Oxhey Village Environment Group | www.oveg.org
Most OVEG members will know that on 31st January, the Development Control Committee of Watford Borough Council ignored the views of hundreds of local residents and approved the application to build three houses in the back gardens of 4-6 Lower Paddock Road.
We have commissioned legal advice from a specialist barrister on any possible grounds for a review of this decision. Sadly the advice is that we have only a 40% chance of a successful chance of overturning the decision with a risk of a potential £10,000 cost – and possibly a lot more than this. On this basis the OVEG Committee have decided that we cannot proceed any further with legal opposition to the development. The legal advice cost OVEG £900, leaving us with around £4000 in our Environment Fund, this being the remainder left over from funds raised in challenging the Bucks Meadow development. OVEG’s intention is to use this money to commission an expert to help us develop a Neighbourhood Plan (more detail below).
We recognise that a number of local residents feel that we should commence an application for a judicial review, but we believe that this will seriously prejudice OVEG’s limited finances and mislead potential funders about the likelihood of securing a positive outcome.
OVEG are looking to establish in 2018 a Neighbourhood Forum which will work with Watford Borough Council in developing a Neighbourhood Plan for sustainable development in Oxhey. Several of these Forums exist in Hertsmere and across the UK and are a means of communities becoming actively involved in development. We believe that this will be the best way of minimising the number of unwanted and inappropriate intrusions in Oxhey in the future. We will be looking for local residents to join the Forum which will be supported by, but separate to OVEG. Please do get in touch if you’d like to get involved – we will publish more information soon.