TRDC Local Plan Update
The process of the council refining and preparing the new Local Plan is continuing apace. This article is intended to update residents on what is happening and how your association is working to represent the views of the residents of Chorleywood.
As discussed in our last monthly newsletter, 25 further sites have been identified across Three Rivers since the consultation was undertaken by the council in December. Four of these additional sites are in Chorleywood. As with the previous sites, we have undertaken an analysis of the sites against the rules laid down in the National Planning Policy Framework, which governs all planning decisions across the country, to identify any issues related to each site. You can view our analysis on the Local Plan page of our website.
As the council is not proposing to undertake a formal consultation on these additional sites at this time, we have been speaking to the council to ensure that local residents have the same opportunity to comment on these as they did on the early list. As a result of this, we can advise you that the email address used for the consultation in December (firstname.lastname@example.org) is being kept open for resident comments and we have been assured that it will be monitored with any comments submitted to it considered by the council in its evaluation of the sites.
The council has now established a separate sub-committee to consider the new Local Plan as it is developed further. The meetings of the sub-committee are, at least partially, being held in public. The next meetings is on the 18th April in the Penn Chamber at Three Rivers House.
Your residents' association is talking to the council on an ongoing basis to ensure that the process adopted is open and transparent, with as many matters being discussed in front of the public as is possible. Unfortunately, the council have decided that, for reasons of commercial sensitivity, they cannot discuss matters relating to individual sites in public at this time. However, there will be an opportunity for residents to comment on the council's final recommendations of which sites should be developed later in the process.
Your association will continue to challenge the council to make elements related to the plan public as soon as possible and to ensure that your views / issues are properly included in their considerations. We will keep residents updated on developments as soon as they become public.
If you have any queries or feel that there is information you can add to our analysis of the sites, please do not hesitate to contact us through email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Housing Targets and the Local Plan
You may have recently read in the local press about the controversy over the government's approach to housing targets which has a significant effect on the number of houses required to be built. Earlier this decade, the government commissioned the Office of National Statistics to develop a new standard methodology to calculate current housing targets for each council in the country. This new methodology was adopted by the government in 2016 using 2014 population and housing data as a base. For Three Rivers, this resulted in the target increasing to be 615 new dwellings required each year.
In 2018, the housing targets were recalculated using the most recent (2016) data which resulted in an overall reduction in the housing target. For Three Rivers, the revised target was calculated to be 496 new dwellings required each year, a 20% reduction.
The government is now proposing to keep the higher target in place, more detail on this can be found here.
A petition has now been raised to have this change debated in parliament. As a residents' association, we support proper debate and consideration of the proposals, particularly as it significantly changes the housing target for the district. If you wish to support this, please find below a link to the petition.
If the petition reaches 100,000 signatures across the country, the petition will have to be considered for debate in parliament.