Thursday, September 9, 2010: COLLEGE'S APPEAL ALLOWED BY PLANNING INSPECTORATE
The refusal against which the College had appealed had related to amendments made to the original planning application, granted in autumn 2007.
The decision of the Planning Inspectorate is that the enforcement has been quashed and the appeal is allowed. The report found “no objection to the increased length of the service intake building” and that “within the context of the College Campus the flues are not a dominant feature.”
Local residents had also raised concerns in relation to emissions from the flues, but the report confirmed no objection from the Council’s Environmental Health Officers, stating: “emissions from the flues are similar to that of a domestic boiler and condensation would only be visible in the colder months.”
West Herts College Principal Elizabeth Rushton said: “Any project of this size will have its issues and we are delighted to have progressed from this particular one before the start of the new academic year. The College continues to work with the Council and our neighbours to ensure residual issues are addressed.”
View the Planning Inspectorate's decision by clicking here.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010: COLLEGE SUBMITS PLANNING APPEALS TO COMPLETE WORK ON NEW CAMPUS
In an effort to resolve remaining planning obstacles to completing the new West Herts College campus under construction in Watford town centre, two planning appeals have been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for determination.
The college is appealing against Watford Borough Council’s decision to serve an enforcement notice on the college requiring the removal of three flues from the roof of a service intake building at the rear of the site which borders the gardens of homes in Cassiobury Drive.
The second appeal is against the council’s decision to refuse planning permission for an application to amend the original planning permission granted in the autumn of 2007. This covered several details of the service intake building and the service area, which needed to be modified to accommodate uses that could not be finalised within the original application. While this application involved various proposals, the refusal focused only on the flues, which the council’s development control committee decided would have an adverse visual impact on neighbouring residential properties.
As permitted, construction work will continue without interruption pending the resolution of the appeal process. The new campus is due to open to students in September.
College principal Elizabeth Rushton explained: “We have always worked with the planning process, not against it. The detail of this service building has been progressed on a design-and-build basis – as is common with such elements of many large and complex projects. We are expecting all outstanding matters will be resolved over the summer.
“We have always acknowledged there will be unwelcome, but not unexpected, impacts on a few adjoining properties. Our mitigating measures have already gone beyond anything required in the planning approval, and as considerate neighbours we are looking again at what more we might do with residents’ agreement, such as further screening including additional planting of mature trees. We are also looking at maintaining and where necessary renewing dialogue with those with whom we share boundaries.”