Public Inquiry on Woodcock Hill Village Green, Borehamwood, Hertsmere

29th October 2021

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will be holding a public inquiry on the status of Woodcock Hill Village Green in Borehamwood, Hertsmere Borough. The inquiry is scheduled for three days on 30 November and 1-2 December. We’ll be there as an expert witness in support of the Woodcock Hill Village Green Society who have campaigned tirelessly to retain the Village Green as common land: a community green space and nature reserve for all to enjoy.

What is Woodcock Hill Village Green?

Woodcock Hill Village Green is a 10 hectare public open space and was formally designated as Common Land in 2008. The site is substantially located in the Green Belt. It is actively managed as a nature reserve, open space and community asset, and there is a volunteer group that monitors and records the wide variety of wildlife species.

Why is there a public inquiry?

Developers Taylor Wimpey, part owners of the land, have applied for de-registration of the Village Green so that they can build housing on the site.  The original application was refused, and Taylor Wimpey has appealed the refusal. DEFRA is sponsoring the inquiry, to be conducted by an Inspector from the National Planning Inspectorate, in order to determine the outcome of the appeal. Members of the public may attend but only to watch the proceedings. The Woodcock Hill Village Green Society has appointed legal representation and an ecology specialist, and we will speak on the planning aspects of the case in our capacity as an expert witness for the Society.

Earlier this month we submitted all the required documentation in preparation for the inquiry, and we now look forward to the hearings.

CPRE Hertfordshire has previously objected to Taylor Wimpey’s proposal.  You can read our earlier comments here.

Read more about the history of Woodcock Hill Village Green and the campaign to protect it here.

Woodcock Hill Village Green is registered Common Land and a community asset and local nature reserve Chris Berry