Council to consult on plan to protect borough's green belt

Cabinet last night (Thursday 30 January) agreed to consult on proposals removing all sites from the Local Plan that could cause high harm to the green belt.

Local Plan protect greenbelt

It follows a series of recommendations from the council's cross-party Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel (CPPP) on an officer report seeking to find more land to meet the borough's housing need.

In addition to removing all sites with high green belt impacts, councillors also agreed to:

· Reduce the allocation at Gosling Sports Park to 100 new homes in response to community concerns.

· Remove all new sites that cause 'moderate-high' harm to the green belt.

· Remove sites that result in coalescence between villages.

· Remove sites from Lemsford and Stanborough where there are limited services to support development.

· Withdraw Symondshyde due to concerns over its sustainability.

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

We have listened very carefully to the views of our communities over loss of green belt and are taking all options off the table where the impact of development is too high.

However, considerations other than green belt have also been taken into account, including responding to residents' concerns over development at Symondshyde and Gosling Sports Park.

Our task throughout this process has been to find the right balance between growth and sustainability; a balance I believe we have now reached with these proposals.

A six week public consultation on all sites put forward for inclusion will open later in the month.