Dacorum Local Plan Update from Berkhamsted Citizens

Living Magazines Dacorum Local Plan

As most of you will be aware from our newsletter before Christmas the consultation on the Dacorum Local Plan 2020-2038 is currently open. Dacorum Borough Council has agreed to extend the consultation period until midnight on Sunday 28 February, to give as many people as possible the opportunity to look at the proposals and comment on them.

Rather than ‘re-invent the wheel’ by preparing our own document, we recommend you to look at the attached summary prepared by CPRE Hertfordshire – an organisation to which the BCA is affiliated – which sets out how you can respond to the Consultation. It also lists the key concerns around the development proposals set out in the draft Local Plan. 15,658 new homes are proposed to be built across Dacorum, around two-thirds of which would be built on Green Belt land. In Berkhamsted and Northchurch, 1,876 new homes are planned and 93% of those are on Green Belt land, on the fringe of the current built-up area. Please find attached two CPRE documents which form useful background reading.

CPRE Prelim Analysis Summary
CPRE Impact Assessment

Berkhamsted Town Council is preparing its response to the draft Local Plan and the BCA has been part of a Town Council working group to review the proposals.

Some of you may have seen, or even joined the discussions on the draft Local Plan on social media groups. Please be aware, however, that it isn’t enough to react via social media channels – Dacorum Councillors and the Planning department pay no attention to them. It is imperative that individuals respond to the consultation through the official routes as set out in the CPRE document. Please feel free to use the arguments suggested by CPRE, if their views align with yours.

You probably received, with your Christmas mail, a mail-shot from a developer called Thakeham, who are proposing to build around 1,200 homes on a large site between Berkhamsted and Bourne End. The developer has also ‘dangled the carrot’ of the donation of land for sports pitches, which Berkhamsted is short of, a relocated stadium for Berkhamsted Football Club, a sports hall for indoor sports, and parking for 400 cars. They would also build a new school. The Thakeham proposal was rejected by DBC for inclusion in the draft Local Plan. The BCA is also against the proposals, primarily because of the loss of Green Belt land to development, the effective joining of Berkhamsted with Hemel Hempstead, creating ‘ribbon development’ from Northchurch to Kings Langley, and the inevitable increase in traffic on local roads. Depending on your point of view, you may make reference to the Thakeham development in your response to the Local Plan, although, to reiterate, the Thakeham scheme is not part of the draft Local Plan.

If you have any questions about the Local Plan, please contact the BCA  Chairman, Lindy, chairman@berkhamstedcitizens.org.uk. Thank you for your support. We will be sending you our response as soon as it is completed.