Bridgewater Arms Planning application for camera and signs

At the last Parish Meeting some residents asked that we publicise the Bridgewater Arms planning application details and the Parish Council’s draft response. Villagers may wish to respond to the applications which are:- 22/01036/FUL and 22/01037/ADV

The link to Dacorum’s planning applications portal is below
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1) Britannia Parking Ltd on behalf of Greene King have carried out works to the Bridgewater Arms car park that comprise a camera pylon (yellow collar) with 2 ANPR cameras, 8 signage poles (galvanised steel), with attached signs 0.8m high x 0.6m wide together with 4 protection posts fronting Nettleden Road North and two within the car park; there are in addition two surplus poles

2) No planning application had been made for those works

3) Subsequently Britannia Parking Ltd has made applications on behalf of Greene King to regularise the planning position with the applications showing:-

a) The removal of two car park signage poles and two surplus poles with those remaining to be painted either Green or Black.

b) The 4 protection posts front Nettleden Road together with two within the car park to be painted white.

c) The signage to be altered from the current white on a blue to white on a green.

d) Removal of the anti climbing collar on the camera pole.

4) Some of the changes to what has been built were the product of discussions at the Meeting of the Parish Council with a Greene King representative but although going some way to ameliorating the concerns of Parishioners has not resolved the detrimental impact that the installation, even in their amended form, will have on the village

5) Alternative ways suggested by the Parish of diminishing the impact that the proposal will have on the street scene have not been discussed. Despite repeated requests to both Greene King and via Greene King to Britannia Parking Ltd and to the Planning Consultants to examine ways to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution those requests have been ignored.

6) Little Gaddesden Parish Council recognises the need that Greene King have of ensuring that it is only their costumers that use the car park and  the Council has consistently said that they want the Bridgewater Arms to be a successful business and a contributor to village life.

Little Gaddesden Parish Council objects to the Planning Applications for the following reasons

1) Little Gaddesden is in an A.O.N.B. and as such it is essential that it’s special character and qualities are protected. The works as existing and as proposed do not recognise the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

2) The Bridgewater Car Park is within the Little Gaddesden Conservation Area (L.G.C.A).The proposed works are at odds and compromise the character of the dwellings and ambience within the L.G.C.A and in particular the Bridgewater Arms and 15, 16, & 17 Nettleden Road North (all of which are Grade 2 listed).

3) The Car Park signage is both highly visible and intrusive and creates a street scene totally in conflict with the Conservation Area. Furthermore, it detracts from the views to the Ashridge Estate.

4) Little Gaddesden Parish Council working with Dacorum has prepared a Conservation Area Character Appraisal (C.A.C.A.) which has been approved by Dacorum Borough Council Cabinet in 2022. This document lays down the foundation as to what makes Little Gaddesden what it is. Reference should be made to the said document where it is stated that:

“Signs situated on private property (including house signs) which are visible from public spaces (e.g. highways and footpaths/bridleways) can detract from the public realm and character of the Conservation Area. They should be kept to a minimum and of a traditional scale and style to remain in sympathy with historic environment and with the context of listed buildings within the Conservation Area. Modern Signs should be avoided”.

5) We disagree and therefore object to the conclusion reached in the Heritage statement Planning Policy Considerations – Principle of Development

6) Implementation of the camera system has immediately caused car parking congestion outside the village store. This is because people used to park in the pub car park and walk along for their morning paper.  Although Greene King have advised us that short stay will not result in a fine, there is nothing on the signs that says that, so people are not risking getting a penalty notice. The car parking congestion outside the store is causing great difficulties for cars trying to pass in either direction.

Way forward

Little Gaddesden Parish Council is prepared to review it’s objections on the basis that the following are implemented:-

1) Removal of all the yellow painted posts. The car park warning signs to be reduced to a total of three, with one each side of the carpark and 1 to the rear

2) Extend the picket fence at both sides of the access ways together with white protective posts to the end of the said fences and at the same height as the picket fence .

3)Reduction in the size of the notices and wording to be white on green. All signs and fixings to be of a design and of a material fitting of a Conservation Area​.

4)The road frontage poles (and notices) to be set back so that they do not impact on the street scene of Nettleden Road North. The reverse sides of the signs to be designed to ​complement their Conservation Setting.

5) All poles to be square in cross section and extend flush to the top of the signs. The top of the car park signs to be no higher than the current height of the hedge to the ​south of the car park and the close boarded fence to the north.

6)The Camera Pylon to be square in cross section. Climb bracket removed and the pylon painted black (or a colour to be agreed). The collar currently yellow to be replace with a white collar.

7) No signs to be illuminated

8)The Cameras to come into operation no earlier than 9.30 a.m. The purpose being to allow villagers to call in at the shop, yet avoid rush hour congestion at the road in front of the shop and to allow parents to drop off school children and walk them down to Church Road.

9) Greene King have advised the Parish Council that there is a 15 minute allowance for parking that is a statutory requirement, i.e. parking for a 15 minute period at any time of the day will not lead to a penalty notice. We understand that Green King may be willing to extend that to a 30 minute window and that would certainly provide flexibility that the villagers are looking for.

10) We feel that the non-operation before 9.30am and the free non penalty period of 30 minutes (if Greene King agree) should be stated on the notices for clarity. This however must be achieved without extending the size of the signs which we feel are already excessive.