Kimpton Protection Group

"Helping to Preserve Kimpton's Heritage"

Luton Airport Expansion - latest news

E-Mail: Hunter Peace (Chairman) at..hunterpeace@rya-online.net

The Kimpton Protection Group was established in 1980. It was formed to influence the way in which the Village develops. The KPG committee meets regularly to review our participation in local, regional and national campaigns as well as to discuss and act upon matters that crop up on our doorsteps which can normally best be dealt with by exerting local political pressure.

In the past, the membership numbers have risen as high as 700. Today, we have about 300 members.  Members receive regular news up-dates on the issues that from time to time face the
Village and are invited to meetings in the Memorial Hall. Life membership is
available for £1.

If you are interested in joining please contact Stephen Tees at:

stephen.tees@dsl.pipex.com

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AGM Newsletter 2008


The AGM of the Kimpton Protection Group will be held in the Memorial Hall at 3.00pm on Sunday 30th March 08. All members are very welcome to attend.

Luton Airport Expansion

The second runway proposals were formally withdrawn by the airport operator last summer much to the relief of the local community, and KPG and its Airport Action Committee can justifiably claim to have organised a successful campaign. We are most grateful to all who helped and contributed financially to it. Letters have been sent to those who made contributions of over £25 to our airport fighting fund offering to return the excess, but I am delighted to report all generously donated these funds to KPG's general fund.
A contribution of £500 has been made by KPG to LADACAN towards their legal and other expenses in fighting the airport's proposals.

We await the airport operator's next move as clearly the demand for air travel shows no abatement despite world wide concern regarding the impact of CO2 emissions on global warming.

Proposals for alterations to air traffic routes and take off and landing paths have recently been sent out for consultation by the National Air Traffic Service in SE England see www.nats.co.uk and these are relevant to Luton Airport. The consultation ends 22nd May. Copies of the NATS leaflet detailing these changes are available from the Parish Office. Initial indications are that the impact on Kimpton is slight: but we are being guided by LADACAN on this.


Housing in the Green Belt

By far the largest current threat to our immediate environment around Kimpton is the Government's support for massive house building. The East of England Plan in its present form involves the building of at least 83,000 houses in Hertfordshire in addition to the 40,000 houses already proposed for Luton and Dunstable. The plan proposes 10,000 houses in Welwyn /Hatfield, 7,200 in St Albans District, 12,000 in Hemel Hempstead/Redbourn, not to mention potentially the 10,000 at West of Stevenage. On top of this we have recently learnt of secret negotiations between Government, Luton Borough Council and Bloor Homes to build 10,000 houses on Green Belt land north east of Luton but within NHDC territory. Neither NHDC nor HCC have been consulted!

KPG responded to the EiP consultation, has written to the Housing Minister and signed email petitions, but I urge you all to write to our MP the Rt. Hon. Peter Lilley who will pass on your comments to the relevant Minister who is obliged to reply to him unlike us. There appears to be no national housing strategy; no information on how this enormous demand is promulgated, everything is concentrated in the already heavily congested south east [100,000 new houses by 2020 within a 10 mile radius of Kimpton; that's 200,000 more cars!], there is no clear idea of how the existing infrastructure will cope [water, schools, hospitals, road & rail] nor any Government plan or commitment to fund the necessary infrastructure improvements. The planning process is in chaos; our local planning authorities are being over ridden by Government imposed targets, we have lost local democracy.

Plotlands

It is not surprising, with all these Government proposals for housing in the Green Belt, that companies like Property Spy continue to flourish. The site at Kimpton Bottom is slowly reverting to nature but for how long?

Planning Matters

KPG continue to keep new planning applications in the Parish under review. Our approach is pragmatic and constructive and we will not stand in the way of new development that can be seen to be sustainable, sympathetic to its surroundings and visually attractive. One of these was the conversion of the Bury Farm for housing which generally has been welcomed although there are some outstanding issues which KPG have raised with NHDC and have yet to be resolved.

KPG together with the Parish Council opposed the removal of the agricultural tie in respect of the house constructed 15 years ago at the nursery in Kimpton Bottom as the nursery was recognised to be a source of local employment and a benefit to the local community. The owners argued that the nursery was no longer financially viable and were successful in having the tie removed at appeal.


Kimpton Parish Plan

KPG members made a significant input in to the Parish Plan which was acclaimed when published in 2006 and the many proposals are being followed up by the Parish Council. As a result of the requirement to provide housing sites under the EiP, North Hertfordshire District Council has identified three potential sites within Kimpton for some 45 new houses. These are off Lloyd Way, Wren Close and in the Ron Hyde gap north of the High Street.

The Lloyd Way site is owned by NHDC and has been seen as a prospective site particularly for affordable housing which is badly needed in the village. The recent threat of closure of Probyn House, the only accommodation in the village for the elderly, makes this site even more necessary for accommodation for the elderly. KPG will oppose the building of executive homes on this site.

The site at Wren Close is a brown field site and could support new housing although it is in multi ownership.

There is less unanimity of view regarding the development of the Ron Hyde gap which is agricultural land
although technically it was excluded from the Green Belt in previous Structure Plans. It is proposed to resurrect the Kimpton Parish Plan committee with a view to drafting our own village development plan.
.

Hunter Peace
Chairman

Members of the KPG Committee are;
Tim Edwards [Treasurer], Michael Hodges, Brian Lowings, Jon Marsh [Secretary], Hunter Peace, Jane Simpson and Stephen Tees [Membership Secretary].

 

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LILLEY CONDEMNS SECRET PLANS TO BUILD ON HERTS GREEN BELT.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 1:19 PM

Peter Lilley, the MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, has denounced secret meetings between government officials, Luton Council and developers to solve Luton’s housing needs by building thousands of homes on Green Belt land in Hertfordshire.

He said “it is outrageous that Luton Borough Council and government officials have gone behind the backs of North Herts District Council to discuss with a private developer plans to build up to seven thousand new houses and a major by-pass on land in North Hertfordshire.

“I find it hard to credit this behaviour and I will be protesting directly to the Local Government minister. North Herts District Council was kept completely in the dark about these meetings. Nor did anyone have the decency to tell me about it, even though it would have an enormous impact on my constituency.

“The scale of this development goes way beyond anything that would be acceptable to the people of Hitchin and north Hertfordshire.

The secret talks involved extending Luton to the east towards Hitchin, taking in Mangrove Green and Cockernhoe and a vast swathe of land including Puckeridgebury down to Lilley Bottom. “Luton seems to think that building in Hertfordshire would be an easy option to meet the Government target of providing 26 thousand new homes by 2021 as part of the Milton Keynes and South Midlands development strategy. But the public consultation on that strategy assumed that the bulk of that building would be to the north of Luton. If they think we will take this lying down they have another think coming.”

Mr Lilley said “I understand that the developers, Bloor Homes, now intend to accelerate their plans and will be putting in a planning application to build on this land as early as September.

“There have been clandestine talks which did not involve any of the parties directly interested in this potential development, and now the builders are trying to speed up the process by going ahead with a firm proposal. It is quite disgraceful.

Mr Lilley discussed the situation at an emergency briefing called by Cllr Richard Thake with David Scholes, the head of planning in North Herts and Cllr F. John Smith, the leader of the district council.

END

 

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Draft East of England Plan

Government Office for the East of England
Eastbrook
Shaftesbury Road
Cambridge CB2 8DF. 1st March 2007

Dear Sirs,

 

I am writing on behalf of the Kimpton Protection Group which represents over 300 residents of the village of Kimpton, an excluded village within the Hertfordshire Green Belt, to advise you of our strident opposition to the proposals to build 82,000 new homes in Hertfordshire by 2021.

Kimpton is located within 10 miles of Luton and Dunstable, where there are similar proposals to build 40,000 new homes. Kimpton is also within 10miles of Hemel Hempstead where you propose 12,000, St Albans where you propose 7,200, Welwyn /Hatfield where you propose 10,000 and Stevenage where there are already proposals to build 16,000. In total 85,200 new homes all within a 10mile radius, this is not regional planning but nothing short of an all out war on the Green Belt.

You are no doubt aware that this area is already one of the most densely populated areas in the UK and suffers from severe congestion, lack of proper health facilities, overcrowded schools, sagging infrastructure not to mention inadequate water supply. There are so many other regions of the UK that would welcome the economic regeneration that 127,200 new homes will provide and have the space to absorb such rather than to ever widen the economic gap between them and the south east.

It is the fundamental role of government to achieve balance between economic and environmental need and to look beyond short term problems and to preserve our countryside for future generations. These proposals combined with the already serious threat to the Green Belt from the expansion of Luton and Stansted Airports will so erode the quality of life in North Hertfordshire that the south east will soon be just one joined up metropolis from which its inhabitants can only escape by plane adding ever more to global warming.

Yours faithfully,


Hunter Peace
Chairman

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May Festival Newsletter 2006

runway small.jpg (553603 bytes)
Site of proposed runway

Luton Airport Expansion

The KPG has set up an Airport Action Committee to coordinate opposition within the Parish to London Luton Airport's expansion proposals and to liaise with other opposition groups. Its members are Alan Cliff, Geoff Curry, Tim Edwards, Gordon Glen, Lory Laski, June Lowings, Jon Marsh, Adrian Martin, Hunter Peace, David Reavell [Chairman], Peter Riddell and Rainey Waldorf. Please contact any member if you can help us fight this threat to the very heart of our Parish, see photo montage overleaf.
The committee's first objective is to get Luton Airport's planning application for Phase 1 'called in' for a public inquiry. A flyer has been distributed to Parish residents requesting their support in writing to influential politicians and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, see this and our response to the ODPM on the KPG web site at www.atsf01.dsl.pipex.com/kpg.htm. Over £1000 was generously donated following our February flyer but tens of thousands will be required to fight a public inquiry. Please support us by emailing our Membership Secretary on stephen.tees@dsl.pipex.com to register your support and enable KPG to keep you updated on the campaign, and if you have not already done so, please send a cheque payable to the Kimpton Protection Group c/o our Treasurer Tim Edwards 71, High Street, Kimpton SG4 8PU.

EiP

The Public Inquiry into the East of England Plan has revealed even more proposals for building houses in the Green Belt around Stevenage, Hitchin and Luton in addition to the 3,500 houses our Deputy Prime Minister is 'minded to approve' West of Stevenage. We await the conclusions of the inquiry but it is already very clear Kimpton is now under threat from all sides.

Plotlands

If you thought the activities of Property Spy had gone away just have a look in Batford where a second field has recently been pegged out for the sale of 'house plots'. KPG has written to local councillors offering advice on how to fight this continuing threat to our countryside. Meanwhile the Kimpton Bottom land is slowly reverting to nature!

Planning Matters

KPG members are making a significant input in to the Parish Plan which has now seen several drafts and will be published this summer. KPG continues to review planning applications within the Parish and offer comments to the Parish Council. Our approach is pragmatic and constructive and we will not stand in the way of new development that can be seen to be sustainable, sympathetic to its surroundings and visually attractive.

Hunter Peace
Chairman

Members of the KPG Committee are;
Roger Baggalay, Tim Edwards [Treasurer], Mary Emmott, Michael Hodges, Brian Lowings, Jon Marsh [Secretary], Hunter Peace, Jane Simpson, Stephen Tees [Membership Secretary].

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May Festival Edition 2005


Investment Plots - Kimpton Bottom

Following our success in failing to obtain planning consent for a dwelling on the Kimpton Bottom site in February 2004 we issued a press release in conjunction with CPRE. This resulted in a certain amount of media interest including a short piece on BBC 3 Counties Radio. Minister for Housing and Planning, Keith Hill subsequently expressed his concerns about the sale of land in the Green Belt as potential building plots. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister then sent a letter to all planning officers nationwide outlining the legal powers available to them. In the meantime, the Kimpton Bottom site stands neglected by the 43 owners of the sites. The prospects for an early change in this position are poor.

Limit Luton Airport Alliance

During 2004, the KPG has continued to support Limit Luton Airport Alliance and LADACAN's campaign to seek a judicial review into the Governments's White Paper relating to its expansion strategy for airports in the South East "The Future of Air Transport"). The outcome of the judicial review undertaken by Justice Sullivan was published in February and it concluded that some of the assumptions made in relation to Luton had been flawed. This outcome prevents the expansion of the runway by 1km towards Breachwood Green but will not prevent Luton Airport from persuing its own expansion plans in terms of additional terminal capacity and additional flights. August 2004 was the busiest month yet at Luton Airport with over 800,000 passengers using the airport. Activity at the airport will not be curtailed by the prevention of a runway extension and to this end, we need to remain aware of the implications of the airport's strategy for growth (entitled "Project 2030"). A full Master Plan is being developed and will be published by the Airport company by the end of 2005. The intention is to undertake "wide consultation" and we must ensure that we participate (or at least support the Alliance and LADACAN) in this process.

Regional Planning

The Regional Planning Panel passed the new Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS14) on the 15th October. It rejected the Government's demand for an extra 18,000 houses in the London-Cambridge-Peterborough growth area, but in order to meet Lord Rooker's demand for 478,000 additional homes in the region more homes are now proposed for Hertfordshire. The latest plans retain the proposal to extend Harlow northwards into Hertfordshire by building up to 10,000 new homes and to build 5,000 new homes to the north and west of Stevenage.
The KPG is monitoring developments.

Local Planning Applications

During the year, the KPG have monitored and commented upon specific planning applications made in the village. Conditions, where appropriate, have been formulated to protect the environment, preserve views etc. Where necessary, the KPG have made recommendations to the Parish Council to reject applications for intensive development especially in situations where this would result in loss of local amenity - car parking etc.
Applications where we have provided input include those for Kimpton Bury Farm and new affordable housing in Lloyd Way. Our approach is to be pragmatic and constructive. The KPG will not stand in the way of new development is it can be seen to be sustainable, sympathetic to its surroundings and visually attractive.


Parish Plan

With encouragement from the KPG (notably Stephen Tees) a Parish Plan is in the early stages of production. Several meetings (31st October 2004, 23rd January and 20th March 2005) have been held and a representative steering group has been formed (Valerie Beale, Stephen Tees, Neil Burns, Michael Hodges, Jon Marsh, Hunter Peace, Bob Finch and Ken Taylor) under the leadership of Mary Emmott. The work has been divided up, a questionnaire is in production and it is hoped that a first announcement from this group will be made during May Festival 2005.

Issues and Disputes

Occasionally, the KPG is asked to look into matters that may affect quiet enjoyment of the countryside. Recently we were asked to comment upon the up-grading by Bedfordshire County Council of a Road used as a Public Path (RUPP) to a Byway open to all Traffic (BOAT). Local residents of Chiltern Green were anxious to ensure that this re-classification wouldn't result in the generation of additional traffic along a footpath which also forms part of Kimpton's village boundary. We will continue to monitor this situation as it may cause unwelcome precedents to be set.


Members of the KPG Committee are:
Michael Hodges (Chair), Jon Marsh (Secretary), Roger Baggalay, Jane Simpson, Brian Lowings, Stephen Tees, Mary Emmott, Hunter Peace, Tim Edwards

 

 

Press Release March 2004:

Plotland Sales at Kimpton Bottom - Harpenden

In 2001 Hartwell Bond Ltd, a St Alban's based land speculator, purchased a Hertfordshire field of 20 acres from a local farmer for £100,000. Hartwell Bond Ltd then offered the field for re-sale in 43 separate parcels as “Investment Plots” through their associated company “Property Spy”. Despite the field being within the Metropolitan Green Belt and over a mile from the nearest village of Kimpton, a little over a year later the land had been sold in small house size plots for as much as £80,000 per acre, realising a profit of well in excess of £1,000,000 for Harwell Bond Ltd!

Since early 2002 the Kimpton Protection Group, a local conservation group, has campaigned and warned against this type of 'plotland speculation'. Sadly, despite the best efforts of the Kimpton Protection Group, there are now several hundred acres of similarly blighted land in Hertfordshire alone. Under pressure from the Kimpton Protection Group, the local authority 's response has been to serve Article 4 Notices under the General Permitted Development Order preventing the physical subdivision of the sites by fencing. This legal shot across the bows has unfortunately failed to stop speculation. Despite making a number of constructive suggestions to the local authority no further positive steps to prevent blight of this nature recurring were taken over the last two years. To establish once and for all that the sites were not suitable for residential development in January of this year the Kimpton Protection Group applied for outline planning permission for a house on the field at Kimpton Bottom. Their aim was to obtain a definitive refusal.

St Albans City and District Council unequivocally refused their application on 8th March. The Kimpton Protection Group are delighted as this refusal represents a clear statement by the local authority that there is no prospect of this land being used for anything other than agriculture now or for the foreseeable future.

As for the land itself, the field is now a wasteland and the Kimpton Protection Group are calling on St Albans and Hertfordshire County Councils to fund a test case using their compulsory purchase powers to acquire the field at agricultural value, c.£3,000 per acre, thereby putting a permanent stop to this type of speculation.

For further comment please contact;

Michael Hodges, Chair, Kimpton Protection Group 01582 469454

Or

Hunter Peace, Kimpton Protection Group

01438 832964

 

PRESS RELEASE      19 November 2003

 

THE LIMIT LUTON AIRPORT ALLIANCE

LADACAN website: www.ladacan.org

 

The coordinating group for 90 local authorities and voluntary organisations in the region affected by the proposed expansion of Luton Airport

 

Limit Luton Airport Alliance reminds Kelvin Hopkins MP  that there is enormous local opposition to the expansion of Luton Airport

 

 

The Limit Luton Airport Alliance reacted swiftly to the claim of Luton North MP, Kelvin Hopkins, in the House of Commons this week,  that there was strong  support, locally,  for the development of Luton airport. 

 

Herts County Councillor, Mr Derrick Ashley, stated:

 

“If Mr Hopkins could take a less parochial view of this situation, he would be aware that the whole region is up in arms about these proposals.  People are concerned, not only about aircraft noise, but also about increased traffic and the fact that the airport site is unsuitable for expansion.”

 

The coordinators of the Limit Luton Airport Alliance are seeking an urgent meeting with Mr Hopkins.    The Alliance, which is backed by 90 local authorities and voluntary groups across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, represents the concerns of 2 million local residents.    Committed to fight the over-expansion of Luton Airport, the coordinators of the Alliance added:

 

“The Department of Transport is well aware of the strength and breadth of support for the Alliance .   As a small, regional airport, Luton is an asset to our community, but it should not be developed on the scale envisaged by the airport operators and Mr Hopkins.   This is a densely populated area, with a very crowded airspace – in fact Luton is already second only to Heathrow in the number of people overflown by aircraft;  the local road and rail infrastructure, as we all know, is already severely congested;   and the hilly site, prone to fog and snow, is totally unsuitable for development. “

 

“Indeed, the Government’s own advisers have reported that if Luton were to be expanded,   there would be little, if any, economic benefit to the town.  Expansion would bring only massive congestion, noise and air pollution that would affect not just the residents of Luton, but everyone in this region.   It is time that Mr Hopkins recognised the strength of the Alliance, and realised that the millions of residents whose homes and lives will be blighted by this potential monster feel very strongly indeed that Luton Airport is quite big enough as it is. ”

 

 

-         Ends 

 

 

 

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Mrs Nicola Ramsden, 01582 462194;   Mrs Margaret Shepperd, 01582 712233.

 

Limit Luton Airport Alliance

c/o Harpenden Town Council, Leyton Road, Harpenden, Herts

 

 

 

        

Kimpton Protection Group

 

“Helping to Preserve Kimpton’s Heritage”

 

Winter Edition 2003/2004

 

 
Introduction:

 

The Kimpton Protection Group exists to campaign and raise the awareness of issues that threaten our village life, the appearance of the village and of our environment. The KPG committee meets regularly to review our participation in local, regional and national campaigns as well as to discuss and act upon matters that crop up on our doorsteps which can normally best be dealt with by exerting local political pressure.  

 
Current issues include:

 

·                    Luton Airport Expansion – the KPG is a member of the Limit Luton Airport Alliance – we all like the convenience of a healthy regional airport but the KPG is campaigning strongly to restrict significant additional growth that will create further noise, groundwater pollution and traffic congestion.

·                    Investment Plots – a potential blot on the landscape and a trend that appears to have no end: our experience with the Property Spy site on Kimpton Bottom has proved to be the tip of the iceberg! It gives us no satisfaction to say that this is an issue that we raised at local and central government levels almost 2 years ago. Significant chunks of Green Belt land are now being sold to ill-advised speculators.

·                    Telecommunication Masts – are landscape issues and public health concerns being sacrificed on the altar of personal convenience?

 
 
Luton Airport Expansion
 
Herts County Councillor Derek Ashley, in a recent interview with Anglia TV, discounted claims by Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins that there is strong local support for the further development of Luton Airport. In a recent press release, the Limit Luton Airport Alliance, stated that: “The Department of Transport is well aware of the strength and breadth of support for the Alliance. As a small regional airport Luton is an asset to our community, but it should not be developed on the scale envisaged by the airport operators. This is a densely populated area, with crowded airspace – in fact Luton is second only to Heathrow in the number of people over-flown by aircraft”. Members of the KPG committee will remain vigilant and participate at every opportunity to ensure local opposition is felt at all levels. In the meantime, anyone who wishes to make a complaint regarding excessive aircraft noise can do so by telephone, simply by recording a message on 01582 395 382. Please remember that failure to complain could be interpreted as tacit acceptance of increased aircraft noise levels!

 

 
Kimpton Bottom – Investment Plots

 

A St. Albans site on the Harpenden Road opposite the new playing fields is one of the latest investment opportunities to be offered by specialist agents Property Spy on behalf of their client Hartwell Land. This high profile site has thrown the matter of plotland property speculation into sharp focus locally. Another site in Potters Bar has attracted spontaneous local opposition in very much the same manner that we experienced when Property Spy began to offer one of their first sites on Kimpton Bottom two years ago

Over the past two years, the KPG has written to and corresponded with local government officers, local, district, county and national politicians, participated in countless meetings and undertaken significant research. We have requested re-instatement of a hedge removed to form an illegal entrance to the site. In addition we have requested that local authorities use publicity to expose this activity for what it is – naked financial speculation causing wilful neglect of a highly visible section of a landscape conservation area.

Pro-active action is shortly to be taken by the KPG that should enable the local authority to once and for all demonstrate that this land is unsuitable for residential development.

 

 

Telecommunication Masts

 

Regarded by some as a necessary evil and by others as a potential health risk, Kimpton has been faced recently with a most difficult decision. The Telecommunications Company Orange has recently obtained consent to erect a 20m high mast on Coopers Hill in Kimpton. This should be regarded as a victory for those active in influencing the decision. An alternative site on BT ground in Hall Lane – affecting many more villagers and being in close proximity to the school has now been discounted.

Other less controversial sites had been identified by the KPG but were discounted by Orange. As members of the CPRE (the Campaign to Protect Rural England), the KPG will seek to influence the future siting and appearance of masts – and to request that more statistics are made available in relation to possible health risks.

 

 
Joining KPG and further information ……

 

Anyone interested in joining the KPG or obtaining further information on our activities should contact any committee member

 

Members of the 2003 KPG Committee are:

Michael Hodges (Chair), Jon Marsh (Secretary), Roger Baggalay, Jane Simpson, Brian Lowings, Stephen Tees, Mary Emmott, Hunter Peace, Tim Edwards

 

 

 

Update :March 2002

Foreword:


This newsletter is intended to up-date existing and prospective members
regarding the action taken following the KPG's Annual General Meeting held
at Kimpton Memorial Hall on Sunday February 3rd. 2002.

Issues:

Whilst the KPG Committee continues to participate in the normal Town and
Country Planning processes - such as commenting on Planning Applications -
recipients of this newsletter will be aware that the main issue currently
facing the KPG Committee is the sale of a field of 19.23 Acres along Kimpton
Bottom. The land has been staked out and is being offered for sale as 43
separate  "Investment Plots" ranging in size from 0.22 Acres to 0.7 Acres
through a company called "Property Spy".

"Property Spy"

Property Spy Ltd. is a company based at Chaucer House, 4-6, Upper
Marlborough Road, St. Albans AL1 3UR. On its website, the company describes
its activities as follows:
"Property Spy are land agents for freehold land that has been identified as
having a good potential for future planning consent and so providing a high
return on your investment.
Property Spy are instructed by investors who scour land for sale in London
and the South East of England buying freehold land that is likely to gain
future planning permission and so providing a high return on their
investment." (Our italics).


As far as the KPG committee are aware, in addition to the land along Kimpton
Bottom, Property Spy has previously offered a site at Ragged Hall Lane, St
Albans; and is also currently offering similar types of opportunities East
Sussex, Surrey, Suffolk and Kent.


Trading Standards
According to St. Albans District Council, media enquiries to Trading
Standards officers about Property Spy indicate that their statements are not
considered to be misleading.


Town Planning
As far as the KPG Committee are aware, no planning applications for any
development on the land have yet been made.


The land lies on the District Council boundaries of two local authorities:
St. Albans and North Herts. It is actually entirely within the St. Albans
District Council's area of jurisdiction.


The KPG Committee have established a dialogue with St. Albans District
Council's Planning Department in relation to the land. St. Albans' policies
are to discourage permitted development (erection of fencing etc.) and they
have agreed to ensure that appropriate action is taken to ensure that the
land is protected. In this respect, their policies are identical to those of
North Herts. District Council.


On February 13th. 2002, North Herts. District Council, in a response to an
enquiry made by Peter Lilley MP, commented as follows:


"The activities of the company trading as Property Spy are known to us and
we have received a number of calls from prospective "investors". The subject
site is clearly in the Green Belt and there is little prospect of this
designation changing. Moreover, Policy 1 of the County Structure Plan Review
1991 - 2011 now requires all Hertfordshire authorities to have regard to
sustainability principles when considering development proposals."

In the view of the planning officer, this requirement acts to re-double the
presumption against any development that "fails to take advantage of urban
concentration." In other words, comments the officer: "While the Company's
literature identifies the site as being within the Green Belt, it is
conspicuously dismissive. Essentially, investors are being invited to pay
dearly for agricultural land with little realistic hope of development
within any timescale".


What happens next?
The KPG committee continues, on behalf of its members to actively monitor
what is happening and to make appropriate representations to the local
Planning Authorities, local councillors, Peter Lilley MP and other concerned
parties. A way forward must be found to prevent the possible proliferation
of this type of speculative activity on Green Belt land, which has the
potential to blight sites in attractive settings irrespective of whether any
planning application is made or ultimately succeeds.


Because of the very nature of this type of speculative venture, with plots
being marketed to the public, and the need to maintain confidentiality, the
KPG Committee believes, with some regret, that it is not appropriate to
provide full details in this newsletter of all the steps that it has taken
and proposes to take on behalf of its members. Nevertheless, we can disclose
that the following courses of action have been proposed to St. Albans
District Council:


a.    The compulsory purchase of the site by the Council at the existing
use value.
b.    The designation of the site as a Conservation Area.
c.    Extensive reduction of permitted uses.
d.    The erection of signs by the Council informing potential "investors"
in simple terms of the Council's policy in relation to rural sites of this
nature.


We have also recommended that St. Albans District Council enforces the
re-instatement of the illegal entrance to the site opposite Pool House.
We are taking further action and we will do our best to keep you informed of
progress. If you have any observations or suggestions or would like more
information, please contact any member of the KPG Committee:

Members of the KPG Committee are:
Diana Parkinson (Chairperson), Jon Marsh (Secretary), Roger Baggalay, Pat
Dyer, Brian Lowings, Stephen Tees, Jodi Clifton, Mary Emmott, Hunter Peace
and Michael Hodges


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