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COUNCIL CLASH: Three Rivers councillors debate over local plan issue

 Published on: 22nd July 2022   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

A Chorleywood Conservative councillor has clashed with a Lib Dem councillor over issues surrounding Three Rivers District Council (TRDC)’s Local Plan and potential green belt encroachment.

Philip Hearn, the newly elected Conservative councillor for Chorleywood North and Sarratt, stated he had attempted to get the plan changed by speaking to his fellow councillors about preventing developments in the restricted countryside areas.

“Despite me repeatedly asking if a Local Plan for Three Rivers would be submitted with evidence to support a lower housing target, I have received no such assurances.

“I have also received no comfort that the Lib Dems have a plan to prevent a swathe of developments on green belt land being approved under the ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ prior to the local plan being approved, which has been further delayed to 2025.

“I have always been clear, the housing target for Three Rivers is too high as it would lead to a devastating loss of green belt land.

“Further delaying the plan leaves our area without a joined-up plan to deliver the affordable homes we need in the right places and may result in unsuitable homes in the wrong places. “

However, Stephen Giles-Medhurst, TRDC’s deputy leader, stated this was untrue.

Speaking to CHORLEYWOODnews, he said: “I’m afraid Philip is completely wrong. I challenged him at a full council meeting to produce a letter of these assurances. He could not.

“Dacorum and Hertsmere councils, both Conservative-led, have delayed their Local Plans for the same reasons as us, due to the government-set target of homes being too high.

“Welwyn Hatfield had their Local Plan thrown out by the Planning Inspectorate for not meeting the targets. Until the government change the figures, there’s little we can do.”

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