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LOCAL PLAN: Abbots and Kings Langley opinions sought on six potential housing sites

 Published on: 1st March 2023   |   By: Darius Morgan   |   Category: Uncategorized

Abbots Langley and Kings Langley residents are being asked to give their opinions on six potential housing sites.

This is part of the Local Plan process, which will set out areas for development across the Three Rivers district until 2038.

Until March 10, people have the chance to give their views on four new sites and two revised sites in Abbots Langley, Bedmond and Kings Langley.

These and 15 other sites had been put forward by landowners for Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) to consider following a large public consultation in 2021 as part of the required Local Plan process. However, councillors have ruled out the 15 sites as being unsuitable for a variety of reasons.

The six proposed sites are Notley Farm, Abbots Langley; Margaret House, Abbots Langley; Kings Langley Estate South; Mill Place, Hunton Bridge; East Lane, Bedmond; and 56 High Street, Bedmond.

The most significant of these is Notley Farm. Proposals for 450 new dwellings would take somewhere between six and 10 years to complete, and green belt boundaries would have to be revised.

The consultation states: “The land to the east of the site is proposed to be allocated as public open space and improvements to the allotments to the west of the site will be provided as part of the planning gain the site is expected to deliver.”

In Bedmond, one proposal suggests converting the car dealership, MOT centre and service station Bedmond Motor Centre Ltd on the High Street into 20 dwellings.

There are also proposals for up to 380 homes on land between Abbots Langley and Kings Langley.

Residents’ views on these sites and feedback from the earlier 2021 consultation will be considered along with the effects of the pandemic, population changes and the sustainability of new developments as work to develop a new Local Plan is undertaken.

TRDC has changed its approach to the Local Plan following a statement in December from Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, indicating that housing figures would no longer be mandatory. Previously, the government had required the district to allocate land for 12,624 new homes by 2038.

As a result, TRDC is now in the process of assessing the number of houses as it develops a Local Plan designed to minimise the impact on the green belt and the character of Three Rivers.

The revised plan with fewer new homes will go before councillors in the summer to consider and will be followed by a public consultation this autumn. The plan will then be submitted to the government for approval.

Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, deputy leader of TRDC and lead member for infrastructure and planning policy, said: “We are consulting on the six sites, including the removal of two sites in Bedmond village to be replaced by two smaller ones. All councillors felt they might be preferable to some earlier suggestions from landowners. All the comments on this consultation and the earlier one will be important and taken into account as we develop our own new Local Plan that will be consulted on, I hope in October.

“Two of the larger sites in Kings Langley and Abbots Langley are being considered alongside a condition that neighbouring land is open for public amenity access to benefit residents.

“The council does not have plans to build 380 homes as suggested. It is consulting on sites put forward by landowners to be considered for possible development as part of its legally required Local Plan.

“Before any Local Plan is submitted to a government inspector, the council is required to seek views of its residents. If it fails to do so, such a plan is likely to be rejected. The council should not exclude sites which have been proposed for allocated development without assessing and consulting first.

“We remain committed to protecting as much green belt as possible and ensuring any developments have the appropriate infrastructure and will continue to press the government to reduce the housing target for Three Rivers district.”

To take part in the consultation, please visit www.threerivers.gov.uk/egcl-page/new-local-plan

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