CPRE (Herts) has submitted a letter to the Borough of Broxbourne Planning Department objecting to the application to build 81 new dwellings on the land of the Gap Valley/Tina Nursery site in Goffs Oak.  Full details can be found at http://planning.broxbourne.gov.uk/Planning/lg/GFPlanningDocuments  

CPRE Hertfordshire has opposed this proposal for inappropriate residential development in the Green Belt contrary to the Green Belt protection and the emerging Borough of Broxbourne Local Plan.  CPRE (Herts) have questioned the application on 10 points including the classification of the land as previously for horticultural use, that comes under agricultural land.  One of the planning applications anomalies including claims that this landhas been previously been developed, which is untrue. 

CPRE (Herts) have also pointed out that under the national guidelines to build on Green Belt Land has to be for ‘very special circumstances’ which they consider sufficient to outweigh harm to the Green Belt.  In this case it seems that the developers cannot prove.   The developers have put forward the argument about the state of the site.  Whist the site may be unsightly, this is because of what could be described as neglect.  This is the issue that needs to be addressed and not just building a large block  of flats and houses. 

Along with other nearby areas of land also desperate  to build large numbers of flats and  (In-ex site for one) and houses will ruin.  In regards to  “The concept of ‘openness’ in Green Belt Land, this will be threatened by large development and alongside with potential other areas such as the old, now derelict, In-ex site.  Such large developments as the CPRE (Herts) has pointed out would be seen to join up St James Hamlet with the centre of Goffs Oak village. 

Overall, this application could be only part of the damage to our rural surroundings.  The proposed Local Plan recently supported by the Independent Review (November 2018) which  has identified over 7000 dwellings to be built within the Borough of Broxbourne.  This is  despite of Central Office of Statistics that has stated the Borough has over estimated the housing need by 1600.  In addition, the Borough has allegedly not accounted for the extra 600 that will be built on Windfall sites (ad hoc) which is probably an underestimate.  This basically indicates a number of less than 5000 is truly required in the Borough.  If divided by 6 main areas within the borough, of which 3 could be seen as very small towns but with the hard infrastructure of transport and utilities, all of this indicates even 100 new dwellings would be significant to Goffs Oak which is still seen as a village (with a busy road going in-between) and still has the openness of green belt land. 

The GOCA is not a protest group,  however does support meeting the needs of the local population.  For example, by meeting the needs of our elderly, this  would enable ‘downsizing’ and the larger houses not require anymore to house large families could be freed up and would assist in the movement in the local housing market. This in line, housing for younger families and first time buyers would be made available.  

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