Developers appeal again over grazing on meadow in St Albans
PUBLISHED: 09:00 08 October 2017
A fresh appeal is being held against the council’s refusal to allow horses to graze on a community meadow in St Albans.
Bedmond Lane Field is currently an asset of community value, which residents lobbied for to give the land extra protection from development. Cala Homes has appealed against the status, and the hearing is taking place at the Court of Appeal on Tuesday, November 21.
Cala Homes has also appealed against the refusal to allow them to build two stables on the site and two road accesses from Mayne Avenue and Parklands Drive, which will enable horses to graze.
The hearing to decide on the stables will be held in the council chambers in St Peter’s Street at 10am on Wednesday, October 25.
Timothy Beecroft, chair of Verulam Residents’ Association (VRA), said in a letter to members: “You may recall that last year CALA applied for planning permission to build stables and road access to Bedmond Lane Field and that this application was refused.
“It appears that anybody who commented on the original application, which of course includes the VRA, may have the opportunity to speak. We are seeking clarity on how this will work.”
Resident Dr Robert Wareing said: “I actually think that it’s a speculative, if not spurious, appeal to perfectly honest.
“The builders have tried on a number of occasions to change the status of the field to graze horses on it. That’s known as a precursor to building as that means they have to build a stable block and link water supplies.
“In parallel to that the field is an asset of community value, designated by the local authority of St Albans district council, as well as being Green Belt. As well as the planning application appeal they have also got this appeal against the asset of community value which is about the third of fourth appeal at different levels. The builders have now appealed that right up the highest level at the appeal court.”
The Bedmond Lane meadow is popular with residents, and is a haven for plants, flowers and wildlife.
Dr Wareing said: “They are trying to grind down local opposition, but the field is too beautiful and we will not
give it up.”