Overview: Commissioned to review a Stage 3 appraisal of the Green Belt within the Welwyn Hatfield Borough area, in relation to certain parcels of land, Open Spaces identified a range of criteria which could have resulted in different conclusions, including errors in mapping, a lack of granular assessment of potential developable land, and as strong degree of subjective judgement.
Open Spaces determined in the case of ‘Land Parcel C’ that the size and shape of the land was both arbitrary and excessively large, especially as it included both land which, due to usage and designation would never be considered for development, together with land of poor quality. The inclusion of the land deemed to be an ‘absolute constraint’ meant that there was no need for the Council’s study to assess the land at all. When Open Spaces went on to apply the same criteria to just the land the subject of promotion, the result was that the original conclusions would be materially altered, with the Assessment of Harm rating changed from ‘Very High’ to ‘Moderate’
Open Spaces continues to monitor the progress of representations by the promotor.