East Herts Council
SG13 8EQ 1 March 2020
Your ref: 3/20/0038/OUT – Erection of a shoe repair and key cutting kiosk at Thorley
Dear Sir or Madam
I am writing on behalf of the Civic Federation to object to this application.
When Thorley Park was developed as a major urban extension of Bishop’s Stortford in the 1970’s and 1980’s, careful thought was given at the time of that development to housing density, the layout of the residential streets and, most importantly, the provision of green spaces both to provide connecting routes between parts of the development and to the town centre and to the Thorley District Centre.
Regrettably, not all these green spaces were adopted by the local authority on completion of the development (although it does maintain them) and we understand that a number of them have been sold off by the liquidators of Carillion to purchasers who appear to have chosen to acquire the sites on a speculative basis. This is simply one among a number of applications in Thorley Park where the applicant hopes to convert land that has been treated as public open space and has been enjoyed as such by the public for many years into private development. Indeed, this is the second application by this applicant for inappropriate development of this site, the previous application having been withdrawn in the face of widespread opposition from residents.
No development of this kind offers any benefit to the public – on the contrary erosion of these green spaces would be detrimental both to the immediate neighbours of the sites and to the overall character of the development which, by today’s standards, is a model of its kind. It would, moreover, blur the clearly delineated boundary between the residential and commercial parts of the Thorley Park development, which might set an unfortunate precedent, not only there, but also for the developments currently taking place at Bishop’s Stortford North.
Policy DES4 I in the adopted District Plan says inter alia that all development proposals should avoid significant detrimental impacts on the amenity of neighbouring properties and land and ensure that their environments are not harmed by noise and disturbance. This application would clearly produce those adverse impacts. There also appears to be no provision for the disposal of waste arising from the proposed activity on the site. Policy NE4 of the District Plan says that development proposals should avoid the loss, fragmentation or functionality of the green infrastructure network, including within the built environment. This application would lead to fragmentation and loss of a green open space in Thorley Park.
We therefore ask that you refuse permission for this application.