Frequently Asked Questions about the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council consultation on sites promoted through the Call for Sites 2019

Why are Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council consulting on more sites for their draft Local Plan?

Welwyn Hatfield has already published a draft plan containing sites for 12,000 homes but their level of local housing need is estimated to be around 16,000 homes by 2033. The Inspector appointed to examine their plan has asked them to investigate the scope for additional housing sites to be identified.

In response to this request, Welwyn Hatfield undertook a ‘call for sites’ in January and February 2019. This resulted in over 140 sites being promoted for housing, employment or other forms of development. A number of these sites had been previously promoted in the area.

Are these sites likely to be developed?

Welwyn Hatfield has not made any decisions at this stage on where any additional sites may be included in their Local Plan. The inclusion of a site in their 2019 Call for Sites report does not mean that it will be proposed for allocation in its Local Plan or that planning permission will be granted at a future date. The sites will be assessed in terms of their suitability and consideration will need to be given to the responses received through this consultation before it is decided to include any of these new locations in their draft Local Plan.

What does this mean for Potters Bar?

Welwyn Hatfield’s area adjoins Potters Bar to the east (near Coopers Lane Road, Tiverton Road and other roads near Oakmere Primary School) and to the north (Little Heath). Any development on the edge of Potters Bar, even though it may be within an adjoining local authority area, has the potential to impact on the town itself.

Which sites are being promoted near Potters Bar?

Land to the north of Little Heath is already identified in the draft Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan. The 2019 Call for Sites report includes an extension of the proposed allocation to this site, identified as LHe3 in the report. Details of the site and what is being promoted can be viewed within Welwyn Hatfield's consultation portal.

A new site has also been identified east of Potters Bar, between Coopers Lane Road and the M25. The land is owned by Hertfordshire County Council, although no details of the amount of development being sought have been provided. Details of the site can be viewed within Welwyn Hatfield's consultation portal.

How can I respond to the consultation?

If you would like to respond to the report published by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, you should respond directly to them. This can be done through their consultation portal and you are encouraged to reply in this way.

You can also respond via email to localplan@welhat.gov.uk or by post to Planning Policy, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6AE.

Please do not respond to Hertsmere Borough Council.

Will Hertsmere Borough Council provide its response?

Yes, we will respond as we have done so during previous consultations. In the past we have emphasised the importance of any growth near Potters Bar being accompanied by investment in the town’s infrastructure given the impact on local services. In 2017, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding setting a framework for future co-operation on strategic planning cross boundary issues. We will continue to work closely with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council to ensure that issues of cross-boundary interest are properly addressed.