NHDC Local Plan inspector doesn’t call for change in number of homes

Councillor David Levett says the Local Plan proposals appear to have been largely supported by the i

Councillor David Levett says the Local Plan proposals appear to have been largely supported by the inspector. - Credit: Archant

North Herts District Council has welcomed proposed amendments made to its Local Plan by the independent inspector appointed to examine to proposals which may bring nearly 16,000 new homes to the district.

Having considered responses received during the consultation on the draft plan, as well as many issues raised by parish councils and local interest groups, the inspector has not called for any change to the overall number of homes,

A key change suggested by the inspector is that the council needs to have set more requirements for prospective developers to meet before planning permission for new homes can be granted.

The council is also asked to reflect new evidence produced during the examination to address concerns raised, including recommendations from a proposed new transport strategy which will sit alongside the plan.

The inspector also stated that the plan should be updated to reflect the most up-to-date information.

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NHDC’s executive member for planning, enterprise and transport David Levett said: “We welcome this feedback from the inspector and are confident that we remain on target to secure a plan that will ensure North Herts remains a fantastic place where people want to work, live and visit.

“I am really pleased that the hard work of our officers and members had paid off.

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“The proposals in the Local Plan appear to have been largely supported by the inspector, subject to some necessary modifications.

“The council’s overall strategy for the development and protection of the district has been upheld.

“The modifications made by the inspector will ensure that North Herts will contribute to the government’s amibitions to deliver more new homes while also ensuring that developers meet strict requirements in order to secure planning permission for their sites in the future.

“The Local Plan is the council’s most important tool for shaping development in North Herts and we are confident that our new Local Plan is comprehensive and robust.

“It will help meeting the housing and employment needs of exisitng and future residents.

“An up to date plan will also give the people of North Herts its best protection against unplanned and unsustainable development.”

The main modifications made by the inspector will be considered by the council at a special meeting on Monday, December 10, where they will also approve a six-week public consultation.

The consultation – which is expected to begin at the start of January next year – will provide an opportunity to comment on the additional documents produced by the council following the hearings held between November last year and March this year.

To view the main modifications and other Local Plan documents, go to www.north-herts.gov.uk/localplan.

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