Dacorum Borough Council has published its draft Local Plan for consultation. You can find the Plan and supporting information on the Dacorum website. The full plan and supporting evidence comprises many thousands of pages, but there is also a very accessible “virtual exhibition” and other summary documents.
The Parish Council has significant concerns with Dacorum’s proposals. We believe the underlying analysis to be flawed, inconsistent and lacking in any material detail on key issues such as the environment, transport and infrastructure. The Parish Council will object strongly to the proposed Plan and ask Dacorum to reconsider.
Anyone is able to input to the consultation and we encourage you to do so. The deadline for comments is 28th February 2021.
What is it?
The Local Plan is Dacorum’s response to how it will meet Government targets on new housing over the next 17 years, its plans for employment growth, and what roads, public transport, water, sewage, schools, healthcare, shops and other pieces of infrastructure are necessary to support them.
It’s particularly important because under new Government proposals, once the Plan is adopted the volume of housing is pre-approved for development.
Dacorum is proposing a 25% increase in houses across the borough – that’s an extra 16,600 houses, built at a rate of nearly 1,000 houses per year on 2,000 acres of Green Belt, countryside and urban green space.
Development will be focused on the main towns and larger villages; Potten End, Nettleden and Frithsden won’t be directly affected but there is the potential for increased traffic through our community, particularly as a result of a major development planned to the north of Hemel.
The development, called the “Hemel Garden Communities”, will comprise 1,550 homes built over the next 17 years, and a further 4,000 afterwards, and includes a potential new link road from J8 on the M1 through the new garden community to the B440 (Dagnall Road).
The Plan also includes proposals to expand Tring and Berkhamsted by 2,200 houses each and to restrict the width of the A414 through the centre of Hemel to 2 lanes to allow for more sustainable transport options (mass transit, buses, cycle and pedestrian).
The Parish Council is concerned that some of the traffic generated by the new developments in Tring, Berkhamsted and Hemel will use the shorter route through Potten End (12km) rather than the longer route around Hemel (18km).
The Parish Council’s produced a summary of its main concerns which has been published in the Parish Magazine and agreed a more detailed analysis at its meeting on 18th February which has been submitted to Dacorum BC. At the same meeting the Council also agreed to sign a joint letter from twelve of the sixteen Parish and Town Councils in the borough expressing concern at the Plan.
The CPRE (the Campaign to Protect Rural England) have also produced some excellent briefing material.
How can I make my opinion heard?
You may support the Plan, or you may object to it. Either way, we feel it is crucial that you are aware of it and take the opportunity to provide your input: It is a consultation and Dacorum must take account of public views.
Comments should be submitted either:
- By post to: Strategic Planning, Dacorum Borough Council, The Forum, Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP1 1DN, or
- By email to: email@example.com, or
- Using the on-line consultation portal at https://consult.dacorum.gov.uk/kse
You should also make your views known to your MP and local councillors, which for Nettleden with Potten End Parish are:
- Sir Mike Penning MP at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you write to Sir Mike we suggest as a minimum you focus on the over provision of housing, and the impact on the Green Belt (see the summary of concerns).
- At Dacorum BC and Hertfordshire CC, Terry Douris at email@example.com
- At Nettleden with Potten End Parish Council, the Clerk at Nettledenwithpottenendpc@yahoo.co.uk.
If you want more information you can find the Plan and supporting information at http://www.dacorum.gov.uk/home/planning-development/planning-strategic-planning/new-single-local-plan. This includes a very accessible “virtual exhibition” and other summary documents. The Parish Council will also be publishing its more detailed comments on its website at https://nettledenpottenendpc.org.uk.
Please have your say before 28th February