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16/10/2018

Brokenshire removes holding direction on East Herts Plan

Words: Laura Edgar
Housing secretary James Brokenshire / Chris McAndrew

Housing secretary James Brokenshire has withdrawn the holding direction on the East Hertfordshire District Local Plan, saying he is satisfied that the approach to the plan is ‘consistent with the relevant national policy’.

The direction was issued in September after the housing secretary received several requests to intervene to prevent the plan from being adopted, notably from Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland and the Hertfordshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural (CPRE).

These requests related to green belt release, housing requirements and infrastructure provision.

Brokenshire explains in a letter to the council that he has considered the inspector’s examination report on the plan and other correspondence he received, including from the council.

He notes that the inspector set out in the reports that there had been a “rigorous process of balancing the importance of the green belt and the impact of developing against the benefits”. Also, the report details that there is an acute need for housing in the area and each allocated site was “the most sustainable”.

The holding direction was therefore lifted.

Linda Haysey, leader of East Herts Council, said: “Following the issue of the holding direction, the council has been working with [the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government] to come to a speedy resolution and prevent development taking place in areas that have not been identified as suitable.

“We are pleased that our work to create a sound plan has been recognised and look forward to pressing ahead with adopting the plan and giving our residents and businesses some assurances for the future of our district."

The council will hold an extraordinary council meeting on 23 October to vote on official adoption of the plan.

Brokenshire's letter can be found here on the UK Government website (pdf).

Image credit | Chris McAndrew

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