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Next steps for North Mymms housing development

Dates for your diary - the Local Plan timetable

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
Two weeks ago the public consultation period for the 140 new and re-promoted sites put forward for inclusion in the Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan closed. An estimated 10,000 comments had been received by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council (WHBC). 42 of the new and re-promoted sites are in North Mymms and could accommodate more than 3,200 homes. WHBC says there will now be a year-long process culminating in the adoption of the new Local Plan next summer.

“Suitability, availability, achievability and deliverability”

The local authority says that although sites were put forward in the documentation circulated for public consultation this doesn't mean that they will be proposed for allocation in the Draft Local Plan or that they will receive planning permission at a future date.

The council's planning portal has a section headed “What happens next” which states that “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 have been previously assessed in earlier published technical material  such as a Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) or a Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA).

WHBC says all the sites will be assessed in terms of their suitability, availability, achievability and deliverability.

This will include a review of a site’s development potential; according to WHBC it could be that the council fails to agree with the promoted level of development.

September 2019 - committee sessions

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

November 2019 - hearing sessions

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. The public can attend or participate the public hearings. The format for the hearings is set out here. These are likely to happen in November.

2020 - modifications and adoption

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. Any major change to the plan as drafted, such as the addition or removal of a site, or the timeframe of the plan is called a ‘Main Modification’ and will be subject to public consultation. After this, the inspector will prepare his report, and provided the plan has been found to be sound, the council will proceed to adopt the Local Plan in summer 2020.

The estimated 10,000 comments

The 10,000 comments received by the local authority are still being read and uploaded to the WHBC site. You can read those that are currently live by going to 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.

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