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PLAN SLAM: Councillor speaks out after Local Plan delayed by two more years

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

A Chorleywood councillor has hit out at Three Rivers District Council (TRDC), saying that their decision to delay the new Local Plan until 2025 will leave the village “at the mercy of developers”.

Conservative cllr Ciaran Reed, who represents the Chorleywood North and Sarratt ward, criticised the Lib Dem-run council for the postponement, which he says will allow developers who appeal a better chance of controversial plans going ahead.

In a letter to ChorleywoodNews he stated: “With no Local Plan we are left in what is called the ‘presumption for sustainable development’. This means that Inspectors can decide planning appeals based on the need for local housing. 

“Residents are rightly worried about the proposed 800 homes in Green Street Chorleywood and further proposals in Sarratt. The new timetable means that the residents’ knowledge of the new sites being considered will not be in the public domain until after this year’s election.

“What we need is a new strategy. We need to set a local housing target (as Three Rivers District Council is entitled to do) based on the sites that are in the best interests of the residents, and their communities.”

In response to the comments, cllr Matthew Bedford of TRDC wrote a lengthy response: “Cllr Reed is mistaken in several aspects of what he has written. 

“It is true that without an up-to-date Local Plan in place, each planning application is decided individually But in making decisions about each planning application, the Council can and will take into account existing protections such as Green Belt.

“Unfortunately, despite the letters from the Housing Minister indicating that the Council can set its own target for housing, this is not really the case in practice.

“We have worked hard to find every scrap of brownfield land within existing built-up areas, but that provides less than 2,000 out of over 10,000 homes needed.

“We must hope that the level of public pressure might encourage Ministers to change the rules when they publish the new Planning White Paper in a few months’ time. In the meantime, the Council will continue to do everything it can to protect sensitive sites in the Green Belt.”

Picture credit Peter O’Connor

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1 Comment

  1. Neil McCabe March 23rd, 2022, 1:40 pm

    We have worked hard to find every scrap of brownfield land within existing built-up areas, but that provides less than 2,000 out of over 10,000 homes needed.
    Really? How come there are so many brownfield sites that haven’t been built on then?? Seems like a cop out to me..

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