23 Sep 11 - Correspondence between BSCF and Cllr Ashley on Henderson planning decision

18 Oct - BSCF to seek judicial review of Henderson planning decision New!

23 Sep 11 - Letter to Cllr Ashley, chairman of EHDC Development Control Committee.


Councillor W Ashley,
Chairman Development Control Committee
23 September 2011

Dear Chairman

When I spoke to your Committee meeting on 25th August, I asked Mr Steptoe to confirm that, as Henderson’s are in breach of PPS5 Policy HE6, it was not possible for your Committee to validate the planning application. He forgot to do this so I telephoned him a few days later and he said he would look into it. As I have heard nothing I must ask you now to revoke Henderson’s application approval.

The evidence for the breach is set out very clearly in the Senior Archaeologist’s letter to Martin Plummer dated 19th July 2011. In addition, your Committee appears to have ignored the clear advice to them in 7.65 of the Officer’s report which says that “Additional information in respect of these issues, and the impact on the historic environment, should therefore be submitted prior to the application being determined”.

In case you feel that revocation can be avoided because the Senior Archaeologist did not recommend refusal, I could not accept that. Planning expertise lies with you, your Committee and Officers and not with her.

Could I also draw your attention to the fact that this application breaches the following District Policies: BH2, BH6 (b), (c) & (d); ENV 1, 11(ii), 18 (b); BIS (10) and STC 1. I have been advised that breaches of District Policies are also grounds for revocation.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Hurford,
President Bishop's Stortford Civic Federation

Copies to: Alison Tinniswood, Cllr Michael Carver


30 Sep - Reply from Cllr Ashley  Top 

Reply from Cllr Ashley


5 Oct: Second letter to Cllr Ashley, chairman of EHDC Development Control Committee  Top 

Councillor W Ashley,
Chairman Development Control Committee
Monks Green Farm
Monks Green
HERTFORD SG13 8QL
5 October 2011

Dear Chairman

Thank you for your letter dated 30th September. It seems clear that when, and by whom, the application from Hendersons was validated it was not done in accordance with PPS5, Policy HE6. First, section HE6 (1) in the last paragraph makes clear what information is required from a conservation area; secondly, section HE6 (2) states that the information must be set out in the application and, thirdly in section HE6 (3) that planning authorities should not validate applications where the impact of the proposals on heritage assets cannot be understood.

For you to say that the County Archaeologist was satisfied with the information received is extraordinary. I cannot believe you have read her letter. After a description of the hapless, botched and inadequate way in which Henderson’s investigation was done she says “Given this, I consider that it still remains the case that the potential impact of the proposed development has not been adequately assessed and that the presence, extent and complexity of any archaeological remains present within the proposed development area has not been established.

I am puzzled that she did not formally object to the proposal until the assessment was done properly. However her conditions are very strict and explicit and she makes clear that their completion could take a considerable time.

I accept that your Committee is not bound by advice it gets from officers nor from any other consultant; nevertheless that does not permit the Committee to approve applications improperly validated and in breach of planning policy statements and several policies in your own District Plan which, I notice, you did not refer to in your letter. Their decision to approve the outline planning application should now be revoked.

I have no wish, nor I’m sure do your Council, to endure the cost and delay of a Judicial Review when the simple answer is revocation.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Hurford,
President, Bishop's Stortford Civic Federation

Copies to: Alison Tinniswood, Cllr Michael Carver


10 Oct - Reply from Cllr Ashley to second BSCF letter above  Top 

Reply from Cllr Ashley


18 Oct: Third letter to Cllr Ashley, chairman of EHDC Development Control Committee  Top 

Councillor W Ashley,
Chairman Development Control Committee
Monks Green Farm
Monks Green
HERTFORD SG13 8QL
18 October 2011

Reference: Henderson Proposal – Old River Lane

Dear Councillor Ashley,

Given your refusal to revoke the planning permission granted to Henderson could I advise you that the Civic Federation intend to apply for a judicial review of that decision. We are supported in this action by the town’s retailers.

I should be most grateful, therefore, if you would confirm your intention to maintain your refusal.

Yours Sincerely,

Michael Hurford,
President, Bishop's Stortford Civic Federation

Copies to: Alison Tinniswood, Cllr Michael Carver