Homes chief says garden city idea must be ‘explored’ but not for this North Herts Local Plan
- Credit: Archant
In the face of MPs’ calls for a new garden city and two protest marches across North Herts in the space of a month, a councillor has given his thoughts on the reaction to the district’s housing blueprint.
Councillor David Levett, responsible for planning and enterprise at North Herts District Council, set out the ‘preferred options’ for the Local Plan – which would see 14,000 homes built across the district by 2031 – at a public meeting in November.
The consultation period – which closes tonight – has seen protestors take to the streets in Baldock and Letchworth to march against the draft housing allocation numbers pinned on both areas.
Last week MPs Stephen McPartland, Sir Oliver Heald and Peter Lilley, whose constiuencies all include part of the North Herts district, called on the authority to find a suitable site for a garden city.
Mr Levett said: “It is appreciated that this is an issue people feel strongly about and the marches in Letchworth and Baldock were evidence of this.
“A new garden city was considered by the council but was not found to be deliverable for the current plan period of 2011 – 2031, nor was any site identified in North Hertfordshire to accommodate a development on this scale.
“However, I believe this should not be discounted longer term and think we must continue to explore this option.
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“There has been a great response to the public consultation and detailed consideration of all submitted comments will now begin.
“I’ve spoken at several public meetings and the numbers who have attended, asked questions and voiced opinions has been impressive and some good suggestions have been put forward.
“I would also like to say thank you to those who responded to the consultation.”
There’s still time to comment in the consultation online before the midnight deadline.
Those who wish to do so can click on the ‘online consultation software’ link via www.north-herts.gov.uk/localplan or email firstname.lastname@example.org.