Therfield Heath inquiry: Inspector considers new evidence after complaints over Conservators’ conduct

PUBLISHED: 07:45 23 March 2018 | UPDATED: 07:45 23 March 2018

The inspector of the Therfield Heath land swap inquiry, which took place in Royston last month, is considering new evidence.
 Picture: David Hatton

The inspector of the Therfield Heath land swap inquiry, which took place in Royston last month, is considering new evidence. Picture: David Hatton

Archant

The inspector at the Therfield Heath land swap inquiry is currently considering new evidence in light of a complaint that was lodged after the eight-day hearing concluded.

The site of Gladman's proposed development next to Briary Lane. Picture: David HattonThe site of Gladman's proposed development next to Briary Lane. Picture: David Hatton

The inquiry looked into whether The Therfield Regulation Trust could degregister and sell common land near Sun Hill and Briary Lane and replace it with woodland of a similar size to the west of New Road in Therfield.

However, two weeks after the inquiry closed, a speculative development of 120 homes near the heath – accessed by the Briary Lane bridleway which separates the release heathland from the heath’s Site of Special Scientific Interest – was revealed by Gladman.

The complaint, which has been seen by the Crow, was sent to the Planning Inspectorate following the land developer’s proposal.

It says that the Conservators of Therfield Heath and Greens – who also operate as trustees of the TRT – were aware of the speculative development before and during the inquiry, and that the sale of the release land has further implications than what may have been promoted by them at the inquiry.

The release land at the top of Sun Hill. Picture: David HattonThe release land at the top of Sun Hill. Picture: David Hatton

Parties involved were then invited to submit comments to the inspector by Monday of this week.

Don Shewan, who represented a residents’ co-operative on the panel of objectors, said: “At the inquiry, we repeatedly stated that full disclosure of TRT/Conservator plans had not been revealed.

“It would appear that constructing a new road across Therfield Heath common along Briary Lane has always been one of the primary reasons for selecting the release land for deregistration.”

Richard Ketteringham also complained on March 15 to the Planning Inspectorate, claiming the Conservators misled the inquiry.

One panoramic view looking back towards Royston taken near end of the replacement land. Picture: David HattonOne panoramic view looking back towards Royston taken near end of the replacement land. Picture: David Hatton

He told the Crow: “It’s an insult to every resident in Royston and every public inquiry in the land.

“If the outcome isn’t a ‘no’ then there should be another inquiry where the truth is heard publicly before a decision is made.”

A Planning Inspectorate spokesman said the new evidence and comments will be considered before a decision is made.

The Crow contacted the clerk to the Conservators for comment, and has not had a response.

A public consultation into a renewal application of the present outline planning permission on the release land ends on April 5. To submit your views go to pa2.north-herts.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=P4RLVQLKH3L00&activeTab=summary

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Royston Crow visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Royston Crow staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Royston Crow account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Yesterday, 15:36

Nearly 200 potential buyers – including those from hoteliers and care providers- have expressed interest in acquiring Shire Hall, Cambridge, the historic headquarters of Cambridgeshire County Council.

Yesterday, 11:37

The vicar of St John the Baptist Church in Royston has thanked the community for its “outpouring of concern” following a fire at the site on Sunday, which left many shocked and devastated.

Women in east and north Hertfordshire have been waiting up to 14 weeks for the results of life-saving cervical screening tests – seven times longer than the NHS target.

Mon, 18:19

Police have issued another appeal for witnesses following the devastating blaze at a Royston church yesterday.

Most read stories

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Royston Crow e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Royston Crow weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy