We have been informed of a rumour that land has been allocated for a traveller site in Winkwell. This is a rumour. It is not true. It is not news, fake or otherwise!
We, on BEVA's Planning Group, are still working to get Dacorum to understand its own and national policy which requires the traveller site in LA3 to be in LA3, not segregated from the site in Chaulden Lane.
Bourne End Village Association Planning Group
Update June 3rd 2019. Planning Objection Letter
Update: 15th March 2019
We are waiting for a meeting with Ross Herbert who is the planning officer responsible. This was suggested by him as a means of answering procedural and operational questions. Unfortunately this has been subject to a number of delays.
In the meantime don’t delay in getting in your comments.
A reminder of the main issues:
• The density of housing proposed is urban with no softening of its edge towards the green belt at
• The number of houses will increase the number of vehicles in the lanes especially Winkwell,
which is already in need of traffic calming as proposed by BEVA with its well supported
petition currently being progressed separately from LA3.
• The exclusion of the Traveller site from the main LA3 housing development means it would
dominate the nearest community of Winkwell.
Our MP, David Gauke recently met with us concerning the traveller site. He appears to have taken on board our concerns that the proposals are in conflict with government policy. The policy aims to reduce alienation by including traveller site in new developments. These plans clearly exclude the travellers and include them in Winkwell.
Our follow up letter is below....
Planning application LA3
Our objections relate to what we believe are clear breaches of both National and Local policies.
Specifically, our objections relate to access for and failure to properly integrate, a new travellers’ site
that is part of the Hemel Hempstead LA3 development.
We have not, and do not object to the existence of a traveller site that ‘facilitates the traditional and
nomadic way of life’. We do object to the access arrangements, specifically, as we believe they fail to
enable ‘fair and equal treatment’, and run rough-shod over, rather than ‘respect the interests of the settled community’ – as defined in the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites 2015
Additionally, we are deeply concerned about the lack of transparency and the manner in which the
process has been conducted thus far.
As a simple but poignant example, the current Master Plan, referring to itself as an “inclusive
community”, still does not show access for the G&T site in the clear and obvious manner presented
at the developers’ exhibition. Instead the public Master Plan continues to confuse the matter by
referring to access for the gypsy and travellers’ site as ‘potential’ on an ‘indicative’ map, obfuscating any actual plan
The only thing clear from the ‘indicative map’ is the lack of vehicular access via the main site itself, making it instantly a segregated and isolated community, located next to a sewerage works.
While we have raised our concerns with the developers, DBC and HCC from early 2017, responses
have at times been, we feel, empty, evading, misleading or lacking any real substance, examples
include being told things such ‘the inspector agreed these arrangements’ or ‘the site was identified
in the Scott-Wilson report’, both of which are inaccurate.
It would appear that our council has been working with developers to exclude rather than include
travellers in this development. A clear example of which is the plan to widen Chaulden Lane to
facilitate separate access for the G&T site. Not only is widening of such lanes in breach of
Hertfordshire Count Council policy on rural roads, but it both encourages its’ use as a “rat-run” and will lead to an increased average traffic speed. This in turn raises many safety concerns for local inhabitant and other pedestrians and cyclists who use the canal paths and Winkwell area.
Breaches of national Planning Policy for Traveller Sites 2015
The 2015 Planning policy for traveller sites sets out a number of important aspects aimed at tackling
some of the causes of alienation of the traveller community. We believe many of the components
that makes up this policy are being blatantly ignored and are saddened that the local council seem
unwilling or unable to address what could cascade across the country if national policies are seen to
be treated in such scant disregard. Surely, ignoring such polices will only build future animosities.
Section 4g of the policy requires the LPA to ‘ensure that the(ir) Local Plan includes fair,
realistic and inclusive policies’.
By turning access away from the main development, the site instantly becomes segregated
2. Respect for settled communities
Rotating access away from the main site, effectively forces the G&T site into the tiny
community of Winkwell. Rather than the G&T site being absorbed into a new build
community (LA3), where the number of pitches (7) at the G&T site represent only a small
fraction of the 1100 houses being built; the site instead comes to dominates a small
The national policy ‘Determining Planning Applications’ is clear, LPAs ‘should ensure that
sites in rural areas respect the scale of, and do not dominate, the nearest settled
community, section 13.f goes further to state LPAs should ‘avoid placing undue pressure on
the local community.
The number of G&T pitches in the LA3 site is at near parity with the number of existing local
houses in Winkwell. The pressure on the immediate existing community would be
3. Denial of equal access
Section 4j. requires the provision of ‘... accommodation from which travellers can access
education, health, welfare and employment infrastructure’
Rotating vehicular access of the G&T site away from the main development places a barrier
which denies the ethic group that make up gypsies & travellers, access to the proposed
health and education facilities offered to other inhabitants of LA3. Effectively G&T children
would need to attend different schools and in the case of any emergency G&T community
members would be forced to drive further, than anybody else on the LA3 site, to find help.
4. G&T site placed on Green belt land
Land for LA3 & the G&T site was released from Green belt as part of an inclusive
development. Policy E 16 Traveller Sites (temporary or permanent) in the Green Belt are
inappropriate development. LA3 was removed from the Green Belt on the basis of an
integral development. It will stand as an isolated site which removes this justification.
The Communities Office has responded to our concerns. As it could well be involved in making judgement if the matter gets called in they are acting cautiously. Having given that warning however they continue ‘the Government takes the issue of inclusion for the Gypsy and traveller community very seriously’.
All documentation relevant to the LA3 planning application can be found on this page.
The planning application is now in.
It is vital that you voice your concerns about LA3. Even if you have signed the petition you should include these concerns in your objection including the traffic situation.
There are three main issues of contention as far as we can see. They can form the basis of the objection.
• The number of houses. The increase would mean that the whole site would be more urban and there would be no soft edge to the green belt. It also means there would be more traffic. This has already been identified as a problem for the road junctions in Hemel, but would also mean more traffic through the rat runs.
• The exclusion of the Traveller site from the development. Both Government policy and Dacorum’s policy are about inclusion; supporting gypsies and travellers in engaging with health and education etc. in the local community. Wasn’t that the whole point of the Traveller site in LA3 and other allocations? The access arrangements mean they would not have access to the facilities on offer. There are no facilities in Winkwell. Result, alienation all round.
• The considerable increase in traffic through the rat runs. We already have Winkwell being used as a rat run from West Hemel. This would increase to intolerable levels as a result of LA3. There is a serious danger to pedestrians in Pouchen End Lane, Chaulden Lane and Winkwell. The current situation makes nonsense of HCC’s attempt to encourage walking and cycling. Something has to be done now and Bourne End has already produced a proposal.
To see what was originally proposed for LA3 go to: The LA3 Master Plan
To see what the government has to say about planning for traveller sites go to: Government Policy on travellers' sites It’s clear, easy to read and only 8 pages long.
To see the plans themselves find 4/03266/18/MFA on Dacorum’s planning website. (Alternatively, a search for LA3 on the planning website)
Note that there are 11 pages with 25 documents on each. The most useful documents would seem to be:
o Planning Statement (on page1)
o Design and Access Statement (on page 3)
Your comments should:
- be emailed to the planning officer Ross Herbert (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- put directly on to the Dacorum website
- or sent by post to Planning and Development at the Forum.
We will keep you posted here