The final stages of the Neighbourhood Plan journey :
28th SEPTEMBER – Consultion on the Shenley Plan 1st Draft Pre-Submission Plan Regulation 14 ended
OCTOBER/ NOVEMBER – All Reg. 14 responses will be analysed and a comprehensive summary including a detailed Consultation statement will be prepared. We will also write a Basic Conditions Statement as required by law. Both reports will be put on the Village website, including all consultee letters. In light of all your comments and the input from the statutory consultees appropriate changes will be made to the draft Shenley Plan. There will then be an independent health check service – provided by the government.
25th JANUARY – Regulation 16 – Consultation on amended Draft Plan carried out by Hertsmere Borough Council, our Local Authority.
END FEBRUARY/MARCH 2019 – Final Shenley Plan will be reviewed by an independent Examiner
APRIL/MAY 2019 – REFERENDUM (if it all goes well)
Delivery, delivery, delivery…PLAN IN PLACE!
The Shenley Plan needs to deliver two important things and hopefully if we have a successful referendum by Summer next year we will then have our first bit of protection. We particularly want:
To protect our Green belt and keep the number of new homes in Shenley Parish to 220 or less if we can
We want to put the homes we have to have in the best place for the Village (the preferred site) and make sure they are well designed homes of the sort the community needs.
Hertsmere have told us they would like 500 to 1,000 homes in the village plus 4,000 to 6,000 in a New Garden Village on ‘Willows Farm/De Havilland Aircraft Museum land. Our concern with regard to numbers has not changed. In fact we think Hertsmere wants more than 9,000 in Hertsmere as a whole which means they want more in Shenley. The Government has announced that the perceived housing need is actually less which should lead to lower numbers.
At the moment no one can build anywhere in Shenley as it is all Green belt, apart from Porters Park. Make no mistake Hertsmere intends to try and take some of our land out of Green belt. How will they build 9,000 or more homes otherwise? Any land taken out of Green belt always end up having dense development so if they take some of our Green belt it will facilitate a dense urban development similar to Porters Park. No-one wants that. We do not want a dense development anywhere.
We want a rural open development with good design and the mix of housing we need for our community – affordable housing for our young people and young families and smaller suitable properties for our senior residents to downsize to. This is what the Housing & Development Survey 2017, 557 responses, told us we need.
The idea that we should split the 220 or less homes around the village is in our view a very dangerous idea. Most of the sites being put forward in the ‘Call for Sites’ (see the interactive map https://www.hertsmere.gov.uk/Planning–Building-Control/Planning-Policy/Local-Plan/HELAA-Promoted-Sites-Map.aspx. or take a look at our map in the Post Office window) are in excess of 400 per site. The landowners would probably agree to take a share of the 220 but having built 50-80 homes they would come back almost straight away and say take our land out of Green belt and let us build the rest – 50 up to 500 more homes or (horrific thought) up to 1,450 more homes!! We are trying really hard not to get any of the big developers involved for that very reason.
Bloor Homes have started building 300 homes down at Harperbury. Many of you have seen the new roundabout. They have approached Hertsmere regarding the large area of land from their new development up to the edge of Porters Park, which could take 1,500 homes. They must be delighted that a few villagers think some development should take place on this land as it really would give them the opportunity to expand. Before you know it there will be a ‘Harperbury Village’ next to us. That could lead to the back of Porters Park next to the Cricket Club being developed. That is the risk! The same can be said of the Comer Homes land (Rectory Farm land). Let them build 80 homes and it will soon be 500 and then it will end up joining up with the new Garden Village – bye-bye Shenley Village.
It is sobering to see that the land put forward for the neighbourhood plan area equates to 5,500 homes and this is without including the 4,000+ for the new village at Willows. Because so much land has been put forward Hertsmere will be in a difficult position with regard to the many developers, as we feel that the developers who are not chosen are likely to challenge Hertsmere’s final decision – whatever that may be. Very worrying.
NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT ORDER – NDO
The site suggested for a possible Neighbourhood Development Order NDO is Site 4. The land next to Wilton End Cottage and South of Radlett Lane, between London Road and the Spinney Path is the only site that can re-balance the village properly. It would join the old and new village and allow us to have a much needed Shenley Community Centre with adequate parking. Parking that could help to alleviate the Shenley Primary drop off and pick up traffic problems. Having a community centre would allow us to have a community café and start a weekly lunch club for senior citizens, something we have been wanting to do for a long time, but currently have no suitable venue to do it. This is why the government funded AECOM’s Site Allocation Assessment, for good planning reasons recommends it – as does our Consultant. Hertsmere Planning has also told us that they believe it is the best site.
To protect ALL the Green belt we as a community need to allow some homes to be built. We can do this in our Green belt with a Neighbourhood Development Order. and the community Right to Build. We can thereby have control. Any NDO development will come about as a result of much consultation with the Community and all the proper assessments being carried out including Traffic studies. The resultant plan would be put to a Referendum. The wonderful thing about it is that we can get the homes we need on the best site and at the same time the development will remain in the Green belt. It will not be reclassified as ‘Urban’ like Porters Park was and be taken out of the Green belt.
Development on Site 4 will not mean cutting down trees or spoiling views. The Spinney and Spinney Path would be fully protected – we know how important they are to the village. Any development would have to follow the Shenley plan guidelines for good rural design and be very open – that is crucial, because the land is in the Greenbelt. There would not be access from Woodhall Lane. Nothing will be done lightly or quickly. If it happens there will be a huge amount of consultation.
Basically, a NDO is a full planning application after doing traffic studies etc. and the community will need to know exactly how many houses, what type and where. To take it any further the landowners will need to put some money forward for this work – until the full impact is known no decision will be made.
We are trying to protect the majority of our Green belt which is used on a daily basis by indicating a suitable area of land that is not accessible by public footpaths and also has good planning reasons to give better infrastructure and connectivity to the village. This could accommodate our total housing need without any other site being developed.
Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.