The following planning application responses have been made on behalf of the Baldock Bygrave and Clothall Planning Group.
More details of planning applications can be found on the NHDC Planning website – search using the consultation Reference number.

20 July 2022

22/01688/OP  –  Land Between London Road and Chalk Hills.

The Baldock, Bygrave and Clothall Planning Group wishes to object to this application for the following reasons:

1.  This proposal involves a loss of Green Belt which the applicant acknowledges makes a moderate (not low) contribution to Green Belt purposes in this location. The site is not proposed to be released from the Green Belt in the emerging local plan, and the various benefits cited by the applicant do not constitute ‘very special circumstances’ for release as required by national and local planning policies; especially taking into account the land which is already proposed for release from the Green Belt in the emerging local plan.

2.  The proposed Final entrance into the site is off Chalk Hills – as stated within the transport assessment is a single carriage road ranging from 6.5m wide to 3.9m wide in the vicinity of the site.

3.  The vision splay drawing appears OK on the drawing, however looking at the proposed site plan, the vision splay looking up Chalk Hills will be obstructed by the trees and bushes and therefore will cause blind spots for traffic on Chalk Hills heading towards London Road and also traffic from this development onto Chalk Hills and will therefore increase the risk of potential traffic accidents even at low speeds.

4.  There is a footpath shown from the site leading onto Chalk Hills, but there is no footpath on Chalk Hills as existing or proposed.

5.  The site is on a fairly steep piece of land with the lowest point being nearly 3m below the lowest point on Chalk Hills. The nearest surface water drainage invert level is higher than the lowest point of the site, therefore it is understood the proposal is for surface water soak aways within a Chalk substrate. There is no mention how the foul-water drainage will work.

6.  The refuse vehicle tracking only shows the refuse vehicle entering and exiting the site, nothing within the site.

7.  61 trees of 138 are proposed to be removed to allow for the development. These are classed as low quality, however this is just under 50% tree loss to the area.

8.  Plots 12 & 15 are mid terrace houses so parking is away from the house and therefore any electric vehicle provision would be difficult to connect to the houses.

9.  Although only an outline planning application, the only elevations are on the internal view drawing with not much detail provided showing proposed material finishes.

11 May 2022

22/00741/FP  –  Bygrave Solar Farm – On land West Of Ashwell Road, Bygrave

The Baldock, Bygrave and Clothall planning group have submitted the following objections to the proposal for a solar farm in Bygrave.

The application falls just within the area of the Baldock, Bygrave and Clothall Neighbourhood Plan. While the group supports the principle of development to generate solar power, it wishes to object to this proposal on the following basis:

  • The proposed routing of construction traffic is inappropriate, given the anticipated volume and nature of vehicular movements, the rural nature of the roads involved and the impact on residents along the route.
  • It is noted that there will be an average of 8-10 heavy vehicle movements per day over 30-35 weeks, but with 30 movements a day at peak times (and, in addition, construction worker vehicles). We support the concerns expressed by Hertfordshire County Council regarding the unsuitability of the route for this traffic. It would have a significant detrimental impact on the character of Bygrave Road/Ashwell Road and the living conditions of those facing onto these roads. We are also concerned by the potential impact of this traffic on other vehicular movements at key points along the route, such as the Bygrave Road/North Road junction in Baldock: the need for large vehicles to manoeuvre around tight corners is likely to exacerbate existing congestion problems and could be harmful to highway safety.
  • We are particularly concerned by the applicant’s proposal to make Bygrave Road ‘suitable for HGVs’, without specifying what that would mean. Development should not harm the rural character of this road, noting in particular the presence of a designated local wildlife site along part of Ashwell Road.

Highways impacts aside, we are also concerned that the extent of new planting proposed between the development and Upper Bygrave may be inadequate to screen its visual impact, although this is difficult to judge fully from the photomontages provided.

11 May 2022

22/01103/FP    – Ipec House building modification

“We object to the proposed development at IPEC House (22/01103/FP) as its size, proportions and materials would have a significant harmful impact on both IPEC House itself and the wider character and appearance of the conservation area, especially as it would appear as a badly-designed and intrusive feature when viewed from Church Street.

As such the proposal conflicts with Neighbourhood Plan policies G3 (Creating well-designed places, and accompanying design guidance) and G5 (Baldock Conservation Area); NPPF paragraph 134 (development that is not well designed should be refused, especially where it fails to reflect local design policies); as well as the emerging polices in the new North Hertfordshire Local Plan.”

23 April 2022

22/00850/FP  – new 3-bedroom dwelling on land on the corner between 5 Norton Road and 1 West Avenue

The Baldock, Bygrave and Clothall Planning Group objects to this application for the following reason:
While the principle of residential development on this site is not opposed, the design of the submitted scheme is extremely poor, especially in relation to the disproportionate size and poor detailing of the dormer on the front elevation, and the unbalanced appearance of the dormers when viewed from the side (including from Norton Road). There are also no street view elevations showing at what level this dwelling will sit in relation to the existing dwellings and sub-station due to the current site being on a substantially raised area thus being unable to ascertain the height impact on the surrounding properties. As such the proposal does not accord with adopted national and local policies:
NPPF paragraph 134: “Development that is not well designed should be refused, especially where it fails to reflect local design policies and government guidance on design, taking into account any local design guidance and supplementary planning documents which use visual tools such as design guides and codes.”
‘Saved’ North Hertfordshire Local Plan policy S7 (Residential Guidelines and Standards): “To achieve the highest standards of design, housing proposals should relate to and enhance their site and surroundings.”
Baldock, Bygrave and Clothall Neighbourhood Plan policy G3 (Creating Well-Designed Places): which makes clear that all applications should demonstrate a high standard of design, while the supporting Design Guidelines (which form part of the ‘made’ Neighbourhood Plan) note that a roof should be in proportion to the dimensions of the building itself (page 39).