Stop Taylor Wimpey Takeover at Woodcock Hill Village Green

by Pat Strack, Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee Chair

Stop Taylor Wimpey Takeover at Woodcock Hill Village Green

by Pat Strack, Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee Chair
Pat Strack, Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee Chair
Case Owner
Please help with our Judicial Review of an Inspector’s decision to allow Taylor Wimpey to take part of our Village Green. Residents have used this rich, biodiverse land in living memory.
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Pat Strack, Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee Chair
Case Owner
Please help with our Judicial Review of an Inspector’s decision to allow Taylor Wimpey to take part of our Village Green. Residents have used this rich, biodiverse land in living memory.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: May 10, 2024

Last Chance to Save Woodcock Hill Village Green

LAST CHANCE TO 

SAVE WOODCOCK HILL VILLAGE GREEN FROM TAYLOR WIMPEY

Our Legal team have the opportunity to challenge the Appeal Court ruling at the Supreme Court.

Taylor Wimpey have won a public in…

Read more

Who am I? 

I am the chair of the Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee, an organisation set up to conserve, manage and preserve the Village Green for wildlife, as well as encouraging education and recreation at the site.  The committee has been leading voluntary 'working parties' which maintain and enhance the Village Green for years, erecting signs and benches, digging ponds, clearing brambles, etc.

Unfortunately, in May 2022, an Inspector decided that part of the Village Green could be taken by Taylor Wimpey in 'exchange' for inferior land further away from residents who use the green. Our legal team think the inspector made legal errors in doing so, in particular by not acknowledging residents' legal right to maintain and enhance a village green for nature conservation (which he ignored when finding that the land would degrade if the exchange did not proceed). This case could set a precedent to prevent future decisions which the users of Town and Village Greens can maintain and enhance the land to preserve it environmental values.

The Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee is therefore leading a campaign to bring a Judicial Review to overturn the inspector's decision to allow Taylor Wimpey to exchange part of the Village Green at Woodcock Hill in Borehamwood for inferior land in Elstree. Taylor Wimpey will fence in the land and leave all the improvements that working parties of residents have carried out for 14 years to decay. 5 ponds will silt up and habitats and aquatic wildlife will be lost.  Brambles are already taking over and diminishing biodiversity.

I am a resident of Borehamwood, Herts who started a campaign to save green belt land used by local residents for recreation from development in 1996.  In 2002 the land was registered  as a Local Wildlife Site by Hertsmere Borough Council.  In 2008 after a Public Inquiry the land was designated  as Village Green. Woodcock Hill village Green Environmental Project was formed.  WHVG Committee  thought the Village Green was saved in perpetuity.

The Application to Take the Land

The law was changed in 2016.  Owners of registered Village Green land were able to offer alternative land as replacement. In 2018 Taylor Wimpey the owners withdrew permission for our monthly working parties to continue.  By 2020 TW had filed to have part of the VG in Borehamwood deregistered and offered inferior land in Elstree as replacement.  A public inquiry was held.  The inspector found in favour of Taylor Wimpey.

£40k is needed to pay our legal team and court fees through to a full hearing of our case in the High Court.

What are we trying to achieve? 

The flat land that Taylor Wimpey want was registered for the benefit of residents of Borehamwood to have easy open access to a Nature Reserve where flora, fauna and human recreation were balanced. The working parties brought the community together. 

The replacement land in Elstree is half a mile away reached by a steep gradient and was formerly used for grazing horses.  It is fenced and will have to be accessed by a gate on a noisy busy road or through some garages . It will take decades for the replacement land to achieve, the kind of bio diversity that had been encouraged by improvement works at the land in Borehamwood.  The loss of 5 ponds created is of great significance

What is the next step in the case? 

Richard Buxton Solicitors, are acting on behalf of the WHVG Committee along with specialist barrister, Joe Thomas. We filed judicial review case in the High Court on 2nd August 2022.  We are awaiting  a judge's decision about whether we are granted 'permission' to go to a full hearing, which is the first stage in any judicial review.

How much we are raising and why? 

Our legal team  are working on a reduced basis in order to help us bring this case, but we still need significant  funding.  There are court fees  and other costs win or lose.  Our legal team need some funding, and If the case is lost the rules require  that we will need to pay some costs of the other side. All told, we are fundraising to a budget of £40,000 to ensure that we have adequate funds to take this case all the way through to a final judgement.

Thank you for helping us achieve our goal

Update 11

Pat Strack, Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee Chair

May 10, 2024

Last Chance to Save Woodcock Hill Village Green

LAST CHANCE TO 

SAVE WOODCOCK HILL VILLAGE GREEN FROM TAYLOR WIMPEY

Our Legal team have the opportunity to challenge the Appeal Court ruling at the Supreme Court.

Taylor Wimpey have won a public inquiry Judicial review and an appeal to deregister  Village Green land in the green belt, a local wildlife site since 2002, Borehamwood in exchange for land north of Barnet Lane in Elstree. 

Th present site has been improved with grants donations and public money. 5 ponds have been dug to add aquatic and sub aquatic habitats. Among other flora and fauna, badgers and muntjac deer live here.

The exchange land is beside a busy main road noise light and particulate pollution, former horse grazing land with poorer eco systems and inaccessible steep terrain. 

Please can you help save part of the village green being moved from Masefield/Byron/Vale, Borehamwood to a remote spot in off busy Barnet Lane, Elstree. 

WHVG Committee started in 1996 to fight with residents for the Village Green to be in Borehamwood. We succeeded in 2008, Taken away by greedy developers who can’t build on Barnet Lane so want to build on this land. We all benefit from this beautiful piece of land. A legacy for ever!








Update 10

Pat Strack, Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee Chair

Jan. 9, 2024

Only 15 days to the High Court Case

Funding is still needed for Woodcock Hill Village Green

Please give generously for our legal team.

Stop Taylor Wimpey taking our Village Green for future development.

Stop Taylor Wimpey fencing the land in until planning permission is given.

WHVG is in the green belt: a designated local wildlife site since 2022 and registered as a Village Green since 2008.

Nearly £100,000 of public money has been spent on the Village Green.  This has come from donations, grants and fundraising activities.

The land has been improved to increase diversity and create more habitats. 5 ponds have been dug encouraging aquatic and semi aquatic flora and fauna. 

Update 9

Pat Strack, Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee Chair

Dec. 6, 2023

WHVG Urgently Needs Funds

Please donate as much as you can to stop this Nature Reserve being covered in Concrete.

There is a very good chance of success.  Plaesehelp us against the deep pockets of developers.

WHVG Committee Court Case is on 24th January 2024. Funds are needed for our Legal Team.  The Legal Team at the Court Case seeks to overturn the Public Inquiry decision enforced by a Judicial Review to allow Taylor Wimpey to take part of our Village Green in Borehamwood so that it may be developed in the future. This is green belt and a designated Local Wild life Site since 2002.

The parcel of land which Taylor Wimpey seeks to exchange is in Elstree with several owners.  This green belt land is unsuitable for future development as there is little possibility of access on Barnet Lane.  If Taylor Wimpey succeeds they will purchase the land.

Update 8

Pat Strack, Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee Chair

Nov. 28, 2023

Funds urgently needed for Court Case

Our legal team are doing a sterling job and we need to raise funds to pay for the enormous amount of work they are carrying out.

There is such a good chance that we can win this case and stop Taylor Wimpey taking part of our Village Green away and replacing it with something far inferior and not fit for our purpose 

WHVG Committee and residents led a successful Campaign over 13 years to register our beautiful land as a Village Green in 2008 to protect it from development. But part of it is under threat from Taylor Wimpey,  It is in the Green belt and a designated as a Local Wildlife Site since 2002.

Taylor Wimpey won a Public Enquiry to deregister 7 acres of the Village Green in exchange for land over a Railway tunnel less accessible and detrimental to the biodiversity 



Update 7

Pat Strack, Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee Chair

Oct. 1, 2023

We have a court date January 24th 2024 WHVG

David against Goliath

Against all odds the Rt Hon Lord Justice Singh has allowed our Legal Team to challenge the decision by a Public inquiry and a Judicial Review to allow Taylor Wimpey to exchange our peaceful, bio-diverse Village Green in Borehamwood for inaccessible land off Barnet Lane Elstree.  Different demographics. WHVG has been managed as an Open Nature reserve since 2008. Man and nature in harmony.

The original intention of gaining Village Green Status Woodcock Hill Village Green was to benefit the people of Borehamwood.  Taylor Wimpey want to build there.  Until they get permission to build they have threatened to fence off the land to prevent access.  This will be an eyesore and site improvements over many years will be lost.

Land at Barnet would never be granted planning permission because of access.

Taylor Wimpey will always have money to fight to build.  That is their core aim and business strategy.

Please donate and help us fight this

Update 6

Pat Strack, Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee Chair

Sept. 11, 2023

Funds for Court Action still desperately needed

Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee is way short of its targets. If the judgement in favour of Taylor Wimpey can be stopped we can have our Village Green back. 

PLEASE HELP! donate what you can.

The Village Green, in the green belt in Borehamwood, has been improved by volunteers in the community over many years. It has been managed by the WHVG committee to improve habitats , so people and nature live in harmony. 5 ponds were dug to provide aquatic and semi-aquatic habitats.  

Taylor Wimpey wants to exchange part of the peaceful, flat village Green in Borehamwood for a less biodiverse piece of land in Elstree, on steep terrain beside a busy polluting main road. Taylor Wimpey wants to build on the land eventually.  TW would not be allowed tp build on the land in Elstree because of access problems.

Please help us to save the village green.  This case if won could set a precedence to  help others

Update 5

Pat Strack, Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee Chair

July 28, 2023

New Court date January 2024

                       SAVE OUR VILLAGE GREEN

        WOODCOCK HILL VILLAGE GREEN COMMITTEE

urgently need funds to fight Taylor Wimpey taking part of our Village green for future development.

We need  funds to pay our legal team to fight the injustice of taking Village Green land from the residents specifically intended to benefit, Hillside ward in Borehamwood Herts, in exchange for land beside a busy road Barnet Lane in Elstree.  Residents have used that land for over 50 years for lawful recreation.

The prospect: The judge who will preside, the Rt Hon Lord Justice Lane says that 'there is a real prospect of success.'

 The replacement site in Elstree is less diverse, with fewer species recorded. The present land has 5 ponds supporting aquatic and semi aquatic flora and fauna. The replacement land is a mile trek uphill and down dale across a railway tunnel and  behind a back garden. Trees will need to be pollarded for the path to the replacement land thus destroying more habitats. 

                         PLEASE DONATE WHAT YOU CAN

Update 4

Pat Strack, Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee Chair

July 17, 2023

Woodcock Hill Village Green have court date!

The Court hearing is set for 15th & 16th November .

Great news! We have been granted permission to take a full appeal by the Rt Hon. Lord Justice Singh, who considers our appeal has a 'real prospect of success' and 'raise important issues of principle, which [the Court of Appeal] should consider.' We will now go to a full 1-day hearing before 3 lord/Lady Justices in the Court of Appeal to determine whether the Court of Appeal will overturn the decision deregistering part of our village green.

Whilst this is a great step forward for our campaign, we now need significant further funds to cover the costs of our legal team, court costs, etc; in the longer run we may need as much as £30,000 to see this challenge through. We cannot do that without your help! Even small donations add up and help give us the assurance we need to take this challenge through to save the Village Green!

Woodcock Hill Village Green committee have been managing the Village Green since 2008 when VG status was gained following a Public Inquiry. That Campaign was started in 1996.

Taylor Wimpey applied in 2020 to deregister part of the VG Masefield/Vale/Byron Borehamwood and replace with inferior land in Elstree. The decision at a public inquiry held 2022 was to uphold the application. The Judicial review in February 2023 upheld that decision.

Our legal team sought permission to challenge.Please donate to help us reach our goal.


Update 3

Pat Strack, Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee Chair

June 27, 2023

We can challenge the Judicial Review

Great news! We have been granted permission to take a full appeal by the Rt Hon. Lord Justice Singh, who considers our appeal has a 'real prospect of success' and 'raise important issues of principle, which [the Court of Appeal] should consider.' We will now go to a full 1-day hearing before 3 lord/Lady Justices in the Court of Appeal to determine whether the Court of Appeal will overturn the decision deregistering part of our village green. 

 

Whilst this is a great step forward for our campaign, we now need significant further funds to cover the costs of our legal team, court costs, etc; in the longer run we may need as much as £30,000 to see this challenge through. Most urgently, we need to raise £7,500 to cover the risk to the Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee of paying costs to opponents so that we can assure our team we are ready to proceed. We cannot do that without your help! Even small donations add up and help give us the assurance we need to take this challenge through to save the Village Green!

Update 2

Pat Strack, Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee Chair

June 23, 2023

WHVG Legal Team granted permission to Challenge Judicial Review

WHVG Committee need to raise £30,000 as soon as possible to enable our Legal Team can challenge the Judicial Review Verdict.  Taylor Wimpey has deep pockets.

The Judicial Review confirmed the Public inquiry to allow Taylor Wimpey to take part of Our Village Green at Borehamwood and give us  inferior land in Elstree thus depriving Borehamwood residents of a much loved Nature Reserve, a place to walk and enjoy the improvements that public funds have paid for since 2008.  The ponds will be lost together with the aquatic and semi aquatic plants  and fauna.

Our sledging slopes will be lost.

The Rt Hon Lord Justice Singh says 'I consider that the Appellant’s three grounds of appeal have a real prospect of success and, in any event, raise important issues of principle, which this Court should have the opportunity to consider."

'We have a real chance of success please support us

 

Update 1

Pat Strack, Woodcock Hill Village Green Committee Chair

April 5, 2023

WHVG Committee can Challenge the Judicial Review

WHVG committee legal team can challenge the Judge's decision  Completely wrong in our view 

Help us right an Injustice.

Please help us raise the funds to do this!WHVG lost the Judicial Review against Taylor Wimpey taking a valuable part of our Village Green. not only in the green belt but also a Local wld Life Site since 2002. This could have a huge impact on protecting Village Greens from predatory developers.

The biodiversity between the replacement land and the release land is hugely significant when the UK is under threat of loss of many species.  The replacement land no way fulfils the original criteria to provide a Nature Reserve for the residents of Hillside Ward Borehamwood, a place where they could engage in lawful recreation.  Nature and Man lived in harmony.  The replacement land is far away in Elstree on steep slopes and will be on the doorstep of a different demographic makeup. Taylor Wimpey do not know the difference between a Nature Reserve and a sanitised rural park. 

Taylor Wimpey cannot build on the release land so will fence it in to deprive Borehamwood residents of the pleasure that they have had on Woodcock Hill in living memory.

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