Over 40 residents in Windmill Drive have signed a petition against a retrospective planning application to erect a gate and fencing at the front of The Windmill in Croxley Green.
The residents are very happy that the new owner is planning to renovate the windmill, which is in urgent need of repair. However, they hope that it will be done in such a way that the landscape and character of such a historic Grade II building, which is such an important part of Croxley Green, is preserved for the community and future generations.
The homeowner of The Windmill submitted a request to Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) in October and since then, Windmill Drive Residents’ Association started a petition against the application which shows “inaccuracies”.
In total 43 people have signed the document which was received by TRDC on November 21. It states that the application is 40cm taller than stated, the fence does not follow the original boundary line, some trees with preservation orders (TPO) are at harm and there will be a negative impact the wildlife habitats and biodiversity.
One resident commented: “The fences and gates erected are higher than states and not in keeping with the surroundings. Work continued on erecting the fences after a TRDC enforcement officer said work should be stopped”.
“No biodiversity tree surveys were carried out prior to the commencement of work which started before the date stated.” The Tree and Landscape Officer also commented that “he would expect an Arboricultural Assessment (AIA) in accordance with B5 5837 (2012) to accompany an application such as this”.
Maria Kitts, a senior historic building consultant, said: “They [gate and fence] do not relate to the character of the windmill which derives from its distinct functional form illustrating its former use. For this reason, the fencing and gates are considered to be unsympathetic additions to the setting of the listed building and detract from its surviving historic character.”
Croxley Green Parish Council’s planning committee said the application was only for the front of the house, the measurement exceeds what is stated and that damage has been done. They also refer to the Neighbourhood Plan which discourages gated developments.
The application has now been referred to TRDC who are likely to discuss it at their next meeting on December 17 or January 2020.
To read the retrospective planning application in full, search 19/1998/RSP on TRDC’s planning page.
Photo courtesy of Savils