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Stage 4 of the Local Plan examination next month

Photograph of a Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan event poster - image courtesy of the Welwyn Hatfield Times

The dates for Stage 4 of the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council Local Plan examination have now been announced. They will be on Thursday and Friday June 28/29.  Stage 4 will be looking at the individual allocated sites in Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City only; it's unlikely North Mymms sites will be discussed until later this year.

At the end of the Stage 2 hearing session in October 2017, the Inspector asked the Council to submit evidence to the examination identifying which parts of the borough’s Green Belt are ‘critical’ to retain. The Council has engaged consultants, LUC, to prepare a Green Belt Review to:
  • Assess how essential it is to retain those parts of the borough’s Green Belt which could contribute to sustainable patterns of development. This will focus on Green Belt parcels around settlements which are currently inset (not in the Green Belt) such as Brookmans Park, Little Heath and Welham Green.
  • Review the Borough’s settlements that are ‘washed over’ by the Green Belt. The settlements in North Mymms that are ‘washed over’ (completely in the Green Belt) are Bell Bar, Swanley Bar and Water End. The consultants will assess how they contribute to the openness of the Green Belt and whether they can be removed from the Green Belt and if so, if they will be suitable for sustainable development and growth.
  • If land can be found to accommodate 20,000 dwellings, then the study will confine itself to areas adjacent to the urban areas. If not, other areas of the Green Belt will be looked at for their potential to accommodate a new settlement. The Council have asked the consultants to scope for three sites in Welwyn Hatfield that might be capable of accommodating a settlement of at least 1,000 dwellings and supporting infrastructure.
The Inspector has stated that he “does not propose to examine proposals that are clearly likely to be affected by the outcomes of the additional Green Belt work that he has requested to be undertaken.”

Therefore, until the Green Belt Review is completed in mid-June 2018 the examination is unlikely to discuss the North Mymms sites until later this year.

Those who registered for updates will have received three documents via email over the weekend. They are embedded below for those who missed out.

EX72: Inspector’s Issues and Questions for Part 4 of the Hearing Sessions

EX73: Inspector’s Guidance Notes

EX74: Draft Hearings Programme V.7 including the Stage 4 hearing sessions

This piece was written by a guest blogger who volunteered to explain the significance of the forthcoming Local Plan examination.