Village Clean Up Group – Bags of success

On 24th February a resilient bunch of supporters turned up on a very cold Sunday morning at the High Street Car Park for a briefing from the Group leader, Sarah Butcher, and equipping with litter pickers and SERCO bags, before being sent on missions to far flung parts of the village.

Within the space of a few hours, the Group managed to fill 10 bags of litter, including assorted hub caps, car bumpers, traffic cones, metal, wood and one rather nice bike!!

More volunteers are encouraged to join this worthy volunteer Group.

For a full report, and details of how you can join, please go to Welwyn Village Clean Up Group.

Follow the link for details of the next scheduled meeting.

What is – a Brownfield Site?

Land that has been previously developed is known as Brownfield land.

The number of brownfield sites in the UK changes as land is constantly reclaimed or abandoned.

Brownfield land was increasing until the 1980s when the need for development land outstripped supply.

Land reclamation has brought the amount down with the strong demand for development land.

There are five identifiers used to define brownfield land:

  1. Previously developed land which is now vacant
  2. Vacant buildings
  3. Derelict land and buildings
  4. Other previously developed land or buildings, currently in use, allocated for development in the adopted plan or having planning permission for housing
  5. Other previously developed land or buildings where it is known there is potential for redevelopment.

What is NOT –  Brownfield land?

Buildings and surrounding land that are currently in use for agricultural or forestry purposes are excluded from the definition set out above.

Land in built-up areas that has not been developed previously (e.g. parks, recreation grounds, and allotments) are also not classed as brownfield.

Previously developed land with the remains of any structure, for example an old barn, that has now blended into the landscape to the extent that it can be considered as part of the natural surroundings may also be excluded.

What else should we know?

A brownfield site may, in addition to the above classifications, be vacant, derelict or contaminated land.

Common brownfield land might include redundant industrial sites and railways.

Are Brownfield Sites good for us?

Common beneficial uses of reclaimed brownfield land include – the creation of open spaces for public use, woodlands and residential housing development.


(The above definitions are selected for their clarity from the website – Selling and Buying Land for Sale UK –  – with minor style editing).


Welwyn Village Clean Up Group Picks Up

Sarah Butcher is the Co-ordinator of the Welwyn Village Clean Up Group which meets periodically to pick up litter at various points around the village.

The Group is in need of more help to increase their overall effectiveness, and they aim to achieve this by appointing lead volunteers, equipping them to manage their chosen local ‘patch’, and then encouraging them to organise litter picking on a regular basis..

The Group currently has many roads ‘signed up’ including; Danesbury Park Road and surrounds, the Danesbury Local Nature Reserve, Oakhill Drive and Fulling Mill Lane and surrounds, Wendover Drive and the top end of Church Street and surrounds, School Lane and Surrounds. Although quite impressive as a list, it is clear that there are many large gaps in and around the village.

The next Group meeting is being held on Sunday 24th February at 11 a.m. in the car park opposite the Doctors’ surgery. Sarah Butcher, the Group Co-ordinator will be on hand to offer bags and equipment etc. to volunteers.

If you would like to ‘adopt’ a road near you please call Sarah Butcher on 07885 875977 or email   and turn up at the Group meeting on Sunday 24th February if you can, to get equipped and briefed.


Monthly Digest No 2 Published

The second monthly online newsletter (WPAG Monthly Digest) was published on Monday 18th February 2013 at 6. a.m.

Did you get your copy?

Have you remembered to ‘subscribe’ on the Newsletter Subscriptions page?

Have you then followed the double-check procedure when asked to? (You need to CONFIRM that you have received the email that the system sends you after you have ‘subscribed’).

If you have done all these things but you have not received your February 2013 newsletter, please tell us in the Comment box below.

We do not want you to miss out on this new feature.

Subscribe today and keep up-to-date with what is going on

Luton Airport – Resist Flying at Night


Night flights at Luton Airport are currently unregulated and affect far more people than at London City Airport, which has a night movements curfew. Planes from Luton Airport are much bigger, and there are plans to almost double the existing 8,500 night flights per annum. There are more night movements at Luton than at Heathrow. The World Health Organisation links noise disturbance at night to serious health problems. We are calling for a significant reduction in night flights at Luton Airport instead of the further increase which is being proposed.

LADACAN has joined with other local campaign groups to run an online petition for a reduction in night flights at Luton.

Aircraft over-flying Welwyn at night-time are more likely to cause disturbance to Welwyn residents than those flying daytime hours.

To support LADACAN’S Petition –  go to:


WPAG is  a supporter of LADACAN – to learn about their aims and objectives, please see the piece we published recently under the Headline ‘Fasten your Seatbelts‘.


Planning Portal News – 7th February 2013 – New Garden Cities concept

For your convenience we provide a link (on the Links Page) to the Government’s Planning Portal because it is always worth a browse. Sometimes we go further, and recommend selected articles to you.

Of particular interest, the 7th February Planning Portal News includes a heading:

Report finds Infrastructure funding is holding up major residential projects.

The Report referred to has been prepared by property consultants and  analysts, GVA under their own banner ‘National Policy Research Bulletin‘. Within their Bulletin is an article ‘Unlocking Garden Cities‘, which GVA themselves describe as ‘the Government’s Garden Cities and Suburbs Aspiration’:

Planning for large scale housing development lies at the heart of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and features in the Government’s National Housing Strategy published in November 2011. The New Garden Cities concept features as one of the preferred delivery routes to achieving a significant increase in new housing numbers.

So, what is ‘the New Garden Cities’ concept?

You can find the answer to that by reading the article by GVA which can be reached via the Planning Portal for 7th February 2013 . Report finds Infrastructure funding is holding up major residential projects  It is very readable and contains much of educational value for anybody who has an interest in current planning issues and tensions at the national level. These are real issues which in the foreseeable future have the potential to impact most of us living in the South East of England, directly or indirectly.

We believe that WPAG members will find this an interesting read.

Community Safety – Police & Crime Commissioner’s Plan

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, Mr David Lloyd has just published his First Draft Plan. It is now available for public Consultation preparatory to presentation in its final form to the Home Secretary.

In his Introduction Mr David Lloyd states:

As part of my job I need to produce a Police and Crime Plan – a document which lays out plans for policing and crime issues in Hertfordshire and explains how the County’s Police and Crime Budget will be spent.

Click on the Police Commissioner’s Draft Plan to read the draft Plan in full, and follow the instructions to respond by March 8th 2013.


BBC Two – ‘The Planners’ – a new series

Members of WPAG should find this series of interest to them.

The BBC describe the series as:

An eight part observational documentary series following planning applications and the contentious processes behind them’

Episode 1 ‘Deals with three national house builders proposing to build over 500 homes on a greenfield site – meets severe opposition from locals’

If you missed the first broadcast of The Planners on BBC2 Thursday last week you can still watch it, on your computer, by accessing The BBC iPlayer and selecting ‘The Planners’.

If you are not familiar with using the iPlayer – go to the BBC website, and follow the tab marked TV and enter ‘The Planners’. Or follow this link to save time.

As the series progresses, we might expect that it will address the impact of current and projected major changes to the Planning System that we discuss on this website.



WHBC – Emerging Core Strategy Consultation – Welwyn’s Response

(The body of this article was kindly prepared for the WPAG website by Cllr. Colin Hukin, Chairman of the Welwyn Parish Council’s (WPC) Planning & Licensing Committee).


On Sunday November 8th 2012 we reported that WPAG was working with the WPC and the Parish Plan Action Group on the WHBC Consultation Paper for a Core Strategy.

On Monday 28th January 2013 the WPC approved the Parish Council’s Official Response to the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council’s (WHBC) Consultation Paper on the Emerging Core Strategy.

Cllr. Colin Hukin writes:

What does the Core Strategy Aim to Do?

When finalised, the Emerging Core Strategy will set out the Borough’s vision, objectives and strategy for how Welwyn Hatfield will develop between now & 2029.

The Core Strategy is the key Planning Document in the Local Development Framework.

It covers a period of 18 years, 2011 to 2029, and proposes the Housing Target of 7200 new homes.

It also provides for Employment Land, Infrastructure, Services, Transport, Health, Education, and Public Open Spaces.

What are the Core Strategy Objectives?

The objective is to provide for the Borough’s  development needs over the plan period, in a form which:

  • Maintains the Existing Settlement Pattern
  • Prevents coalescence of Towns & Villages, and
  • Releases a Limited Amount of Green Belt Land, to ensure that its boundaries will not need  reviewing before 2034.

The Housing target, 7200 houses, equates to 400 units per year.  This is the minimum number that the Borough believes will be acceptable to the National Planning Inspectorate. The previous East of England Plan (now defunct) proposed a target of 12000+ new houses over this period.

Planned distribution of New Housing across the Borough is as follows:-

Hatfield                                           3290 Units

Welwyn Garden City                      3150 Units

Welwyn                                             275 Units

Digswell                                              50 Units

Oaklands & Mardley Heath                30 Units

Woolmer Green                                  10 Units

N.B. The Welwyn figure includes 196 houses at the Frythe Site plus some of the (now completed) houses on the former BP Godfrey Davis Garage site (the official start date for the count fell during completions). The remainder are to be built on Urban Land. 

N.B. The Oaklands and Mardley Heath figure includes the houses built on the former Lisles Garage site on Mardley Hill.

N.B. The Affordable Housing Target included within the above figures is at least 1770 homes in the period. Continue reading