When are the North Hertfordshire Local Plan hearings set to start?

North Herts District Council offices in Gernon Road, Letchworth. Picture: North Herts District Council

North Herts District Council offices in Gernon Road, Letchworth. Picture: North Herts District Council - Credit: Archant

North Hertfordshire District Council’s long-awaited Local Plan hearings are set to start after the weekend, following a host of delays this year.

The Local Plan 2011-2031 hearing sessions, that will dictate the number of new homes built in the North Herts district, are set to begin on Monday, November 23 at 9.30am.

The hearings will last for at least two weeks – potentially running until Friday, December 11 – and will involve at least 50 participants who will submit their thoughts on the plan.

Members of the public will be able to view the livestream on YouTube at www.youtube.com/c/North-hertsGovUk.

In September 2016, the draft Local Plan was approved by NHDC – which would have seen 14,000 homes built in the district until 2031. It was formally submitted in June 2017, and campaigners came out in force following the consultation period with Planning Inspector Simon Berkeley returning the plan to the Council with amendments.

Further consulations were opened, and in July 2019 Mr Berkeley eventually calling for further hearing sessions in light of “issues and reservations” regarding housing need and the use of Green belt land in the Local Plan.

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The COVID-19 outbreak complicated things further and ensured there was an additional six month delay to the hearings that were originally planned for March and April.

In September, 10 Lib Dem councillors at NHDC called for a last-minute extraordinary meeting challenging the expected housing need in the district, meaning the hearings were further delayed to this latest date, Monday, November 23.

For more information on NHDC’s Local Plan, or to view related documents, visit: north-herts.gov.uk/home/planning/planning-policy/local-plan/local-plan-examination

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