A draft planning brief has been prepared by Hertsmere Borough Council in consultation the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) to provide a clear development framework for the Bhaktivedanta Manor site. The draft brief considers the needs, character, opportunities and constraints at the site and the future development aspirations of ISKCON over the next 15 years and beyond.
Why was the draft brief produced?
What does the draft brief say?
What is a Haveli?
How was the need identified?
Will any new development change the function of the Bhaktivedanta Manor?
What would the proposed Haveli building look like and where is it proposed to go?
How would a Planning Brief benefit Letchmore Heath?
How can I give my views?
What will happen after this consultation?
How will I know what the outcome is?
A number of planning applications have been submitted to us in recent years and the council considers a planning document would enable any future development on the site to be managed and considered in a coordinated way, in line with relevant council policies.
If adopted, the brief will have the status of a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), which means it will be an important consideration when determining any future planning applications. This is your chance to comment and we welcome views from anyone who has an interest in Bhaktivedanta Manor and its future.
The draft brief recognises the special religious significance of the Bhaktivendanta Manor site as a Dhama – a sanctified place in accordance with the religious tradition of Krishna Consciousness – and the existing inadequacy of the site to provide an adequate space for the approved uses.
This is reflected in the number of planning applications that have been made over the years.
The draft brief considers the current needs of the Manor within the context of the site’s planning constraints such as the Green Belt, the Conservation Area, Listed Building and the amenities of the local community.
A detailed assessment of the Manor identifies the requirement for a bespoke, flexible and enclosed building. After careful consideration of the floor space requirements (measured per person), the solution of a proposed Haveli is discussed.
The draft brief includes a number of requirements which would need to be met for a planning application to be acceptable on the site.
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Facilities to support the spiritual and social aspects of a religious community and temple are known as a Haveli. Such a building would be required to meet ISKCON’s existing needs, rather than for any increase in visitor numbers.
ISKCON commissioned consultants to review how the existing space at Bhaktivedanta Manor was used, room by room. This information can be found in the needs assessment document which supports the draft brief.
Many rooms in Bhaktivedanta Manor are used for multiple, and often conflicting functions that undermine the purpose of the community, spiritual experience of the users of the site and the character of the building.
In particular, there were significant congestion and accessibility issues within the building that could not be remedied through internal alterations
because of the Listed status of the building. The building also does not meet modern accessibility requirements.
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A proposed Haveli building is being considered as a solution to ease the existing pressure on the Grade II Listed Building in light of the assessment. It is not intended to increase the number of visitors to the site, which could be limited by planning condition and/or legal agreement. The future use of the site would be limited to the existing approved uses (such as the theological college and place of worship) and there are no plans for additional car parking areas.
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The draft brief primarily considers the principle of any new Haveli building, within current planning controls which restrict the amount and type of development that can be undertaken within the Green Belt. The draft brief also considers some associated development requirements (such as lighting, signage and materials). Any planning application for a Haveli would need to follow the principles set out in the final brief in order to secure planning consent.
The three broad locations and indicative floor space areas of any proposed new Haveli Building are shown here. Any new Haveli Building, as with the rest of the site, would only be accessed from Hilfield Lane and would be followed by a presumption against allowing any temporary outdoor structures or buildings across the site. This would be reinforced through a review of Permitted Development rights. This means that temporary structures, such as marquees, that do not normally require planning permission would no longer allowed to be put up if a new Haveli were to be built.
A Planning Brief for the manor would provide certainty for the local community about what development could take place at the site in the future. It would ensure that ISKCON’s existing needs are met through a permanent, enclosed building avoiding the need for further planning applications for additional development.
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We would like to hear from you.
Write to us at: Policy and Transport Team
Planning and Building Control Unit
Hertsmere Borough Council Civic Offices, Elstree Way Borehamwood, Herts WD6 1WA
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The consultation runs from 9 July to 10 September 2012.
The full version of the draft Planning Brief and supporting documentation is available to download at www.hertsmere.gov.uk/Bhaktivedanta or can be seen at:
1. Civic Offices, Borehamwood
2. Potters Bar Library
3. Potters Bar Information Office
4. The Radlett Centre (Aldenham Parish Council and Radlett Library)
5. Bushey Library
6. Bushey Information Office
7. Bhaktivendanta Manor
8. Borehamwood Library
All comments will be considered by our Executive and any necessary adjustments will be made before deciding whether the draft brief should be adopted as an SPD.
Just let us know and we will keep you updated.