Bovingdon gypsy site plans unanimously rejected for a second time by Dacorum planners

Bovingdon Parish Council meeting discussing plan for gypsy site attracts a big turnout, September 2, 2013.
Bovingdon Parish Council meeting discussing plan for gypsy site attracts a big turnout, September 2, 2013.

A planning application to transform land next to Bovingdon’s Bobsleigh Hotel into a gypsy site was thrown out by councillors for the second time last night.

Plans submitted by Michael Cash for eight traveller families to set up on green fields next to the iconic Hempstead Road hotel were again unanimously rejected by Dacorum Borough Council’s development control committee.

The application, which would house two caravans per family as well as a utility building with two toilets, was first considered by the committee last September.

At yesterday’s meeting in the Civic Centre on Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, the village’s parish council chairman Glenn Povey and two other speakers, one representing Bovingdon Action Group, urged councillors to reject the proposals in line with planning officers’ recommendations.

Mr Povey said: “When the parish council first heard this application in September 2013, more than 230 residents attended to voice their concerns.

“This was an unprecedented number and I am pleased to say the parish council voted unanimously against the application, and did so again in January of this year.

“The residents of Bovingdon continue to send a very clear message, supported by the parish council, that this represents inappropriate development on the Green Belt and goes against the Dacorum Core Strategy as well as local and national planning frameworks.”

Borough councillors Jack Organ and Gbola Adeleke, who both represent the Bovingdon ward, also spoke in objection.

Councillor Adeleke said: “The plans would be harmful to wildlife and biodiversity, and what about to Bovingdon itself? The site is Green Belt and should therefore be protected. It is essential to the visual amenity of Bovingdon and the surrounding villages, and given the huge strength of feeling behind this application, I appeal to you to refuse it.”

All present members of the committee voted to reject the application, to the applause of representatives from Bovingdon Action Group and other residents who had filled the Council Chambers.