North Herts’ Local Plan hearings grind to a halt as extraordinary meeting called

NHDC's hearings on the Local Plan 2011-2031 have been delayed again. Picture: Archant

NHDC's hearings on the Local Plan 2011-2031 have been delayed again. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Liberal Democrat councillors at North Herts District Council have successfully pushed for an extraordinary meeting that will see the long-awaited Local Plan hearings delayed further.

The ten Lib Dem representatives are calling for a re-evaluation of the projected housing need for the district, after they say predictions from the Office for National Statistics prove the need for housing in North Herts has reduced.

Now, an extraordinary meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, October 8, will call on the full council to debate a motion on projected housing in North Herts before the Planning Inspector can begin hearings.

Saturday, October 12 has been drawn up by NHDC as a potential new start date for the hearings to begin.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that NHDC’s Local Plan hearings have been postponed.

The hearings that had been planned for March this year were cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

READ MORE: How will NHDC Local Plan impact our areas?Initially, they were rescheduled to begin today (Monday, September 28), but have now been delayed for an indeterminate amount of time.

Planning inspector Simon Berkeley responded to NHDC’s Ian Fullstone, director of regulatory services, confirming the local plan hearings planned for today would not go ahead “given the circumstances”.

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Leader of the council, Martin Stears-Handscomb, said: “There was insufficient time to call and prepare for an extraordinary meeting to discuss the motion before the scheduled Local Plan hearings this week.

“Therefore they have been postponed until after the extraordinary meeting of full council, the outcome of which will be passed to the inspector for further consideration.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this will have caused.”

READ MORE: How will NHDC Local Plan impact Royston and surrounding villages?

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