Agenda item



The Head of Planning made a presentation to the Panel giving an update following the last meeting and information on the Preferred Strategy.


Local Plan


Submitted Plan for 12,000 homes

Inspector concerned it does not meet objective need

Objective Assessment of Need (OAN) is 16,000 homes 2016-2036

Green Belt Study Stage 3

Received 144 new and re-promoted to call-for-sites

Received 10,200+ representations to call-for-sites consultation

87% of comments were objections to sites

Site Selection process = HELAA sieving + Site Selection Background Paper

Sustainability Appraisal of various options

Preferred Strategy


Preferred Strategy


Virtually achieves OAN, good balance between housing and employment land, selects lowest harm green belt sites, does not select more sites than necessary

Delivers 15,952 homes

Selects 36 out of 144 promoted sites

Updated position on completions, commitments and windfalls

Maximises capacity on urban sites

Keeps all Submitted Local Plan sites + increases capacity on some sites

Allocation of some employment land for housing –achieves good balance

Releases some new sites from green belt

(but no new high harm sites)


Preferred Strategy


Completions 2016-2019


Commitments (planning permissions)


Windfall assumption


Existing allocations in Submitted Local Plan


+ additional capacity from permissions/applications


+ additional capacity from modifications


New sites


Small sites (not in windfall)







Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel (CPPP) meeting on 23 January 2020


PB1 –investigate opportunities

Nor1 –investigate opportunities

Symondshyde + HAT1 impacts on Coopers Green Lane

Pea106 –protect employment

Select StL5 instead of StL13 at Lemsford

Keep Lemsford and Stanborough in green belt

Concern about extra housing at Panshanger

Concern about extra housing at Wheat Quarter


Option to: keep MODERATE, remove MODERATE-HIGH, remove HIGH sites


More climate change policies

Need to balance housing need ‘v’ green belt harm

16,000 could be irreparable harm




Stage 6 hearing session round up:


“Unless there are sound planning reasons for not doing so, in the first instance, the totality of all of the dwellings assumed to be built during the plan period, on sites put forward in the adopted plan, must be capable of meeting, as a minimum, the full objective assessed housing need for at least the plan period”


This means:


The closer the selected target is to the OAN of 16,000 homes, the greater the likelihood that the plan will be found sound




Risk of judicial challenge

Removal of some sites may make it difficult to deliver new infrastructure

Risk that inspector suspends examination

Risk that inspector finds plan unsound

Risk that government could instruct another body to prepare plan

Lack of five year housing land supply

May struggle to resist proposals for brownfield sites and employment land

May start receiving speculative green belt planning applications

Risk of planning by appeal and appeal costs




23 Jan, 29 Jan, 30 Jan

CPPP to debate > CPPP to decide > Cabinet

10 Feb –22 March

Public consultation

w/c 9 March

Hearing sessions –South BGS and Symondshyde

23 March –5 May

Local Election purdah

Officers to analyse representations

Early May

Inspector to issue hearing questions

w/c 25 May

CPPP to debate and decide

w/c 1 June

Council to submit new sites

June 2020

Hearing sessions –new sites


Maps (attached to these Minutes)


Show existing sites in Submitted Local Plan in purple

Show newly promoted sites that passed HELAA Stage 2 in red

Show sites in preferred Strategy in red

Show sites that would be red


Identifies capacity of each site

·         Capacity based on best available information

·         Could increase or decrease at planning application stage


Identifies green belt harm rating of each site

Supporting documents: