Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

What do you think about the quality and pace of housing development in Ware?
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Scottman
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Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by Scottman »

Ware Town Council's Planning Committee this evening repeated its rejection of a full planning application for a block of flats and housing - totalling 50 homes - on the Scotts Road half of the current campus.

The plans had to come back after it became clear that those discussed in October were inaccurate and therefore misleading. The new plans turn out to be equally misleading; none of residents' or Councillors' substantial issues have been taken into account and further problems have been included.

Despite these two rejections, the plans now go forward to East Herts Planning on 5 February for final review and possible approval. The developer justifies the intensity of the development (and particularly the need of flats) by saying the development is otherwise not viable : a self serving argument if ever there was one.

If approved despite the many local objections, the plan will grant Ware another block of flats higher than the existing classroom block and moved to within 3 metres of Hertford Road, and an estate of properties with one car space per unit (flats) and 2 per 3 or 4 bed home, in an area where there are significant restrictions already on the surrounding roads to deter students and commuters from on road parking. The traffic survey was carried out in May, when the College is at its quietest, to minimise the probable effect of another 100 plus car movements in and out of the area.

The level of debate in favour of the plans offered by two WTC clouncillors makes one fear for this town - and this country - with increased Localisation. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways ...

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Steve
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Location: Hertford

Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by Steve »

The Town Council has no authority to approve or reject planning applications. They are simply consulted just like any member of the public. The Local Planning Authority (LPA) for such matters is the District Council. Developers submit planning applications to the LPAs which are then decided based on existing local planning policies. If the plans comply with the council's policies then by law they have to grant permission.

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Martin
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Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by Martin »

The Town Council Planning Committee can vote on whether or not to support a proposed development, and it was evident last night that a number of the committee have spent a great deal of time looking closely at the proposed plans.

There were some very well thought out and delivered speeches from a number of people both on the Council and from the floor, all against the proposal, countered by one half-hearted speech from Councillor Lester in favour of them, although it was indeed difficult to ascertain his reasons for supporting them. Another councillor voted with Councillor Lester, but he was clearly out of his depth and could come up with no reasons at all for supporting them.

The Town Council is overwhelmingly against the proposed development for many valid reasons, but the fact that there was no representative from either the developers or the college speaks volumes. They must think that it is a done-deal, and that their poorly drawn plans outlining this non-sensical development will be passed anyway by a District Council that doesn't seem to care about the vast numbers of flats that are being built on any available land in Ware.

Unfortunately, as always, money is the overwhelming driving force, and it is the developers who inevitably have the greatest influence on the District Council as they are the ones with the money.

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Steve
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Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by Steve »

Martin wrote:... the fact that there was no representative from either the developers or the college speaks volumes.
Were they invited?

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Steve
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Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by Steve »

Martin wrote:... their poorly drawn plans outlining this non-sensical development will be passed anyway by a District Council that doesn't seem to care
A few months ago someone wrote a letter to The Mercury saying the same thing about a big proposed development in Hertford.

Unfortunately for the author, between sending the letter and having it published in The Mercury, the council refused planning permission.

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IGS
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Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by IGS »

Steve wrote:
Martin wrote:... the fact that there was no representative from either the developers or the college speaks volumes.
Were they invited?
I would have thought it to be very strange for the relevant parties not to be invited. I have been involved with similar where the pertinent parties haven't bothered to turn up in order to delay the process. It worked as they knew we had very little funding.

JillR
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Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by JillR »

The college was not invited to the meeting. Meeting of the Planning Committee are open to the public as opposed to anyone being specifically invited. What tends to happen is that those opposed to a particular development will turn up. In some cases we do invite an applicant or the applicant will ask to attend the meeting. In this case, representatives of Hertford Regional College attended a Planning Committe meeting in September to present an outline of the proposals in advance of public consultation. It is far more usual for both sides to turn up at the East Herts meeting because that is when the application is actually decided.

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Martin
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Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by Martin »

Whether or not they were invited is not the point. If they were genuinely interested in what local residents think of the plans, and if they actually wanted to listen to the many concerns they would have been there.

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Steve
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Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by Steve »

Martin wrote:If they were genuinely interested in what local residents think of the plans, and if they actually wanted to listen to the many concerns they would have been there.
It's not a public consultation. The time for that would be before submitting the planning application, not after. The purpose of the town council's meeting is to form a view on the proposals and submit those views to the district council. Other organisations are similarly invited to express a view, such as the police, Hertfordshire Highways and the Environment Agency.

Ian
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Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by Ian »

Martin, I'm not sure you fully understand what has already gone on with these plans:

1) There has already been a public consultation some time ago when the developers and WRC spent time talking to the public, this was your chance to talk to the developers
2) The plans were then submitted to EHDC for planning permission. As part of the planning permission process EHDC will ask for comments form other parties, such as Highways and the Town Council.
3) EHDC also publish the plans online for everyone to see and you can raise a formal objection at this point either as an individual or as a group. You can also comment on the plans to say you think it's a good idea, though few people will do this.
4) EHDC will then take into account all comments they receive and will then make a decision based on these comments and on the opinion of the planning inspectors.

Once a decision is made the applicant is entitled to ask for a review if they think the application has not been handled correctly.

There is little or no point in discussing planning applications here. I know EHDC planning will look at local forums but I don't think they comment and the views expressed here will not be taken into account unless a formal comment has been sent to EHDC.

What I'm not sure about in this case is whether the developers and WRC have submitted a second planning application. there doesn't seem to be on e on the planning website. If you are concerned you should write to the EHDC planning dept before the meeting on Feb 5th.

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