North Herts adopts their Local Plan

North Herts adopts local plan

The following is an extract from The Planner.

Following an extraordinary council meeting, North Herts Council has adopted its local plan for the period 2011-2031, which designates a new area of green belt.

The local plan aims to encourage “good design” throughout the district. It highlights the need for environmental considerations, including:

  • Encouraging walking and cycling, with strategic housing sites having to create integrated, accessible and sustainable transport systems.
  • Reducing water use in new properties.
  • Providing appropriate spaces and new habitats for nature known as biodiversity net gain (separate national legislation has mandated this should be 10%).

The local plan sets out that 11,600 homes are needed across the plan area and expanded employment sites at Baldock and Royston.

Land to the east of Luton around Cockernhoe, Mangrove Green, and Tea Green has been identified as appropriate for a neighbourhood of more than 2,000 homes and supporting facilities such as schools. Many of these homes will go towards meeting the needs that cannot be accommodated within Luton itself.

Councillor Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg, leader of North Herts Council, said: “I would like to thank members of the previous administration for their hard work in getting the plan submitted for inspection. Developing a local plan is a long and complex process, but I am pleased that we finally have a strategy supported by the government’s inspector that will give the council greater control over where new developments will go – and will also ensure that up to 40 per cent of our largest housing schemes will be reserved for lower cost options, such as affordable rent and shared ownership. It is also great news that land between Hitchin and Luton will now be designated a new area of green belt, linking to green belt in Bedfordshire.”

Councillor Ruth Brown, the executive member for planning and transport, added that through the plan, the council requires “new developments to deliver high-quality sustainable design, open space, and routes for pedestrians and cyclists to help the fight against climate change”.

The plan will be reviewed by the end of 2023 and a decision made on when it should be updated in the future.

10 November 2022
Laura Edgar, The Planner