Committee rejects plan for 180 homes on edge of Henlow

The site east of Bedford Road and west of Old Ramerick Manor, just south of Henlow Camp. Picture: Ba

The site east of Bedford Road and west of Old Ramerick Manor, just south of Henlow Camp. Picture: Barratt Homes - Credit: Archant

A planning application to build up to 180 homes on the edge of a village north of Hitchin has tonight been rejected.

North Hertfordshire District Council’s planning control committee, chaired by Councillor David Barnard, firmly rejected the application from Barratt David Wilson Homes North Thames to build a development on the district’s far north boundary, adjacent to Henlow Camp.

District council planning officer Tom Rea had recommended refusal for the application – citing the number of houses, a lack of car parking and the harm the development would cause to the setting of the grade II*-listed Old Ramerick Manor.

The application was also opposed by Historic England, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, and the parish councils of Ickleford, Henlow and Stondon.

Ickleford Parish Council chairman Miles Maxwell told the meeting: “The development is of poor design and does not improve the quality of the area.

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“It is an overdevelopment and will adversely affect the grade II*-listed Old Ramerick Manor.”

He said he believed these were sufficient reasons to reject the application, but that the plan would also cause problems regarding traffic.

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“It attempts to urbanise a rural area,” he concluded.

Councillor Harry Spencer-Smith agreed with Dr Maxwell that the proposed development would “amount to an urban extension”.

A motion to reject the application was passed near-unanimously – with all committee members voting for refusal except for Councillor Adrian Smith, who abstained.

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