LOCAL PLAN Watch SPRING 2020
HERTFORDSHIRE 

Things you need to know:

1. Dacorum, Hertsmere, St Albans, Three Rivers and Watford Borough Council have begun work on a Joint Strategic Plan (JSP) for the South West Hertfordshire area;

2. North Hertfordshire and Welwyn Hatfield hearing sessions postponed indefinitely due to Covid 19;

3. Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan Inspector yet to announce whether the Council have addressed his concerns around the approach taken for Green Belt releases, which previously prompted a further Call for Sites in 2019;

4. St Albans Local Plan hangs in the balance following scathing opening response from the Inspector.

5. Three Rivers and Watford are looking to progress Local Plans without intending to meet their housing need identified under the standardised method.

 

 

North Hertfordshire

North Hertfordshire’s Local Plan 2011-2031 was submitted for examination 9th June 2017. Consultation on Main modifications began 3rd January 2019 - 11th April 2019. Since this time there has been correspondence between the Inspector and the Council. As part of this, the Inspector has expressed concern in relation to the objective assessment of housing need, the Green Belt Review Update, the proposed east of Luton sites, safeguarded land to the west of Stevenage and the main modifications which propose to allocate new land for development.

Further hearings were scheduled to open Monday 16th March 2020 to run until Wednesday 8th April 2020. However, these have been postponed as a result of Covid 19. This will undoubtedly delay the adoption of this plan.

 

Stevenage

The Stevenage Borough Local Plan 2011-2031 was adopted on 22 May 2019. This followed the Secretary of State lifting a holding direction on the plan on 26th March 2019, 17 months after it was issued on 13th November 2017.

A review of the Local Plan is anticipated to begin 2 years after adoption to produce a new Stevenage Borough Local Plan 2021-2041. 

 

East Hertfordshire

East Hertfordshire adopted a new Local Plan at an Extraordinary Council on the 23 October 2018.

According to the Local Development Scheme (LDS) (agreed 5th March 2019), the Council did not intend to bring forward a new Development Plan in 2019 and that an updated LDS will be published when a decision to begin work on a new Local Plan is made. Supplementary Planning Documents for the Gilston Area Development Character, Vehicle Parking and Birchall Garden Suburb are proposed for adoption March- May 2020.

 

Welwyn Hatfield

Welwyn Hatfield’s emerging Local Plan was submitted for examination 15th May 2017. During the examination process the Local Plan Inspector raised serious concerns in relation to the approach taken to Green Belt release in the plan and this ultimately prompted a new Call for Sites which ran between 7th January – 4th February 2019.

Stage 7 hearing sessions were held 10th-12th March 2020. Stage 8 hearing sessions to discuss the outstanding matters on the Northern and Southern Settlements had been scheduled for May 2020, however it is not yet known whether it will be possible for these sessions to go ahead. It is expected that the Inspector will report back on his interim findings following the planned Hearing sessions in May, should they go ahead as planned. 

 

Hertsmere

A Sites Consultation was held October – November 2018 on an emerging Local Plan for Hertsmere. A Draft Plan (Regulation 19) is expected to be taken to Full Council in July 2020 for consultation in the autumn 2020 and timetabled for adoption end of 2021. However this schedule could potentially be delayed as a result of the Covid 19 following various cancelled panel meetings.

Dacorum, Hertsmere, St Albans, Three Rivers and Watford Borough Council have begun work on a Joint Strategic Plan (JSP) for the South West Hertfordshire area. Stage 1 of a Strategic Growth Location Study has now been completed and work has begun on stage 2 of this document. Some light-touch public engagement is currently live which is looking to shape the aspirations for the plan. 

 

St Albans

St Albans emerging Local Plan was submitted for examination 29th March 2019. Stage 1 hearing sessions were held between 21st and 23rd January 2020, however due to serious concerns in relation to legal compliance and soundness of the plan the Local Plan Inspectors cancelled the February sessions and put the Examination on hold until further notice.  

On 14th April 2020, the Inspector’s formally wrote to confirm their concerns regarding soundness and legal compliance. In the letter they provide the opportunity for St Albans Council to respond setting out how they could rectify issues of soundness. However.  they highlight that due to issues around failure of the Duty to Cooperate, it is likely that the plan will need to be withdrawn.

Dacorum, Hertsmere, St Albans, Three Rivers and Watford Borough Council have begun work on a Joint Strategic Plan (JSP) for the South West Hertfordshire area. Stage 1 of a Strategic Growth Location Study has now been completed and work has begun on stage 2 of this document. Some light-touch public engagement is currently live which is looking to shape the aspirations for the plan.

 

Three Rivers

 A Potential Sites Consultation for the emerging Three Rivers Local Plan ran 26th October 2018 – 21st December 2018. The indicative timetable within the Local Development Scheme (2020) for the new Local Plan shows a publication stage consultation being held in December 2020, submission of the plan in summer 2021, examination in late 2021 and the adoption of the Local Plan in March 2022. This would include options for a new settlement and a likely unmet need against the standard methodology. However, local elections have been postponed until May 2021, which may impact this timetable.

 

Dacorum

A public consultation was carried out on the Issues and Options for the emerging Dacorum Local Plan in November 2017. A further consultation is planned for Spring 2020 with submission of the plan intended in Summer 2020 with an expected commitment to meet their own housing need. However this is likely to be delayed as a result of Covid 19.

Dacorum, Hertsmere, St Albans, Three Rivers and Watford Borough Council have begun work on a Joint Strategic Plan (JSP) for the South West Hertfordshire area. Stage 1 of a Strategic Growth Location Study has now been completed and work has begun on stage 2 of this document. Some light-touch public engagement is currently live which is looking to shape the aspirations for the plan.

 

Watford  

An Issues and Options Consultation for the emerging Watford Local Plan ran between 7th September - 19th October 2018 and a draft plan was consulted on between 27th September and 8th November 2019

Consultation on a final draft of the plan was anticipated May 2020, submission of the Local Plan for examination was anticipated September 2020 and adoption was planned for May 2021. It is expected that they will not plan to meet the entirety of their identified need against the standard methodology. However, it is likely that this indicative timetable will be delayed as a result of Covid 19.

Dacorum, Hertsmere, St Albans, Three Rivers and Watford Borough Council have begun work on a Joint Strategic Plan (JSP) for the South West Hertfordshire area. Stage 1 of a Strategic Growth Location Study has now been completed and work has begun on stage 2 of this document. Some light-touch public engagement is currently live which is looking to shape the aspirations for the plan.

 

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Local Plan Watch Spring 2020 Hertfordshire

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