Proposed new Local Plan will protect 98% of district’s precious Green Belt
An alternative Local Plan that seeks to protect 98% of the district’s precious Green Belt will go out to public consultation later this year.
The new plan - a document that will guide development in the district until 2041 - suggests the new housing figure for the district over the next 18 years should be 4,852 as opposed to the Government’s high target of 11,466.
This will not only provide the right type of housing and affordable homes needed for residents and future generations, but it will protect a large portion of valuable Green Belt.
This includes ruling out development in four sites in Carpenders Park and three sites in Kings Langley, as well as removing the Batchworth Golf Course site in Rickmansworth and the Notley Farm site in Abbots Langley. It also involves reducing the number of homes at the Shepherds Lane site in Mill End and restricting development in Maple Cross to no more than 850 homes.
The alternative plan, which was agreed at Three Rivers District Council’s Local Plan Sub-Committee on Thursday, 24 August, involves allowing nearly half of its 4,852 housing figure to be built on lower harm Green Belt sites, some of which are derelict and not in use, while the rest could be built on previously developed land (brownfield sites) and using granted planning permissions.
Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Deputy Leader of Three Rivers District Council and Lead Member for the Local Plan, said: “We have listened to views and worked very hard to come up with the right plan with the right number that will protect as much of our precious Green Belt as possible while allowing new housing for future generations and the right infrastructure.
“I am pleased that our new plan is supported by the Three Rivers Joint Residents’ Association which represents 22 residents’ groups.
“As a council, we are absolutely committed to prioritising development on brownfield sites and protecting as much of the Green Belt as possible, and this new Local Plan is proof of that commitment as it will protect 98% of our existing Green Belt land.
“We always believed that the Government’s housing target for 11,466 homes was way too high for us, which would have meant allocating thousands of more homes on Green Belt that we could not fulfil.
“We will soon consult residents on this new drastically different approach before we submit it to the Government-appointed planning inspectorate for examination.”
The alternative plan will now be considered by the Policy & Resources Committee on 5 October and ratified at October’s Full Council prior to the full public consultation on the new approach.
The recommendations that were agreed upon at the sub-committee meeting can be viewed in full here.