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More than 1,200 extra homes proposed for North Mymms

New housing allocation could increase from 501 to 1,736

Site known as WeG15 south of Welham Green being considered for housing  Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0
Site known as WeG15 south of Welham Green being considered for housing
Image by North Mymms News released under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Councillors on Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council’s (WHBC) Planning and Parking Panel are to consider proposals to increase the number of new dwellings in North Mymms by 1,235 as part of the adjustment to the borough’s Local Plan.

Last year, after the independent inspector ruled that WHBC had not met the required target for new homes in the borough, the local authority put out a call-for-sites in an effort to meet the shortfall.

Originally, North Mymms had 501 homes allocated in the draft local plan, published in 2016.

Now, with the additional recommendations from last year’s call-for-sites, the number has risen to 1,736, which represents an addition of 1,235 homes in the parish.

The breakdown for the increase is 579 more dwellings for Bell Bar and Brookmans Park, 500 more for Welham Green, and 36 more for Little Heath.

This brings the total dwellings to be built in Bell Bar and Brookmans Park to 853. Welham Green’s total allocation would be 592, and the total for Little Heath would be 171.

There are also 120 dwellings proposed for Southway, North Mymms, and which features as the ‘Hat 11’ parcel of land in the list of proposed sites.

WHBC has produced maps showing the proposed additional development and the sites not selected at the allocation phase in 2019.

Local plan map for Bell Bar and Brookmans Park
Bell Bar and Brookmans Park

Local plan map for Little Heath
Little Heath

Local plan map for Welham Green
Welham Green

Call-for-sites consultation responses

According to WHBC, 2,034 individuals and organisations responded to the call-for-sites public consultation which ran from May until the end of June 2019. In all there were 10,249 representations.

The council says that 98% of the comments were made by individuals with 2% from organisations.

76% of the comments were received online, 16% were received by email, and 8% by letter.

WHBC says that overall, 87% of comments were objections to promoted sites, 4% were supportive, and 9% neither objected to nor supported the promoted sites.

Issues raised

The local authority says the following were the main issues raised.

  • Harm to the green belt or the green belt boundary resulting from sites being developed, with a number of respondents stating that exceptional circumstances had not been demonstrated.
  • Harm to the environment resulting from the sites coming forward – character of settlements, ecology or heritage assets.
  • Lack of infrastructure - in particular, schools, GP surgeries/medical facilities, and inadequate roads, which might lead to congestion.

Who responded

WHBC says not everyone who responded to the consultation provided information on their ethnicity, age and religion.

Monitoring by the council of the data supplied by those those who did provide such information indicated that, as with previous consultations, the views of younger people were underrepresented in the response.

Two age groups, 55-64 and 65-79, which together represent 21% of the borough’s population, accounted for 51% of consultation respondents.

WHBC says white British respondents were also over-represented, while black British in particular were under-represented.

New sites which are selected for public consultation will be considered and debated by the Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel (CPPP) meeting on 23 January. Recommendations will be made at the CPPP meeting on 29 January, and authorisation by the WHBC cabinet meeting on Thursday 30 January.

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