Local Plan Consultation Document Goes To Cabinet on 17th October 2017 (7.30pm)

The new Local Plan consultation document goes before DBC Cabinet on Tuesday 17th October.

 

The Plan includes hundreds of acres of Green belt surrounding Berkhamsted including the so called South Berkhamsted Concept on land owned by the hedge fund Patron Capital. Details of the documents being put before Cabinet can be found here.

 

The plan was scheduled to be discussed at last month’s Cabinet meeting but was deferred  because of a Government consultation document  (Planning for the right homes in the right places: consultation proposals) suggested DBC planning were about to push through a development biased plan that offered more development than the Government required, which will inevitably destroy hundreeds of acres of green Belt.

 

BRAG attended last month’s meeting and made the following statement:

 

The Berkhamsted Residents Action Group (BRAG) welcomes the deferment of Item 11 – The Local Plan Review.

BRAG were going to use this slot to point out that conclusions and recommendations in the review were based on flawed and inaccurate reports that formed the evidence base.

The data published last week in the Governments “Planning for the right homes in the right places: consultation proposals” clearly supports BRAG’s argument that the housing need figures published in the South West Hertfordshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment are based on flawed algorithms and assumptions.

 

The net effect of the method used by DBC Planning would be a massive increase in Green Belt development with Berkhamsted alone likely to increase in size by at least a quarter.

 

And there are more inaccuracies in other documents that form the evidence base. BRAG wrote a report in response to the first stage of the Green Belt review highlighting many of the inaccuracies and flawed conclusions. BRAG’s report was adopted by Berkhamsted Town Council who asked DBC to publish alongside the official Stage 1 Green Belt review. The request was refused and the factual errors in the report never corrected. The errors in Stage 1 were carried forwarded to stage 2 when BRAG again highlighted them.

BRAG asks Cabinet to take this opportunity to address those issues as well as those raised by last week’s Government paper and revise the Local Plan proposal.”

 

Unfortunately, DBC have not taken the opportunity to address the issues raised by BRAG and, although the consultation document will now not be actively promoting any of the development options within the consultation document, massive development on Green Belt is still firmly on the table.

 

Things are likely to get very busy over the next few months with the full consultation process set to go live sometime in November/December, so please check for updates on the BRAG website on a regular basis and be ready to contribute to the consultation process.

You can find all the documents being considered by Cabinet here

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