Three large areas of Green Belt could be lost this year to housing development around Hemel Hempstead and Tring if current plans are approved.
Dacorum Borough Council wants to bring forward proposals to build 1,500 houses in what many consider a knee-jerk reaction to perceived housing demand in the area.
Green Belt is, of course, supposed to be protected and developed only in exceptional circumstances. Yet this latest move is unlikely to be the end of the Green Belt land grab. Dacorum and neighbouring Hertfordshire local authorities are planing to review Green Belt as part of a wholesale review of their Local Plan.
The Government continues to insist the Green Belt is safe in its hands. Yet the reality is many local authorities are steadily whittling it away as they try and cope with the Government’s unrealistic method of calculating future housing demand.
The public consultation on this latest onslaught on the Green Belt – featured as part of Dacorum’s Site Allocations Modifications document – ends at midnight at Sunday 5 February, 2017. You can comment here and/or speak to your local councillors.
The Chiltern Society has launched a planning campaign highlighting the unprecedented threat to the Chilterns from development and suggesting ideas to ease the pressure. For more details about the work we’re doing, please see our planning pages. Anyone interested in helping to protect the Chilterns from these sorts of threats by joining our team of Planning Field Officers should contact us on 01494 771250 for further details.