The results from the latest phase of engagement on the Hertsmere Local Plan have been reviewed by the council’s Member Planning Panel (26 February).
They showed encouraging levels of engagement for the Potential Sites for Housing and Employment stage, which attracted significant interest from the public and comments from nearly 2,500 people.
In total, more than 4,000 different points were raised about the development sites included in the Plan listed among the potential sites.
Five exhibitions were also held across the borough in November to engage with the public, which attracted 1,200 people: 50 percent more than attended previous events when the council was at an earlier stage of developing its new Local Plan.
Issues raised by those responding included concerns about congestion and a lack of infrastructure in the areas where development was proposed, as well as the loss of Green Belt and recreation land, along with the impact on wildlife and the overall character of the area.
However, there was also some support shown for more housing in the area to meet local need, so long as there was sufficient infrastructure in place to support the new homes, particularly highways improvements.
Many favoured developing in more built-up areas, rather than in the villages and surrounding countryside, with the priority being to develop brownfield sites then poorly performing Green Belt land, if necessary.
A summary of the responses received from the general public has now been published and can be viewed online atwww.hertsmere.gov.uk/newlocalplan.
Many people also expressed their views through the council’s social media channels, with 3,700 people engaging with posts on Facebook, while 230 people liked, shared, commented or clicked on links on the Local Plan on Twitter.
Once finalised and adopted, our plan will outline where development should take place in the borough over the next 15 years.
Councillor Dr Harvey Cohen, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Localism, said: “We would like to thank all those who have attended the exhibitions and commented on the Potential Sites for Housing and Employment through the online consultation portal.
“The council has invested in new consultation software to make it easier for local residents to get involved in the preparation of our new Local Plan and I am pleased that over 60 percent of responses were made directly through our portal.
“A lot of work was invested by the council in communicating this recent phase of engagement as the comments we received will be important in helping us identify appropriate sites in the borough.”
These comments will feed into the next stage, the publication of the draft Local Plan, which is scheduled for Spring 2020. There will be an opportunity for the public to comment on the draft plan which is then expected to be submitted to a Planning Inspector for independent examination.
For more information about the plan, visit www.hertsmere.gov.uk/newlocalplan.
Posted on Thursday 28th February 2019