Council action protects Green Belt

05th November 2019

Three Rivers council have succeeded in enforcement action against an industrial site in the Green Belt at Hunton Bridge. 

A planning inspector agreed that Watford Scaffolding Ltd should be required to move from their Hunton Bridge site, as there was no planning application for the site and that planning permission should not be granted due mainly to the Green Belt location. 

Following a significant number of complaints in early 2018 concerning the use of the land at Mill Place, the Council opened an enforcement investigation, as the company had moved onto the land without planning permission. In August 2018 the Council served an Enforcement Notice, on the basis that the unauthorised use was inappropriate in the Green Belt and also had a detrimental and un-neighbourly impact on nearby residents. 

The Planning Inspectorate agreed with the Council that any business concerns were not significant enough to outweigh the identified harm, which had worsened after the Notice was served. In dismissing the appeal, the Inspector ruled that the company must stop using the site; clear the site of all development and associated equipment and vehicles, and return the land to its previous condition, all within 4 months. Failure to comply with this ruling would be an offence under the Planning Acts and lead to prosecution. 

Leader of the Council, Cllr Sara Bedford, said: “The council will not hesitate to take action to protect residents and land from unauthorised use and development”.