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Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan consultation closed

Estimated 10,000 comments added by interested parties

BrP5 - between Bradmore Lane and Potterells proposed for 290 homes Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons
BrP5 - between Bradmore Lane and Potterells proposed for 290 homes
Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons
The public consultation period for the 140 new and re-promoted sites put forward for inclusion in the Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan closed at 9am on Monday 24 June.

A spokesperson at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council (WHBC) said there have been more than 9,000 comments online, and the planning department still has more than 350 emails and a stack of letters to get through. The final total of responses is expected to be in excess of 10,000.

42 of the new and re-promoted sites are in North Mymms and could accommodate more than 3,200 homes. WHBC has set out what happens next.

The sites were put forward earlier this year when Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council (WHBC) made a fresh call for sites after the independent inspector ruled that the current Draft Plan didn’t meet the local housing requirement. All are in the green belt.

Sites that were previously promoted and allocated are currently in the Draft Local Plan. Many of the previously promoted sites that were not allocated were re-promoted, either in their original or revised form, in the fresh call for sites.

The council invited comments on the new and re-promoted sites during a six-week consultation process which ended on Monday 24 June, having been extended twice.

The North Mymms District Green Belt Society (NMDGBS) set out a list of reasons why it felt the sites should be opposed.

You can read the comments received by the local authority on the WHBC planning portal. Scroll through the list of locations on the left of the page and then click through to read about any areas you have an interest in.

What happens next

The following information is taken from the Welwyn Hatfield planning portal under the heading “What happens next”.

1.12 It is important to note that the council has not made any decisions at this stage. Simply because sites are in this document does not mean that they will be proposed for allocation in the Draft Local Plan or that they will receive planning permission at a future date.

1.13 Before any decisions are made, an analysis of sites (on an individual and cumulative basis) will be undertaken, and the capacity of sites already proposed for allocation will be reviewed. Some of the sites in this document have been previously assessed in earlier published technical work such as a Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) or a Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA). These documents can be viewed on our website: Housing Evidence Base

1.14 All sites will be assessed in terms of their suitability, availability, achievability and deliverability. Site assessments will also include review of a site's development potential and depending on the conclusions drawn, it may be the case that the council does not agree with the promoted level of development.

1.15 When the the analysis of sites has been completed and an assessment of infrastructure implications has been undertaken, the results will be presented to the relevant committee, together with the results of consultation and any recommendations for the allocation of any additional sites. This is likely to happen in September 2019.

1.16 Once the council has made its decision, then any additional sites proposed for allocation will be forwarded to the Local Plan Inspector. These will then be considered at future hearing sessions later in the year. This is likely to happen in November 2019.

1.17 Following the hearing sessions, the council is then required to consult on any main modifications to the Plan. This is likely to happen in early 2020. After this, the inspector will prepare his report, and provided the plan has been found sound, we will proceed to adopt the Local Plan in summer 2020.

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