Thank you to the Chiltern Countryside Group for this update as they continue to seek to protect and preserve the peace and beauty of the Chilterns and its AONB
Action and your Help Needed Urgently Please
Already in 2021, residents of the Chilterns are faced with challenges to the green and serene landscapes in which we live and which we enjoy daily. The CCG is currently working on responses to 2 major consultations with a 3rd due in March and 2 new petitions have been launched.
Dacorum Local Plan – A key document for all who care about protecting our local green landscape
- Consultation on Dacorum Borough Council Local Plan 2020-38 closes 7 February 2021
- Public virtual meeting organised by the Chiltern Society on 14 January 2021
Full details can be found: www.dacorum.gov.uk/localplan which includes a useful summary.
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
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This virtual meeting which is open to all is organised by the Chiltern Society which will present its position on the DBC Local Plan to Tom Beeston, DBC’s Chief Officer. There will be the opportunity to feed in questions or send those in advance of the meeting. The CCG is very grateful to the Chiltern Society for organising this conference. Please share info on this important opportunity as widely as you can. Use the above link for full details of how to participate.
CCG is currently working on its response to the Local Plan, so do let us know asap if there are points which you wish us to include, in addition to making your own response. The CCG is also in the process of arranging a virtual meeting with Gagan Mohindra, so again do let us know of anything which you’d like raised.
National Air Traffic Service (NATS) & LLA consultation on changes to airspace
National Air Traffic Service (NATS) & LLA consultation on changes to airspace closes 5 February 2021
This statutory consultation proposes changes to arrivals into LLA and Stansted. These will directly affect the Chilterns and other parts of Hertfordshire, so do please find time to look at the plans and make a considered response. You can access the documents and how to respond to the consultation via the above link.
The CCG will be responding to this important Consultation and again, do let us know asap of any issues which you’d like included.
Petitions to Sign
- HS2 – A PETITION WITH REAL POTENTIAL TO BRING CHANGE
‘Stop work on HS2 immediately and hold a new vote to repeal the legislation’: Important petition launched by Chris Packham, now gaining momentum. Please help it reach 100,000 votes which should lead to consideration for Parliamentary debate.
- NIGHT FLIGHTS – AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHALLENGE THESE
This new petition has been launched by the Aviation Community Forum. Night flights are a real issue in normal times for the Chilterns, especially operating into/out of LLA and can not only cause health hazards, but research has shown they are likely to be greater air pollutants than day time flights.
Thank you for your time and for any action which you are able to undertake.