Boxwood Park, Hoddesdon
Andrew advised Volker Fitzpatrick on the development of their 4 hectare Headquarters Site on the outskirts of Hoddesdon in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire over the course of 2016-2018. The existing site consisted of large areas of previously developed land within the green belt containing the current Volker Fitzpatrick HQ, areas of parking and outbuildings.
The site benefited from a lapsed planning permission for the extension of the existing office block and the development of 14 houses on the southern part of the site. Andrew was approached by Volker to optimise the lapsed consent for the extension of the office block and the development of 21 houses including 8 pre-fabricated concrete panel homes. The technology to build these properties will be imported from the system used by Volker Fitzpatrick in the Netherlands, having been successfully used for a number of years in the country to provide fast track, high performance homes.
Despite the significant amount of previously developed land on the site it was still necessary to demonstrate Very Special Circumstances to justify the significant increase of development area in the green belt. Andrew led the preparation of the Very Special Circumstances (VSC) case alongside leading Counsel as the scheme progressed through the pre-application process and towards a submission of an application.
Despite receiving a recommendation for refusal from planning officers the members recognised the significant VSC demonstrated by the application including the economic benefits derived from the office extension, the social benefits from the development of new housing and the environmental benefits through the protection of ancient woodland. Planning permission was granted by the planning committee at the first attempt and was not subsequently called in by the secretary of state.
Images courtesy of Volkerfitzpatrick / Black Architecture