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NHDC fails to justify Local Plan proposals to remove Green Belt

Tuesday, 29 November 2016 15:35

North Hertfordshire countryside North Hertfordshire countryside

Countryside campaigners CPRE Hertfordshire have strongly criticised the North Herts. District Local Plan

The Plan sets out proposed development in the District up to 2031. The Council fails to justify a long series of proposals for the removal of land from the Green Belt around towns and villages. This flies in the face of the Government’s clear policy to protect the Green Belt. CPRE Hertfordshire Honorary Director Kevin FitzGerald said:-

“Government Ministers have stated repeatedly that Green Belt boundaries should only be changed in exceptional circumstances and with community support. The Council have not set out any exceptional circumstances to justify this huge potential loss of Green Belt and there is little evidence of community support. Quite the opposite, in fact.”

Kevin continued

“Ministers have also made it clear that meeting councils’ “objectively assessed housing needs” does not justify changing Green Belt boundaries and this has been confirmed in a court case.”

CPRE believes the Council has not considered all reasonable alternative approaches to meeting the District’s development needs, particularly when setting a Housing Target. A realistic figure for housing capacity from a greater range of sources including windfall sites, changes of use, and other measures promoting the recycling of previously developed land and property, should have been included. The Housing Target should reflect both development needs and the nationally important constraint of the Green Belt and the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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