Latest news from the Chiltern Countryside Group
Consultation on Dacorum Borough Council Local Plan 2020-38 closes 28 February 2021.
Full details can be found: www.dacorum.gov.uk/localplan. which includes a useful summary:
In response to public requests, DBC has extended the closing date for this consultation to 28 February, 2021.
Please don’t be lulled into a sense of plenty of time – these are far reaching proposals which will potentially transform the nature, landscape and characteristics of the Borough and in particular, Tring, its smallest town, which faces an increase of 55% in population with huge swathes of significant Green Belt being lost. The Plan promotes building nearly 17,000 new homes within a Borough of which some 60% is Green Belt with major development to the South & South West of Berkhamsted and to the East of Tring. The Plan promotes reallocating current Green Belt for building right up to the boundaries of the Chilterns AONB.
It is the considered view of the CCG so far that this Local Plan:
- is premature and will fail to fulfil the vision stated therein by DBC.
- The timing of this Consultation during a pandemic and national lockdown carries a high risk of disenfranchising the public and certainly does not allow full access to the many people who do not have Internet access. There has been limited publicity within the Borough.
- Government is still working on the Planning Reforms proposed in the recent White Paper 2020: Planning for the Future and the outcomes of the Public Consultation on that policy. This is particularly relevant to calculation of housing needs, location of these and protection of Green Belt and AONB.
- On 16 December, 2020, Government announced that planning reforms will prioritise development of brownfield and urban sites; that England’s 20 largest cities and urban centres will be encouraged to build more family homes, make use of vacant buildings and underused land. These reforms will aim to protect green spaces.
- You can read the CCG’s response to the White Paper Consultation on the Group’s website. Please feel free to use anything from that submission to inform your response to the DBC consultation, in particular to housing needs and protection of Green Belt and the AONB.
Please take the time to read the summary paper – we are confident you will share the grave concerns of the Steering Group and many other organisations for the proposals it outlines. It is imperative that in addition to the responses of local environmental groups such as CCG, as many individuals as possible respond. This happened with the last Local Plan and we strongly urge you to do so again.
Additionally, if you possibly can, do express your views to your local Town, Borough and County Councillors and to Gagan Mohindra, the newly elected 2019 MP for South West Herts, which includes Dacorum: email@example.com and to Sir Mike Penning, the long-standing MP for Hemel Hempstead: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CCG has a virtual meeting booked with Gagan Mohindra, whose constituency covers much of Dacorum, so do please let us know of any issues which you would like raised relating to the DBC Local Plan.
In addition, Berkhamsted Rotary Club will be holding a meeting to find out more and discuss the details and implications of the Dacorum Development Plan currently under the consultation period ending 28 February 2021.
Given that this discussion led by Garrick Stevens (currently Berkhamsted Mayor & Rotary Member) may be of wider interest, the Berkhamsted Rotary Club is cordially extending an invitation to the 41 Club and to the Berkhamsted Chamber of Commerce for any of their members to attend.
The meeting will be by Zoom at 7.30pm on 2 February 2021 and the login details are as follows:
Meeting Reference: 9330521578
Please email email@example.com if you wish to attend.