Councillors refuse massive Cuffley Green Belt development

PUBLISHED: 10:10 06 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:13 06 January 2017

Villagers from Cuffley packed a Welwyn Hatfield Council meeting.

Villagers from Cuffley packed a Welwyn Hatfield Council meeting.


Villagers packed a council meeting to see a project to build more than 600 homes on arable farmland thrown out last night.

A Welwyn Hatfield Council committee unanimously rejected Magenta Planning’s proposal to build on land off Northaw Road East, Cuffley.

The committee did, however, approve a related application for an underground pipe connecting the area to an existing organic waste recycling plant, which could provide environmentally-friendly heating for the hypothetical homes.

But as they made this conditional on the housing development going ahead, the pipe seems unlikely to be installed unless the would-be developer wins an appeal, or pushes through an alternative building plan.

Campaigners had warned that approval of the pipeline might eventually pave the way for the housing project, but parish councillor Bob Stubbs, who spoke against both, left the meeting in buoyant mood.

He told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “They had no real grounds to reject it (the pipeline).

“It is interesting that he (the applicant) did not turn up. He may appeal, but the same arguments will come up and, in my view, his chances of winning are limited.”

The committee agreed that the “zero-carbon” nature of the development did not justify destruction of the Green Belt.

But they disappointed some villagers by not objecting on traffic grounds, after a County Hall expert said the proposed mitigation measures were adequate to prevent severe congestion.

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