Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

What do you think about the quality and pace of housing development in Ware?
Scottman
Posts: 234
Joined: Tue 21 Apr 2009 12:00 am

Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by Scottman »

The Planning Appeal raised by the developer against East Herts Council will be heard Tuesday through Friday this week, at the Eat Herts Council Offices in Hertford. The Council's rejection of both sets of plans, for 50 or 49 units respectively on a sliver of land fronting Scotts Road, will be heard by a Planning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State.

It will be interesting to see whether the considered and resolute opinion of our duly elected representatives, and the Council's planning guidelines which we all as individuals must comply with, will be upheld in the face of greedy and careless property developers looking to push too many homes and too little parking onto a postage stamp and profit inappropriately from the sale of public land.

We watch with interest ...

Scottman
Posts: 234
Joined: Tue 21 Apr 2009 12:00 am

Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by Scottman »

Received from the Residents Committee yesterday .....

The developers' Appeal against East Herts Council's decision to refuse planning permission on this site ran from 24th to 26th February. The Inspector's report, and his decision, is due around the second week of April..

EHC refused planning permission for three reasons, but one of these (the proportion of social housing to be provided) was resolved prior to the Appeal. If planning permission were to be granted now, the scheme will yield 27% social housing, rather than the 6% originally offered, the majority affordable units.

East Herts Council currently lacks both a five year land supply and has failed to meet target for house building in the past. These shortcomings undermine the Council's position, and risk unhindered development unless a project can be proved to be significantly and demonstrably damaging.

With social housing ratio off the agenda, the two issues addressed at the Appeal were the design, look and siting of the block of apartments, and the significant lack of parking, when compared to EHC's own published standards. The Council called two independent consultants, one in heritage buildings and architecture, the other on parking issues to defend its decisions, and our ward councillor, Mark Pope, attended and gave evidence on behalf of residents.

It was made clear in the Appeal that building design is very much a matter of individual opinion, though there appeared to be greater confidence in the later set of plans, submitted in October last year. The parking issues were attacked fairly thoroughly. The Appellants pointed out that EHC's own Planning Officers had recommended acceptance of this on three separate occasions. The 'highly sustainable' nature of the transport links (trains, buses, cycleways) close to the site were emphasised, plus the fact that all residents at the new site would know about the more limited parking available onsite and would reduce car ownership in consequence. It was also pointed out that Scotts Road can provide up to 24 extra car parking spaces 'out of controlled hours'. It was claimed that 'residents' concerns on this issue (60+ separate letters) were 'exaggerated'.

We await the Inspector's final decision with misgivings. Our Council's position is weakened by the lack of sufficient new homes building, but we maintain that this should not cause over intensive development of a small site. We've done our best to draw attention to the major issues with both planning applications, and we are certainly a very long way from the three blocks of flats that were first proposed back in July 2013.

Wareite1969
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu 03 Nov 2011 12:00 am

Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by Wareite1969 »

Doesn't sound as positive as it could have been but I'm sure all is not lost yet.

It would be shame for us all if the new accepted policy became developers could actively encourage on road parking on public highways within their parking space calculations, That isn't what any of us want. The quote about people reducing car ownership based on the known lack of spaces is foolish to say the least - anyone been to Bengeo recently?

Let's hope common sense prevails but I'm not sure it will. Stand by for lots of applications based on there being no enforceable parking policy anymore, along with private residents who have had to build extra parking when extending their properties based on parking rules which are now invalid (or at the least can be ignored) seeking recompense for their costs

Scottman
Posts: 234
Joined: Tue 21 Apr 2009 12:00 am

Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by Scottman »

Not sure about the common sense. After all, if the Council's own Planning Department recommends acceptance of substandard plans, what hope is there for Councillors and residents to reject same ?

It does make you wonder where it leaves the Council's own parking standards. It's crystal clear in these that 2 bed flats need 1.5 spaces per unit, and 3 beds 2.25, and 4 beds 3 spaces, but this development would fall woefully short of their own statements. Residents planning extra bedrooms in future - take note.

The new parking policy is apparently exampled at the old Hertford Police Station site, where similarly low parking provision was happily accepted. Go figure ....

The Masked Woler
Posts: 344
Joined: Wed 08 Jan 2014 11:52 am

Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by The Masked Woler »

Surprised there is any parking provision at all - there is very little for the various ones in the High St etc

Post Office 43 bedrooms 8 spaces
New Road 6 bedrooms no spaces
Behind Baldock St 50 odd bedrooms 25 spaces
Nat West 8 bedrooms no spaces

Scottman
Posts: 234
Joined: Tue 21 Apr 2009 12:00 am

Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by Scottman »

There is, somewhere out there, a parallel universe where those who live in minor town centre locations never require ownership of a car, or even two. Clearly these are people who work in London, only shop in Ware and who take all their entertainment from our town.

Scottman
Posts: 234
Joined: Tue 21 Apr 2009 12:00 am

Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by Scottman »

I understand from the Residents' Committee that the Planning Inspector has allowed the developers' appeal against East Herts Council, so they will be permitted to build a block of 28 apartments and 21 off 3/4 and 4/5 bed homes on the sliver of land available for development. That's all good then.

So, apparently, residents need no longer abide by East Herts Council's parking guidelines because (a) we live near a highly sustainable transport system (the trains and buses at Ware Station, in case you did not recognise that description) (b) we are very near the town centre and (c) modern families living in such locations do not need and will not own more than 1.5 cars per family, even with older children at home.

This is going to be Fascinating. Can one buy shares in the local parking enforcement franchise?

Ian
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu 21 Nov 2013 10:39 am

Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by Ian »

It will be interesting to see if this has a knock on effect for other developments. I see the proposed Crane Mead development has also gone to appeal now. I think we are increasingly seeing the problems caused by EHDC taking too long to draw up their development plan :(

Wareite1969
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu 03 Nov 2011 12:00 am

Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by Wareite1969 »

Very disappointing

I assume anyone who had to build extra parking spaces for extensions will now be speaking to the council seeking compensation for costs they incurred following a parking policy which is now unenforceable ?

How long before pressure will be on to remove the yellow lines as parking is insufficient ? I hope any prospective buyers are fully informed of the limitations.

'Ware - The new Bengeo'
Last edited by Wareite1969 on Thu 14 May 2015 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

The Masked Woler
Posts: 344
Joined: Wed 08 Jan 2014 11:52 am

Re: Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus

Post by The Masked Woler »

Parking in other parts of Ware is already pretty impossible.

This is a cunning plan to reduce traffic - once you find a parking place you daren't leave it so you walk.

This is a Ware wide problem and the town should be united in it's position - it's unfortunate that some recent plans and the interest groups associated with them have, it seems to me anyway, driven a wedge (or wedges) through the town as a result of comments made.

While proposed developments may not be near you personally they will affect us all in the end. We all need to see the bigger picture.

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