving many people unable to sleep and suffering from headaches. It is not fair on residents to permit overnight works between 8pm and 5am. More suitable times should be used in desperate cases where overnight works are required and no alternative is available, such as 8pm till midnight.
Broxbourne Borough Council failed to protect local amenity from the construction work and instead permitted these late night works to take place in contravention to the agreed planning permission. Hertfordshire County Council allowed Lands Improvement Holdings or their contractors to close the road late at night – directly against what the planning permission states.
I have relaxed the closure time from 9pm to 8pm to appease complaints received in relation to noise, as with longer daylight hour this should help works commencing before the darker evening hours sets in, however due to the network demands in relation to traffic volumes I will not accommodate an earlier closure time of 7 pm.Hertfordshire County Council 23rd July 2018 Source: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/534266/response/1275127/attach/6/16407%20Redacted..pdf?cookie_passthrough=1
Lord Street and Planning permission
The planning permission states: “with all matters reserved except for mean of access from Dinant Link Road and Lord Street and a sustainable urban drainage system.” The means of access in regards to Lord Street was confirmed as only to be used for emergency access and access to the sports fields.
Multiple residents and Councillors will recall that Broxbourne Borough Council made assurances that Lord Street would only be used for a very limited range of access to High Leigh Garden Village. It was stated at The Spotlight, Broxbourne Civic Hall that Lord Streetwould only be used for (i) emergency access (ii) access to the sports-fields. Residents and businesses now face the real prospect that Lord Street will be closed for an extended period of time, with works lasting up to 18 months. The works related to Lord Street were never disclosed or agreed with residents of Hoddesdon during the initial planning stages, this meant residents did not have the opportunity to contest this use Lord Street.
Upon reviewing the planning permission and other planning documents, we are unable to locate any mention of Lord Street needing to be closed or worked upon for High Leigh Garden Village. If you can locate the document where Hertfordshire County Council or Broxbourne Borough Council state in planning documents that Lord Street would be closed or work upon, then please comment below.
We have been misled by Broxbourne Borough Council, Hertfordshire County Council and Lands Improvement Holdings in regards as to how Lord Street was to be used during the initial consultation / planning period.
Is closing Lord Street a reserved matter?
As the agreed planning permission states that all matters are reserved except for means of access via Lord Street and Dinant Link Road, based on the definition above that the use of Lord Street for utilities and subsequently the closure of Lord Street is not a reserved matter and additionally the agreed Planning Permission will be breached by this action.
Regarding constructions overnight works that caused residents to be aggrieved, it is understood by residents that the works were requested to be undertaken overnight due to the high demands placed on this road in the day and Hertfordshire County Highways not agreeing to any other time. What residents do not find acceptable that the works have failed to be carried out to a sufficient standard twice, leading to more nuisances than should have reasonably be allowed to occur. It is also strange that the mention of overnight works is not included in the planning permission to any extent, therefore people were deceived and mislead at the earlier planning stages.
Herfordshire County Council and Broxbourne Borough Council should of not permitted overnight works until the cooler months arrived. Where is the common sense and planning in allowing a road surface to be laid in hot weather?
Lands Improvement Holdings and their contractor Breheny should not of attempted to undertake works in one of the hottest periods in July. It comes as no surprise, based on common sense, that the road did not set in sufficient time during the heatwave in July.
It is believed that multiple breaches of planning permission have occurred and that agreed planning permission was carelessly approved without sufficient particulars by Broxbourne Borough Council for the following reasons:
- The installation of utilities and subsequent the closure of Lord Street has not been included in the planning permission or other planning documents.
- Residents were not informed at any consultation stage that Lord Street would be closed for the installation of utilities. We find this to be deceitful and misleading; if we had known this information at planning stage we would of been able to contest it and made our views known.
- Residents were informed of the direct opposite regarding Lord Street, we were told it would only be used for emergency access and a small amount of access for the sports fields. WE WERE NEVER INFORMED OF WORKS ON LORD STREET.
- Overnight works have occurred, the planning permission is explicit in the times it states that construction may take place. Broxbourne Council also agree this amounts to a planning permission breach but unfortunately will not take action in relation to this.
- The overnight works were not included in the planning permission and residents were not consulted on the prospect of overnight works during the consultation stages, which meant we were unable to provide our point of view or contest it.
The time span for judicial review regarding the agreed High Leigh Garden Village planning permission has lapsed, though it is likely we could not of foresaw these blatant breaches of planning permission. Therefore we instead ask Broxbourne Borough Council to now uphold the agreed planning permission and Lands Improvement Holdings to not further breach the agreed planning permission.
However, as the Lord Street closure is a new decision by a public entity and the closure of Lord Street is not included in the agreed planning permission in any capacity that would allow for this closure, it is therefore able to be challenged by judicial review.
It is deeply concerning the local authorities, Broxbourne Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council, are not upholding the planning permission but is instead allowing a construction site to damage and unfairly affect residents lives. The outcome of the planning permission may of been different if the need to close Lord Street and to perform overnight works was disclosed at an earlier stage.
What can you do as a resident of Hoddesdon?
If you were affected by nuisances or should you feel that a multiple month closure of Lord Street for High Leigh Garden Village is not fair then you have the right to complain to your local councillors, Broxbourne Borough Council, Hertfordshire County Council, Paul Mason and your MP.
Paul Mason, the Hertfordshire Councillor who is responsible for Lord Street: [email protected]
Broxbourne Borough Council: https://www.broxbourne.gov.uk/council-council-information/complaints-procedure
Broxbourne Councilliors: https://www.broxbourne.gov.uk/council-councillors/councillors
Hertfordshire County Council: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/about-the-council/complain-or-comment/make-a-complaint.aspx
Member of Parliament for Broxbourne: http://www.charleswalker.org/
Disappointed by the response from Broxbourne Borough Council or Hertfordshire County Council?
After exhausting Broxbourne Borough Councils and Hertfordshire County Councils complaints procedure you may lodge a complaint with the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman: https://www.lgo.org.uk/