Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE
Contact: Gurdip Paddan
To note any substitution of Panel Members in accordance with Council Procedure Rules.
The following substitution of Panel Members had been made in accordance with Council Procedure rules 19-22:-
Councillor R. Lass for Councillor S. Boulton.
Councillor S. Thusu for Councillor R. Kingsbury.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors S. Boulton and T. Kingsbury.
To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 January 2020 (previously circulated).
The Minutes of the meeting held on 13 January 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS BY MEMBERS
To note declarations of Members’ disclosable pecuniary interests, non-disclosable pecuniary interests and non-pecuniary interests in respect of items on this Agenda.
Councillor P. Zukowskyj declared a non-pecuniary interest in items on the agenda as appropriate by virtue of being Members of Hertfordshire County Council.
Up to thirty minutes will be made available for questions from members of the public on issues relating to the work of the Committee and to receive any petitions.
1. Nigel Matthews – Chairman North Mymms District Green Belt Society
"The North Mymms District Green Belt society is extremely concerned about the massive allocation of Green Belt land in the Parish of North Mymms; about the disproportionate impact of the proposed housing allocations upon the Parish as a whole and in particular at Welham Green and Bell Bar/Brookmans Park. There appears to have been no consideration by the Council of the overwhelming effect that this would have on the existing communities, in terms of the pressures on infrastructure, the provision of services and the damage to the environment. Will the Council address these issues? If the Council proceeds with these proposals will they ensure that all necessary infrastructure, including schools, roads and medical services are in place before the housing developments are functional.”
Welwyn Hatfield response
In so far as infrastructure is concerned, the Council has been in contact at various stages of the Local Plan process with key infrastructure providers, including Hertfordshire County Council on schools planning and transport, and the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group on provision of health facilities. We have received recent updates from these bodies, and the updates will form part of a revised Infrastructure Delivery Plan to be published shortly.
The Site Selection Background Paper includes a section on infrastructure implications for every settlement likely to receive growth.
The Council will use its very best endeavours, for example through the use of planning obligations and or CIL, to ensure that necessary infrastructure is delivered in a timely fashion to serve new development, however the responsibility for delivering such infrastructure ultimately rests with the relevant providers.
2. Howard Dawson
“I am a resident of Welham Green and a Regulation 19 party to the Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan Examination. I will be attending the CPPP meeting on 23 January and wish to submit my question in person.
I have made numerous representations to the Local Plan Examination predicting that the Council would allocate a significant number of new housing sites in Welham Green, but would not make any significant site allocations in Brookmans Park. My prediction has proved to be true.
In Welham Green, the Council proposes the allocation of seven sites for residential development and one site for a new 2 Form Entry primary school. All of these sites are physically within or adjoining Welham Green and will become an inclusive part of the community. The total proposed additional housing provision in Welham Green is 592 new dwellings.
In Cuffley, the Council proposes seven site allocations for 485 new homes on sites which are all within or adjoining Cuffley and will become an inclusive part of the community.
In Brookmans Park, the Council now proposes the allocation of just three sites within the village for a total of 149 new dwellings. However, in order to give the false impression of significant new housing sites in Brookmans Park, the Council has included two sites in Bell Bar for 404 new dwellings and a site to the ... view the full minutes text for item 50.
Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the Local Plan proposed alteration – additional sites. The purpose of this report is to consider which new sites should be proposed to the inspector for inclusion in the Local Plan.
Members considered the report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the Local Plan proposed alterations – additional sites. The report noted that the Council had submitted the Local Plan for public examination in May 2017. The Inspector had advised that the Plan was found not be sound as submitted, as it does not meet the objectively assessed need for housing. The Council therefore undertook a further call-for-sites exercise in January-February 2019 and consulted on all of the suggested sites in May-June 2019.
The purpose of the report was to consider which new sites should be proposed to the Inspector for inclusion in the Local Plan. It also reported on the results of the Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) and the updated Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA). The documents had been published on the Local Plan website.
It considered any policy implications associated with sites which are considered to be technically ‘suitable’ coming forward and the cumulative impact associated with combination of sites.
The report highlighted that there were a number of other scenarios to achieve a total of 15,952 dwellings. It also discussed the approaches which would avoid all high harm to the Green Belt to achieve 14,958 dwellings; also made reference to maximise protection of employment land, delivery on all available sites and an alternative scenario which would retain existing sites in the Submitted Local Plan and only adds in new urban sites to achieve 13,994 dwellings.
Members received a presentation on the Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan
Site Selection Background Paper 2019, which included:
· Government Policies
· Preferred Strategy
· Employment Land
· Maps – showing the areas proposed and boundaries
· Rural Areas – preferred strategy and categories
· Inspector’s statement
The Panel raised and discussed the following points:
· Concern was raised in respect of ‘What is a sound Plan’ and that moderate to high harm to Green Belt should not be accepted. Also why 16k homes being built in this area without sufficient employment – were these homes for people working in London? Therefore contributing to pollution.
· Members discussed the impact of the Government’s policy and how this had changed and how it will affect the delivery of homes.
· HAT11 area not having a defensible green belt boundary.
· The additional 90 homes proposed at Panshanger.
· Is the development sustainable – Officers explained that the Council had a duty to co-operate and conversations have taken place with the neighbouring authorities; who indicated that they could not support any additional housing in their district/borough.
· It was also noted that at the last SOSC meeting the Committee agreed the Sports Strategy which includes a recommendation for a masterplan for Gosling Park to consider the future of sports provision including the ski slope.
· The green corridor to be retained around the airfield site (Panshanger) due to its health benefits for the community. Also protection of wildlife/natural habitat.
· Members commended the phenomenal work that has been undertaken by the Head of Planning and his Team.
· Comments were ... view the full minutes text for item 51.