Tales Of Snails And Property Trails


#SnailGate #ShellGate #FaunaGate

It really is hard to think, that a flying visit to these leafy parts of Hertfordshire, can spark memories of all those housing and property scandals from not so long ago. Astonishing still that it could be still in turmoil. I mean, chap parks his space-ship on a day-trip from Mars and still we are caught in this time warp. Let’s face it, it really has gone beyond a simple planing matter.



This site, of which there are many up and down the land going through unenviable changes, by dint of political birthing pains and amputations, has developed into a full-blown ‘….GATE!’ of its own. Anyone been caught hiding in offices recently?

Well – and apart from the obvious ££££’s falling off the page – councils have a duty to protect, not to go at it hammer and tongs to flog off every last strip of common land. Particularly those bits of land which have been formulated over the decades and centuries for common usage. And maintained as such.

Some seven/eight years ago the saga of an allotment and adjacent field/open space grabbed the developers attention and that of everyone else too. Valued then at over a million the original plan for 42 flats was turned down. It set in train a series of events which has caused mayhem, anger, mistrust, and fundamentally the best ‘cock up’ since commercial television was launched (the opening lines were “…Welcome, and hello traitors!”).

Minded that I am of how bitchy and but-we-know-best  these things can get, the only people who are seduced by these actions are the faux-elite hell bent on rubbing other peoples’ noses in it. They have a death-wish upon upon all who stand in their way, and will happily use the moral high ground when all else fails. If it means side-stepping procedures or just plain ignoring them, sobeit.

All this mind, to evade the scrutiny and levelled criticisms which duly will be flung. Well SURPRISE! Here is some flinging.

I might add thoroughly deserved too. Chap comes all this way to have a chat with old friends, can’t park the ship because some tribe of vertebrae deem it a building site, the planet seriously has lost it.

The guys back home put together a rescue pack with apologies for running out of brown envelopes – apparently the currency might be a bit dodgy too…!



The argument loses all political credibility when you have councillors serving on two councils and the same planning committees debating the same subject. Mud sticks, even if they do record an interest, yet stick their ‘oar’ in regardless to steamroller recommendations through.

What is worse, is making use of an Officer of the Council to delay/sit-on information from a Government advisory body recommending NOT… *NOT* to develop the land in question. Thus A LOT OF TIME, MONEY, ANGER, DUPLICITY, AND MORAL BLACKMAIL would have been saved. Unsurprising then for an official complaint.

Lo and behold, one complaint against the Town Clerk concerned – John Bagshaw. (just pondering how many more there will be and to whom in addition).

Allegedly then the question arises of when and where the ‘real’ decision has been made and who’s tripped over whomever’s tongue as they drooled over their project maturing.

Amazing what happens when people try and cut corners toadying up to their masters at whatever level. That ‘Rover’ you guys have sent up to our place should find the remains of the last race who tried it.

Quite remarkable really, when you think all this should never have happened thanks to our chums below

Roman Snails 008

Everything’s on hold

When the domino’s have been reshuffled you’ll find all the players (..bar the losers) will be off up the High Street like Barry Sheen. There are preferred developers waiting in the background positively itching for the first sod . However, there are so many people NOW not saying a blasted word, until decisions elsewhere have been declared – you can be forgiven for not knowing where the hell you are.

Everything so far leans towards it ending on the desk of the Local Government Ombudsman irrespective of outcome. Which would be too little…too late, and all the damage done.

#FaunaGate #SnailGate or #WaterGate you choose.

There’s been a whole lot of fauna-gating-going-on either way!

Me, I’m still following the money…even from Mars! Tell you what, I’ll do another few orbits until the next round of idiocy matures. Meanwhile  Bufo Bufo (below) just could have the final say (Martian humour)


For more keep in touch with Carol Hedges lay advocate extraodinaire


Something Nasty Lurks In The Grass… (..and it’s not the SNAILS!)

From David Jones

…and why is this so familiar!

Not just progress, not even the dying echoes of Save Our Village’. What on face value is an ordinary – but here… not – planning application meeting Government approved figures for new builds across the land, something in itself divisive albeit a fact of life, what we have here is obfuscation imploding in a painful place.

Not that the snails involved have a clue what is going on. And, not just any snail but Roman Snails at that – the protected ones!

Roman Snails 008

Is this the lost tribe of Swampy returning to bring a plague upon all our houses…? Well, not ‘ours’..but it could be! Besides this isn’t a group-hug-effort of urbanites hell bent on the dissolution of Parliament […don’t underestimate the possibility though] this stems from a  ‘…wrapped up in brown paper sealed with wax’ Town Council & District Council hatchet job agreement /deal beautifully ensuring the ‘i’s’ are dotted and the ‘t’s’ crossed.

The ubiquitously lost in translation bit comes from the latter having to first ask the former to pass – or deny – the small matter of a planning application. Otherwise the very building of a brick wall fails.

In that alone – referring anything to a so-called quasi self-appointed group in the main beckons distrust – and at the bottom end of local  government too, at least it should ruefully cause a sideways glance. But hey, it’s a chance for the ‘good/elected peers of the community’ to play sway as monoliths masquerading under the guise of a planning committee – remember, a low level one at that – which at its next stage is to pass and seek the gleeful approval of ‘it’s betters’ up the fodder ridden ranks of bureaucracy. “…Pass the Port Please… don’t mind if I do!”

But simple things rarely are ‘…simples’

“…..every journey begins with a single step” – Lao-tzu 

Tanked up as you are with what is and what’s best, there just happens to a single figure involved in this. I Digress though… I must. A step backwards to set the scene. Here is a relatively speaking small parcel of land. Befitting the locale for its intended usage and as you do, you the community, goes forth and seeks to have its status upgraded for posterity not prosperity. Odd then your local Distric Council not Town Council would leverage out and instruct a Barrister to assert its cause against in a Public Inquiry.

This hitherto oddity is vexing until you realise that the elected Town Council cannot be arbiter but only the District Council can. Hence behold the ‘wig’ to protect DC interests. And the plot thickens – Press On

So returning to the former and latter, both had agreed a deal, an understanding or basically a return of the latter’s ownership…spun to local residents as a ‘Amenity Space’. So where is the problem?!

Westfield 010

What apparently occurs and all in the name of prosperity and progress and one almighty side-step to avoid the wrath of central Government, is to earmark a once productive allotment site now abandoned […don’t ask me why] into a housing estate.

OK, so what..it happens all the time… Why is it any different?

But.. Bats – Nyctalus noctula Tawney Owl – Strix aluco Roman Snail – Helix pomatia Toads – Bufo bufo & Slow Worms – Anguis fragilis Have it..

Yeah, this lot have it..and someone will rue the day….!

So the Zoo’s all here or in common parlance of any developer panic. And a torrid tale of conflicted timing of applications here there and everywhere ensues. A sorry mess if there ever was. Thankfully, definitive detective work revealed how such a can of worms has been permitted to arise.

Why at this stage the local and national press hadn’t dived in on this beleaguers me.

Worthy of Jazmine Dawson herself. Which one was it when she nailed the fall guy? In real life, this could well be, allegedly, ‘…a paid official?!’ Right. Better now for the star of this show – and this time it’s not a novel – to be revealed…. Carol Hedges.

You need to read this story. What I hope is there turns out to be a scandal, nipped in the bud before a sod is turned. Naturally involvement of loftier peers than I should investigate. Even George Dixon would pass it to Andy.

Do I smell the Central Criminal Courts’ beckoning?

Well my Legal friends who could be reading this…..!!!

“…what do you think?” – Hitchcock