Determination of controversial Codicote housing plan on Green Belt land delayed

PUBLISHED: 09:48 17 November 2020 | UPDATED: 09:48 17 November 2020

The proposed development of 167 homes on Green Belt land in Codicote will not be determined until the new year.

The proposed development of 167 homes on Green Belt land in Codicote will not be determined until the new year.

Archant

The determination of a controversial planning application for more than 160 homes on Green Belt land has been delayed.

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland. Picture: ArchantStevenage MP Stephen McPartland. Picture: Archant

Plans to build 167 homes on land south of Heath Lane in Codicote have led to more than 250 people lodging formal objections with the planning authority North Hertfordshire District Council. Concerns include traffic congestion, insufficient infrastructure and the destruction of Green Belt land.

The land could be removed from Green Belt allocation to permit development if NHDC’s draft Local Plan is approved by the Secretary of State.

Crucially, however, the planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State to carry out an independent examination of the Local Plan - which will shape housing policy up to 2031 and lead to around 14,000 new homes in the district - has yet to approve it due to reservations relating in part to the use of Green Belt.

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Last week Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland raised concerns that NHDC’s Planning Control Committee was due to determine the Codicote planning application this Thursday, before the Local Plan has been finalised and approved.

He wrote to both NHDC and the Secretary of State appalled the application was being considered “prior to any formal approval of its removal from the Green Belt,” as “the planning inspector has not yet determined whether it should be included in the Local Plan”.

Mr McPartland suggested a premature decision by NHDC could “prejudice the planning inspector’s decision on whether this land should be included in the Local Plan or not”.

On Monday, NHDC confirmed that determination of the application has now been delayed until next year.

A spokesman for the council said: “The planning application has now been delayed at the request of the applicant, with the applicant agreeing to the statutory determination period being extended to February 12 next year from late this month. We have agreed to this request and the application will be considered at a future Planning Control Committee in the new year.”

If you wish to submit a comment about the application to NHDC, visit pa2.north-herts.gov.uk/online-applications and search for 18/02722/FP by December 2.


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