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PLANNING WARS: Housing development in Shenley appeal sparks public enquiry

 Published on: 19th February 2023   |   By: Megan Milstead   |   Category: Uncategorized

A public enquiry will be held on April 18 over a planning application for 37 dwellings on Harris Lane in Shenley.

Hertsmere Borough Council (HBC) rejected the application, which was submitted in June last year, as the development would be situated on green belt land. Developers Griggs Homes outlined a number of benefits to the scheme, but officers said they were “insufficient to outweigh substantial harm to the green belt”.

Residents were also invited to share their thoughts on the plans, and a total of 1,275 people objected to the application.

However, Griggs Homes have now appealed the decision.

Campaigning group Save Our Shenley (SOS) is raising money for Shenley Parish Council to appear at the enquiry as they have limited funds.

A spokesperson for the group said: “It [the area]is such a beautiful place to walk; it’s peaceful. You don’t want a development in the middle of the last place in the village where you can walk and get away from the built environment. It’s a precious site for the village and we believe there are additional points that need to be made so the planning inspector has the full picture.

“There is no regular public transport, an eight-week wait for GP appointments and no spaces at the primary school.”

As it is an appeal, HBC will only be able to put forward the same arguments as the initial rejection. SOS believes that they have additional points to make and need funds to employ a planning consultant and barrister.

A spokesperson for Griggs Homes said: “Whilst we understand there are some objections, this is a site that had a draft allocation in HBC’s Local Plan, so therefore was identified as suitable to be redeveloped. This is a highly sustainable location, and this is at a time where we currently find ourselves both locally and nationally in a housing crisis where there is a shortage of housing. This scheme would contribute to that housing need.

“It would deliver both private and 40 per cent affordable housing in a low density and carefully designed manner. There will be many benefits like Community Infrastructure Levy money that would go towards the local council and parish council, as well as affordable housing, helping the housing need and biodiversity net gain benefits. There will also be self-build plots as part of the scheme.

“The planning application has only one reason for refusal – the green belt. There were no other technical objections. Any concerns over local businesses were assessed by the council and environmental officer who confirmed there was no concern.”

HBC declined to comment.

Shenley Parish Council has been contacted for comment.

To read the planning application, please visit

www6.hertsmere.gov.uk/online-applications/search.do?action=simple&searchType=Application and search reference ‘22/0971/OUT’.

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