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Harts Farm development siteUnbelievably, Harts Farm developers told site is "is unlikely to result in any significant environmental effects"

The developers, who want to build 310 houses on a primary school on Harts Farm on Little Bushey Lane, have asked for and received, permission from Hertsmere planners allowing them to avoid conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment on the site.

Here is the covering letter from Hertsmere's principal planning officer to the developers of Harts Farm informing them of the screening decision. It is addressed to the Environmental Planning Associate Director from Stantec, a global consultancy, who requested the screening application on behalf of their client Redrow Homes Ltd.

This decision happened very speedily - the application was received by Hertsmere on the 20th of May and they were informed of the positive decision less than 2 weeks later on the the 1st of June.

Here is the decision matrix which sets out the reasoning behind Hertsmere's planning department's decision.

This decision was arrived at despite Harts Farm being a greenbelt site of huge environmental value. It's a habitat for wildlife, including Canada geese, muntjac deer, and pipistrelle bats. And crucially a flood plain. These factors have been disregarded alongside the pollution and traffic the construction and new homes would generate.

If Hertsmere planners think the Harts Farm development site does not merit an environmental impact assessment, it begs the question, what site would do they think would need one?