Due to a Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council error, if you have not commented on the Core Strategy, and want to save our Hatfield green belt, then you have until 23:59 tonight to respond online.
Time is running out to tell the Council about any objections you may have to the Proposed Core Strategy.
So if you DO want to save our Hatfield green belt and DON’T want heavily congested roads, increased crime, longer waiting times to get into Dentists and GP’s, no decent schools for your children, etc. then please get your comments registered with the council.
Don’t think that your voice is not important, it really is. If we don’t get enough residents filling out the forms on paper or online then we have very little chance of making any difference. Every single one of you is needed, don’t think that you don’t need to do it because your neighbours have, they haven’t. We are still way short of the amount of comments that we need to make the Council sit up and listen.
If you are having any problems filling out the forms (you are not the only one!), online or on paper then please get in touch with any of the committee and we will help you. The Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council seem to have made it as difficult as possible! Remember that every single member of your household is allowed to comment.
If you have completed a paper form but have not had time to drop it into the Council, then please give it to one of the committee and we will make sure that it gets there.
The close date for getting your comment registered is tomorrow 31st January 2013, at 4:45 pm.
To get in touch with the committee click here.
For information on how to get your comment registered click here.
CPRE briefing note – taken from the CPRE website http://www.cpreherts.org.uk/
‘WELWYN HATFIELD EMERGING CORE STRATEGY’ and ‘LAND FOR HOUSING
OUTSIDE URBAN AREAS’ CONSULTATION: CPRE HERTFORDSHIRE BRIEFING NOTE
CPRE Hertfordshire urges residents of Welwyn Hatfield and the neighbouring areas in St. Albans and East Herts, to respond to Welwyn Hatfield Council’s current consultation because of the potential impact of its proposals for new Housing on the Green Belt. The documents raise important issues which we feel should be drawn to public attention. The wide press support, and public interest in the ‘No Way To 10K’ campaign only a couple of years ago, in which the community in Welwyn Hatfield expressed its opposition to development in the Green Belt, means we are hopeful that residents will make their views on the consultation known to the Council and their Councillors. The consultation period runs until the 31 January 2013.
Two documents are out for consultation: an ‘Emerging Core Strategy’ and ‘Land For Housing Outside The Urban Areas’. The first is the Council’s proposed overall strategy for the development of Welwyn Hatfield until 2029. The second sets out potential development sites in the Green Belt.
The two documents have to be read together in order to understand the proposals – regrettably neither document makes this clear.
The main reason why they need to be read together is because the ‘Emerging Core Strategy’ contains information which amplifies the significance of the potential development sites that are in the ‘Land For Housing Outside The Urban Areas’ document, which in turn raises questions about the proposed ‘Strategy’.
Paragraph 1.26 of ‘Land For Housing Outside The Urban Areas’ states that the ‘Emerging Core Strategy’ proposes the setting of a requirement for 7,200 new houses up to 2029, 6,800 of which would be provided in Welwyn Hatfield, with the balance being built on adjoining land in St. Albans and East Herts Districts.To meet this target, some of the 6,800 houses would have to be built in the Green Belt.
In order to ensure that Green Belt boundaries will not need to be moved again after 2029, the document states that even more Green Belt land will have to be set aside for development, but this is not quantified. Only by going to the ‘Emerging Core Strategy’ do you find out in paragraph 5.13 that the actual target is for 9,200 new houses, most of which would have to be built in the Green Belt.
This very important point is not made clear. Paragraph 6.24 merely states that around 45% of all new housing would take place on previously-developed land. That surely means that 55% (over 5,000 houses) would have to be built on Green Belt land.
‘Land For Housing Outside The Urban Areas’ sets out nine sites which, in total, could accommodate 6,480 houses in the Green Belt. This rises to 6,940 if the potential areas in St. Albans and East Herts are also included. The Council declares that five of those sites are “not suitable to take forward”, so why is the Council including them in the consultation if it has already discounted them?
Policy CS4 in the ‘Emerging Core Strategy’ identifies ‘Broad Areas of Growth’ to the northeast of Welwyn Garden City at Panshanger Airfield (WGC 4) and between Hatfield Garden Village and Stanborough (HAT 1), which suggests that the Council intends to include these, whatever the outcome of the consultation. This in effect leaves only two sites, West of Ellenbrook (HAT 3) and South of Welwyn Garden City (WGC1), on which genuine consultation appears to be taking place.
All of the Council’s favoured sites taken together could contribute a total of 3,015 houses in the Welwyn Hatfield Green Belt (3,535 if the proposed expansions into St Albans and East Herts are included). If the figure proposed in the ‘Emerging Core Strategy’ is really 5,960, where is the shortfall to be found? Shouldn’t that be part of the consultation? In reality, consultation on ‘Land For Housing Outside Urban Areas’ is only on a first release of development sites in the Green Belt. Although we believe the Council would have to repeat this process in order to justify development of another wave of additional housing sites in the Green Belt, CPRE Hertfordshire considers that Welwyn Hatfield should be transparent now about the consequences of its proposed strategy for the Green Belt.
The following press release has been taken from the CPRE Hertfordshire website – http://www.cpreherts.org.uk/
10 January 2013
TRUE THREAT TO GREEN BELT NOT SPELT OUT
IN WELWYN HATFIELD CONSULTATIONS
Two documents with a deadline of 31 January are out for consultation in the Welwyn Hatfield area. The ‘Emerging Core Strategy’ is the Council’s proposed overall strategy for the development of Welwyn Hatfield until 2029. ‘Land for Housing Outside the Urban Areas’ sets out the council’s preferred development sites in the Green Belt. Countryside campaigners CPRE Hertfordshire urge residents of Welwyn Hatfield and the neighbouring areas in St. Albans and East Herts, to respond to both because of the potential impact of their proposals for new Housing on the Green Belt.
The ‘Emerging Core Strategy’ proposes a target of 7,200 new houses up to 2029, 6,800 of which would be in Welwyn Hatfield, and 400 on adjoining land in St. Albans and East Herts Districts. However the Council wishes to set a further target to provide land for an additional 2,000 new houses which would have to be built in the Green Belt. This extra land is to ensure that Green Belt boundaries would not be changed again immediately after 2029. In total this would mean over 5,000 new houses in the Green Belt.
So, in reality, consultation on ‘Land For Housing Outside Urban Areas’ is only about a first release of development sites in the Green Belt. We believe the Council would have to repeat the current process in future in order to justify the further wave of additional housing sites in the Green Belt beyond 2029.
This major consequence of the Council’s proposals is not clear unless the two consultation documents are read together. Regrettably neither of them makes this clear. CPRE Hertfordshire is calling for Welwyn Hatfield to be transparent about the full consequences for the Green Belt of its proposed strategy.
Kevin Fitzgerald, CPRE Hertfordshire Honorary Director, noted: ‘The wide press support and public interest in the ‘No Way To 10K’ campaign only a couple of years ago, when people in Welwyn Hatfield opposed development in the Green Belt, means we are hopeful that residents will make their views known to the Council and their Councillors, and persuade them to be up front about their proposals, and reconsider them.’ CPRE Hertfordshire has prepared a short briefing note on the consultation which is available on its website, www.cpreherts.org.uk and urges people to have their say before the Council’s 31 January deadline.
Briefing Note Attached – ends, Notes to Editors follow – Notes to Editors
1. CPRE Hertfordshire’s principal aim is to safeguard the natural environment of the county, especially the Green Belt and other protected areas. We also seek to protect the built environment, particularly historic settlements and buildings. Our President is Sir Simon Bowes Lyon, KCVO. We have around 1800 members. www.cpreherts.org.uk
2. CPRE Hertfordshire is the County Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England. CPRE fights for a better future for the English countryside. We work locally and nationally to protect, shape and enhance a beautiful, thriving countryside for everyone to value and enjoy. Our members are united in their love for England’s landscapes and rural communities, and stand up for the countryside, so it can continue to sustain, enchant and inspire future generations. Founded in 1926, President: Sir Andrew Motion, Patron: Her Majesty The Queen. www.cpre.org.uk
3. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Kevin FitzGerald, Hon. Director, CPRE Hertfordshire, tel. 07949 338044, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: You only have until 4:45 p.m. on 31st January to register your comments on the Core Strategy documents.
The Garden Village Preservation Society held another well attended Hatfield residents meeting last night 23rd January.
A big thank you to all who attended, to the refreshment volunteers, and to those of you who have donated money or have volunteered to help in the future. We really appreciate your support and generosity.
Please remember to spread the word, far and wide, and get as many people as you can to send in their comments either online or on the paper forms. We only have 7 days left until the end of the consultation period.
If you need any help with completing your forms, either online or on the paper versions, then please get in touch here with any of the committee members and we will help you.