We hope you’re all enjoying the summer and our wonderful Chiltern countryside, despite the vagaries of weather recently. Here’s some latest news on HS2, Luton Airport, the Chilterns AONB and Planning courtesy of Chiltern Countryside Group.
HS2 to be Debated in Parliament September 2021
Construction of HS2 continues with much disruption and damage to the Chilterns landscape and of course, hugely escalating costs. Yet, all is not lost, as the petition to Government launched by Chris Packham in early 2021, which many of you will have signed:
‘Stop work on HS2 immediately and hold a new vote to repeal the legislation‘. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/563380 has successfully passed through the Committee stage and will be debated in Parliament on 13 September 2021.
This is a key opportunity to lobby and influence your MP, many of whom in the Chilterns are newly elected, to ask them to vote for the motion and stop HS2 from any further development. MPs are currently in recess so we would suggest you do this at the end of August, or no later than the first week of September. There are, as we all know, numerous absolutely sensible reasons why this vanity project should be stopped, not least the hugely rising costs, the effect of the COVID pandemic on so many areas of public and individual daily life which seriously damage its business case and of course, our precious environment.
If you would like help in writing to your MP along the lines above, do please get in touch. Your MP’s contact details will be found on their website, if you just Google their name.
London Luton Airport
LLA has not, of course, escaped the drastic impact of COVID upon the travel industry, particularly overseas flights, and whilst we sympathise with all who have lost their jobs and businesses, or cannot visit loved ones overseas, it has been just so wonderful to have clear, tranquil skies, undisturbed nights and fresher, clean air to breathe. As you’ll all be aware, travel is now beginning to open up again and LLA has progressed with its planning application to Luton Borough Council for expansion. If you registered comments and/or objections before, we are assured these will still stand when the application is considered by Council. We will keep you advised of any developments as we become aware.
It has become apparent, however, that many of those flights which are operating are using less than environmentally aware procedures, flying at much lower levels (1000ft makes a huge difference in noise impact on the ground), over settlements and operating the older, noisier aircraft. Most flights have been operated over the Chilterns by Wizz airline, whose aircraft seem particularly noisy and routes frequently appear to pay scant attention to the ‘normal’ pre-COVID flight paths, commonly on Easterly arrivals.
To avoid these operations becoming more frequently used when air travel gets back to a more normal situation, whenever you are disturbed now, day or night, please, please complain to LLA with as much information as you can on the disturbance. It really is imperative that as many of us as possible do not ignore the fewer planes which do disturb to avoid this situation escalating as operations increase.
Make your complaint using the LLA website or email: email@example.com.
Planning in the Chilterns
Pre-Planning Application Public Consultation on development of 75 new homes in Ivinghoe
Land South of Church Road, Ivinghoe has been earmarked for possible development of 75 new homes by CALA Homes, who are running a public consultation and virtual exhibition in advance of submitting a planning application in the coming months. The public is invited to offer comments via the project’s website: churchroadivinghoe.co.uk or the project team on 0800 298 7040 by Friday 30 July 2021.
This is a sensitive site on the edge of the village, which would see a large increase in the number of homes, abutting the Chilterns AONB and visible from key points such as Ivinghoe Beacon and the approach to Pitstone Windmill. Do please take this opportunity to make the developer aware of your thoughts and concerns.
Dacorum Local Plan developments
Dacorum Borough Council has now published a summary of responses to its recent public consultation on the emerging Local Plan 2021-38. The report can be read here.
DBC state: ‘The summary report was presented to our Strategic Planning and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee (SPAEOSC) (30 June 2021) for noting, together with a report setting out the recommended next steps for the Local Plan. As SPAEOSC is not a decision-making body it will be for Cabinet to agree the next steps.
‘At its meeting in July, Cabinet will decide on how to progress the Local Plan, taking account of any views expressed by members of SPAEOSC. For example, it will consider if any further work needs to be done to investigate whether the level of growth required by the Government’s Standard Methodology is appropriate for Dacorum, given the presence of the Green Belt, Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Chilterns Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation.
‘We will also be carrying out further analysis of urban capacity across the borough to determine if the impact on the Green Belt can be reduced, and re-examining matters that have changed following the COVID-19 pandemic. This means the publication of the Local Plan will be deferred.
‘The Local Plan will also align itself with the development of the new Hemel Place Strategy, which was endorsed by Cabinet on 20 April 2021. This is part of a multi-agency programme to develop an ambitious vision for the future transformation of the town.
‘We will prepare a revised Local Development Scheme setting out the programme as soon as practicable.
‘For further information, including the full Emerging Strategy for Growth document, please see our New Dacorum Local Plan (to 2038) page.’