Planning committee recommends way forward for Local Plan

The council's planning committee will recommend proposals that would see 13,277 new homes delivered through the Local Plan until 2036.

Local plan new sites consultation

The Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel (CPPP) met last night (Tuesday, 17 November) to consider the inspector's interim report, consultation responses and updated evidence on housing numbers.

CPPP made a series of key recommendations on how the plan moves forward, including agreeing an Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) of 13,800 homes.

The recommended sites for development are mostly in line with proposals consulted on earlier in the year - including removing Symondshyde - to total 13,277 new homes.

Birchall Garden Suburb, to the east of Welwyn Garden City, could reduce by 700 homes as recommended in the inspector's interim report.

The shortfall would be made up by additional homes on the Wheat Quarter and Bio Park brownfield sites.

CPPP also identified land to the east of Potters Bar as a potential safeguarded site for 600-700 homes.

Councillor Stephen Boulton, Executive Member for Environment and Planning, said:

Our challenge throughout this process is to balance two competing demands - to protect our green belt and preserve the character of our towns and villages, while delivering the new homes and jobs residents need now and for the future.

The decisions we have faced are really tough, but I believe with these proposals we have got that balance right.

We understand the concerns people have about the impact of growth on their quality of life, and that is why the adoption of our Local Plan is so important; it is how we will secure the vital infrastructure such as roads and schools needed to support growth.

The council will write to the inspector confirming an OAN of 13,800 homes. CPPP's recommendations will go forward for approval by Cabinet on 19 November, followed by Full Council on 23 November. If approved, the council will submit proposals to the inspector as 'main modifications' to the Submitted Plan for further hearing sessions to take place.