North Herts Council's Local Plan for 2011 to 2033 has been approved for adoption following a second examination by the Planning Inspector.

The Inspector’s Report concludes that subject to a number of main modifications, the North Hertfordshire Local Plan 2011 – 2031 is sound, legally compliant and capable of adoption.

The Local Plan was first submitted to the government in 2017, and was called in for a second round of examinations by Inspector Simon Berkeley in 2019.

The inspector had “issues and reservations” around the projected housing need and use of Green Belt land for a number of developments.

Delays caused by the pandemic meant further public examinations did not occur until December 2020 and concluded in February 2021.

The plans, which include proposals, approved applications, and homes already built since 2011, are subject to main modifications made by the inspector.

One modification to be made is to reduce the plan’s requirement for new housing to meet the district’s needs from 14,000 homes over the plan period to 11,600, and removing housing allocations where development has commenced or been completed from the plan.

The conclusion of the inspector’s report means that the Local Plan can now go forward with a recommendation to adopt the plan at a Full Council meeting. Details of the meeting will be announced in due course.

Cllr Ruth Brown, North Herts Council’s executive member for planning and transport, said: “I am pleased that the Inspector has completed his examination of the District’s Local Plan and returned his report for local councillors to consider.

"Local Plans are a long and lengthy process and I would like to thank all of the local residents and groups who took part in the examination and gave their views to the Inspector.”

A number of sites earmarked for housing development in the Local Plan have been met with concerns and objections by residents.

These include land off Mendip Way in Great Ashby, Stevenage, known as GA2, which was earmarked for 600 homes, while GA1 – Roundwood in Graveley parish, off Weston Way – would bring 330.

In Baldock, the site labelled BA1 would be the largest single housing development throughout the Local Plan. It is located at Blackhorse Farm, in the north of Baldock.