Brookmans Park landfill enforcement notice scrapped after council lacks ‘technical resources’ to survey or access to land

PUBLISHED: 14:14 02 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:14 02 July 2020

An aerial view of the Warrenwood Manor site. Picture: EA/WHBC

An aerial view of the Warrenwood Manor site. Picture: EA/WHBC

Archant

A landfill enforcement notice has been withdrawn in Brookmans Park after the council said they lacked the “technical resources” to survey the site, as well as needing access to the land.

Warrenwood Manor on Hornbeam Lane was served the notice back in February – on advice from the Environment Agency – for raising land levels through depositing waste materials, according to the notice served by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.

Nigel Brunt, who owns the land, appealed the notice on the 60 acre estate – which includes horse riding facilities and slopes into Essendon Brook – to the secretary of state for planning.

His appeal said that testing of the ground found potassium which was “consistent with the regular fertilising of the land” and the waste came from works done to Warrenwood Manor.

“They are relatively small and insignificant and are only temporary and will not result in permanent, long term or irreversible damage to the Green Belt or its character or landscape,” the appeal said – pointing out he has no issues with making changes.

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A WHBC spokeswoman, when queried in May, has now said in June: “We refused the initial planning application based on Environment Agency objections. We issued an enforcement notice, and took advice from the Environment Agency. However, the council does not have the technical resources to survey land in respect of deposited waste, nor could we access the land to do this.

“As a consequence, and the fact that we weren’t in possession of evidence that any waste remained, the council withdrew the enforcement notice.”

“The additional issue of the land levels was resolved with the re-profiling of the land to agreed contours.”

An Environment Agency spokesman added they gave advice to WHBC, as they do with other councils, but it was the decision of Welwyn Hatfield to withdraw the notice.

He added: “Our specialist officers provided guidance on the matter to the council, but we agreed there was insufficient evidence to take legal action.”

The issue of waste on the site has been ongoing since 2015 and has been the subject of much back and forth with EA, WHBC and the landowner, which culminated in the enforcement notice.


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