Campaigners say “hard work has paid off” after plans for more than 800 new homes proposed on green belt land in Kings Langley were scrapped.
At a meeting of the Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) Local Plan Sub-Committee on August 24, it was agreed not to take forward the proposal for 893 new homes at Numbers Farm, off Egg Farm Lane.
The main reason for refusal was the harm it would cause to the green belt site, as well as poor access to the farm via Toms Lane and via narrow railway bridges.
Despite the potential for infrastructure from the site, including a new primary school, the sub-committee decided that it did not outweigh the harm to the green belt.
This decision followed a campaign by members of Kings Langley & District Residents Association (KLDRA), who wrote to their ward councillors and to the sub-committee arguing why the plans should not be taken forward.
Whilst the refusal to progress the plans have been welcomed, the landowner could still put forward a planning application or may argue at a future stage for the site to be put back in the plan.
However, it is not being taken forward to the next stage at this time.
At the TRDC Local Plan meeting, they also agreed to reshape their plan, which means that the development figure in the district for the next 18 years should be 4,852, as opposed to the government’s previous target of 11,466.
This includes ruling out development in four sites in Carpenders Park and three sites in Kings Langley, as well as removing the Batchworth Golf Course site in Rickmansworth and the Notley Farm site in Abbots Langley.
Gary Ansell, chair of KLDRA, said: “As part of the Three Rivers Joint Residents’ Association (TRJRA), we have been working hard for some time, lobbying TRDC against building on this and other green belt sites. That hard work has paid off.
“We are pleased that TRDC committed to building a much smaller number of houses, around 5,000, than the government’s suggested housing target.
“This is primarily due to the extent of green belt land in the council’s district, which needs protecting.
“The developer, Urban & Civic, is likely to push for this site and others to be put back in the plan at a later stage or simply submit a separate planning application.
“As ever, the KLDRA will be watching carefully what happens next and will keep the village informed via emails to our subscribers, our Facebook page greenbeltmatters, and our website at
Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, deputy leader of TRDC and lead member for the Local Plan, said: “We have listened to views and worked very hard to come up with the right plan with the right number that will protect as much of our precious green belt as possible while allowing new housing for future generations and the right infrastructure.
“I am pleased that our new plan is supported by the TRJRA, which represents 22 residents’ groups.
“As a council, we are absolutely committed to prioritising development on brownfield sites and protecting as much of the green belt as possible, and this new Local Plan is proof of that commitment as it will protect 98 per cent of our existing green belt land.
“We always believed that the government’s housing target for 11,466 homes was way too high for us, which would have meant allocating thousands of more homes on green belt that we could not fulfil.
“We will soon consult residents on this new drastically different approach before we submit it to the government-appointed planning inspectorate for examination.”
The alternative plan will now be considered by TRDC’s Policy and Resources Committee on October 5 and ratified at a full council meeting prior to a full public consultation.
Urban & Civic has been contacted for comment.