‘Local Plan needs to suit needs of Ashwell’

MP for North East Herts Sir Oliver Heald spoke about the future of Ashwell housing on Saturday.

MP for North East Herts Sir Oliver Heald spoke about the future of Ashwell housing on Saturday. - Credit: Archant

An MP was the guest speaker for a public meeting on the future of housing in Ashwell.

The meeting – which took place at Ashwell Primary School on Saturday – focused on the impact of North Herts District Council’s draft Local Plan which sets out the number of houses to be built in the district up until 2031.

Ashwell’s draft allocation contains 69 homes for the period, including 33 houses on land west of Claybush Road, and 28 homes which permission has already been granted for.

MP for North and East Herts Sir Oliver Heald spoke at the meeting, which was organised by the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group of Ashwell Parish Council and attended by more than 200 people.

Working group chairman David Short said: “It was recognised at the meeting that the Local Plan is of great importance to the future of Ashwell.


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“If there is too much development, Ashwell could grow substantially in a few years, destroying the character of the village, but some growth is necessary.

“If brownfield sites will be considered, we need to ensure that Ashwell gets the type of housing it needs, not just that favoured by developers, and with the infrastructure required for new development.

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“There seemed to be general agreement that development to the south of Ashwell on the chalk scarp was not desired and that Ashwell could fulfil their quota within the village and on brownfield sites, together with the sites which already have planning permission.”

Sir Oliver said: “Obviously people have their objections to the proposals, but the important thing is that you don’t miss your opportunity to voice them in the consultation.

“I think the main concern with the proposed houses on the Claybush Road site is the high visibility as it overlooks the village.

“Building more houses will make the village of Ashwell bigger so there may be a concern there as well.

“The great thing about the consultation is that people can raise any concerns they have, and give any alternative options they might have as well.”

For more information and to take part in the consultation – which runs until February 6 – visit www.north-herts.gov.uk/localplan.

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