Housing Plan Consultation Period 18 December to 6 February

 

Many Baldock residents attended the Council Meeting on 27 November to hear the councillors vote on whether to pass the preferred option Local Plan (Click here to view the Local Plan) on to public consultation. Although numerous councillors did not agree with the Plan itself, pressure from political parties and, importantly, the need for an official Plan to be in place in order to prevent further undesirable building applications being passed by the Planning Inspector, meant that the councillors voted in favour of putting it through. This decision was expected: it should not in any way dampen our resolve to fight on for a better and fairer housing plan.

While North Hertfordshire does need new, affordable houses, they should be built and distributed in a way that enables the area to retain its reputation as a desirable place to live and allows existing communities to thrive and prosper. The current Plan fails to ensure this, particularly for Baldock. . It will allow 3591 new houses to be built around around Baldock. 2800 of these will be on a site referred to as the Blackhorse Farm site, which is to the right of North Road stretching East as far as Bygrave. The majority of the remainder will be to the south of the Clothall common estate. Click here to view the latest map included in local plan.

The implications of this current Plan for Baldock are the following:

  1. Baldock will grow by 83% by 2031
  2. The Green Belt status will be removed from the land to accommodate this large development site.
  3. Baldock will lose Grade 2 agricultural land and the produce from it.
  4. Congestion will increase in and around the town. North Road is already a traffic jam especially at rush hour and increased commuting will congest it further.
  5. The new developments are very likely to become commuter dormitories.
  6. Schools will be oversubscribed for several years
  7. All amenities will be overstretched unless and until new infrastructure is built

It is in the hands of the people of Baldock to prevent this Plan and its implications from being realised.

The official consultation period began on 18 December and runs through to 6 February. This is when you, the public, have a chance to air your views. You can do this via the form on the NHDC website or by posting letters to councillors. Anything that you send in using these methods will be taken into account when the plan is reviewed and the formal Local Plan is prepared. It will also be passed on to the Planning Inspector when he assesses the formal Plan. Councillor David Levett is the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Enterprise so make sure you send correspondence to him if no one else.

Although the councillors currently in office have not necessarily discarded any representations made to date, it is not official policy that they must consider them when making the next version of the Plan. In any case, previous representations will not be passed on to the Inspector at the later review stage. Due to this, it is strongly encouraged that you resend any comments you have already sent, enhancing them wherever you can.

Making Representations to the Council via the Website

The form for making representations can be found on the NHDC website Click Here

You will have to register to leave a comment.

Writing to the Council

Names and contact details of all NHDC and County Councillors can be found on the Hertfordshire County Council website as well as this one, and upon request at the Post Office on Whitehorse Street.

You can write to NHDC Councillors at the following address:

Council Offices, Gernon Road, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 3JF

Letters can be sent to County Councillors at:

Hertfordshire County Council, County Hall, Pegs Lane, Hertford, Herts, SG13 8DQ

You can also write individual emails to councillors, or send them a copy of the comments you have submitted via the official NHDC form for representations (see above). We have a link to automatically fill in addresses on your emails.
Click here to automatically fill in your email fields

While any comments are better than none, there are a few ways to ensure that they are read and acted upon. There is a lot of information and advice elsewhere on this website, but the main points to bear in mind when writing are…

  1. Write what you think about the plans, and if you do not agree with them, explain clearly in your own words the reasons for this
  2. Take as wide a view of the situation as you can while making your point – avoid coming across as a NIMBY
  3. Include any evidence of issues or problems to back up your statement
  4. Suggest how the plan could be changed to improve it, if you can

Look out for publicity regarding public meetings in January: they will give more information about the proposals and making representations, as well as providing a forum for questions to be asked. The Save Rural Baldock website will also be kept up to date with all of the information available, and can offer help with any issues or problems regarding the process.

It is vital that everyone who has objections to the plan keeps up the pressure on councillors and planners throughout this process: our voices have to be heard.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to help create a better housing plan for Baldock.

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2 Responses to Housing Plan Consultation Period 18 December to 6 February

  1. Julian Richards says:

    Because NHDC and HCC don’t give a damn – as long as it doesn’t affect them personally. They’ll only listen if we can kick them out into opposition….

  2. Jayne Collins says:

    Our Nation has fought for centuries for England’s green and pleasant land……why give it all up now…….when it’s not necessary.

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