Mr C Dempster
Development Control Department
East Herts District Council
|3 September 2008|
Dear Mr Dempster
Reference Planning Application- 3/08/1163/FP---16 Maple Avenue, Bishops Stortford
I am writing to you on behalf of the Bishop's Stortford Civic Federation to object to this proposal.
Generally, it has become all too common, especially in Maple Avenue and its surrounding roads, for perfectly sound houses to be demolished in order that the space can be crammed with several houses. This destroys the character of the area, constitutes cramming and is unsustainable.
Your policy HSG7 and paragraphs 9.1.3 and 9.2.1 in the Built Heritage section argue firmly against this proposal. Maple Avenue was originally an Edwardian development of large houses with large gardens. There has been some, usually acceptable, infilling. However, this proposal is a step too far and should be rejected.Yours Sincerely,
Room 3/01 Kite Wing,
Temple Quay House,
2 The Square,
Bristol BS1 6PN
|27 April 2009|
The Civic Federation of Bishop's Stortford have already objected to this proposal and I confirm our support for the Council's objection to it. However, having read the appellant's statement to you, I would like to add some points to our original letters.
I have lived very near Maple Avenue for 50 years and have observed with dismay how the area has changed, due mainly to a new tactic by developers in buying the large Edwardian houses with their large gardens, knocking them down and substituting at least three new houses or a block of flats.
Hadham Road and Maple Avenue were builders' roads made at the turn of the last century to accommodate large detached houses. These are unique in Bishop's Stortford and should be preserved so that there is – and should be – a mix of settlement types in the town.
There is a Hadham Road conservation area but this did not include, as it should have done, Maple Avenue. This makes the Council's defence more difficult as the appellants have spotted in 4.08 of their paper.
In 4.06 they say that the key consideration is whether the development positively improves the character and environmental quality of the area and the way it functions. Also, in 4.10 (b) they say that the design has regard to local distinctiveness. Both of these statements are breached by their application.
Finally could I address the appellant's mistaken views on sustainability. This word now trips off the pen of any developer seeking to justify the ravaging of a piece of unspoilt land.
Having read many years ago Gro Harlem Bruntland's Sustainability Report, the appellants should be reminded that the key to that report was avoiding the irrevocable loss of a part of the environment that future generations would deeply regret.
It has got nothing to do with any of the matters listed in 5.06 nor should large gardens be treated in the same way as the (correct) use of previously developed land and buildings (4.04).
Bishop's Stortford has borne the brunt of East Hertfordshire's housing allocations, including almost all of the airport related housing and the development of previously developed land in the town centre.
It is, in the Civic Federation’s view, essential to stop the nibbling away of Maple Avenue. This application will, we fear, set a precedent for a domino effect as each of the large houses are put up for sale.
We do hope, therefore, that you can support the District Council in their refusal.Yours faithfully,