Planning Update Delays
As a result of the Covid 19 pandemic, the United Kingdom entered a nationwide lockdown on the 23rd of March 2020. This meant that all non-essential services were required to either close or work remotely where possible. This resulted in a number of local authority services being suspended.
With the current easing of the lockdown, we can confirm that our planning team in the UK are engaging with all the relevant authorities to ascertain the progress of all our sites.
We are treating this as a matter of urgency and we hope to have some updates to share with you in the next 2 to 3 weeks.
Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, UK
The site is located on the north eastern edge of Kings Langley and is approximately 42 acres in size. The site is generally level and is currently used for pastoral use. Kings Langley is a small town, close to the important settlement of Hemel Hempstead in western Hertfordshire, critical commuter belt for London.
Our Planning Department Comments
- Kings Langley falls under the Dacorum Borough Council who are currently preparing a new Local Plan designed to cover the plan period until 2036. The new plan has recently commenced with the Issues and Options Consultation which has identified that, taking into account central Government's draft housing need methodology, Dacorum will need to provide 25,300 houses. Of this, Kings Langley has been identified as needing to contribute 1000 homes.
- The Local Authority have acknowledged that there will be a need for Green Belt release in order to meet the majority of the identified housing within the Borough and a Green Belt review has commenced to this end. The review, being held across two stages, informed the draft Site Appraisal Schedule that formed part of the Issues and Options draft of the Local Plan. Stage 1 identified our site as being suitable for release from the Green Belt for development and was recommended for further assessment in Stage 2. Alongside this, the landscape was assessed as having a high capacity to accommodate development. The final draft Schedule of Site Appraisals does not include our site as it was not formerly promoted at the time, however, the site directly to the south, known as Hill Farm, was assessed positively as being able to deliver 300 homes towards the 1000 home target. This sets an excellent precedent for our site as both sites are adjacent and are similar in nature.
- Given the above, we believe our site provides an excellent opportunity for promotion within the current draft Local Plan for successful allocation in 4 – 6 years.
Latest Planning Update
Whilst Kings Langley is our newest site, work on the emerging Local Plan and Joint Spatial Plan has already commenced and is reasonably advanced albeit still in the early stages of preparation.
Our site is being promoted on the basis of it already being identified through the Green Belt review as being recommended for release for development as well as the site to our south having already been given tentative draft approval for up to 300 homes.
Alongside the preparatory work being carried out to support our application, we have made representations to the June 2020 regulations. The next round of cunsultations will be Issues and Options and is scheduled for Q2 2021 with further submissions through the course of 2021 and into early 2022. We expect to have further feedback by mid 2021.