Hertsmere: 6,000 home development included in Local Plan
Matthew Smith Local Democracy Reporter
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London Colney could more than double in size as Hertsmere Borough Council considers building 6,000 new homes on Green Belt land.
The borough council has confirmed a new Bowmans Cross development in their list of potential sites in their draft Local Plan.
The planned homes will be built on the border between Hertsmere, St Albans district council and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, to the north east of the M25.
It would see the population of the area increase by around 14,000 people – more than double the 10,000 residents living in London Colney today – with the first 2,400 homes expected to be completed within the next 18 years.
The authority has said 40 per cent of all new homes will be affordable housing, while new facilities including a transport hub, four new primary schools and at least one new secondary school will also be built.
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The first 2,400 homes will be completed within the 17-year plan period, with the rest expected in the longer term.
The borough council said that exceptional circumstances exist to justify releasing the site from the Green Belt, including the substantial number of new homes including affordable housing. There will also be protected woodland within the development.
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Its report continues: “Bowmans Cross will be comprehensively planned to facilitate more localised living and will include high quality sustainable transport connections. A bespoke design code will ensure that the development is distinctive and of high quality.”
Hertsmere Borough Council started work on the Local Plan in 2016, and the document outlines the council’s planning strategy up until 2038. Following a consultation on potential sites in July, the council have now outlined the developments that will be progressed.
In total, the council expect to build at least 12,160 new homes, which will include building on the Green Belt as well as brownfield redevelopment.
This averages out as 760 new homes every year until the 2038 deadline.
The plan outlines that 2,765 homes will be built through the redevelopment of urban brownfield sites, while 6,020 will be built through the creation of new neighbourhoods.
The council have outlined 52 new sites for development across the borough, including 14 ‘strategic sites’ and 39 smaller housing sites.
The new neighbourhoods will be in Borehamwood and Elstree, Bushey, Potters Bar and Radlett.
In Borehamwood and Elstree, new neighbourhoods will see 800 homes built off Cowley Hill and 250 homes to the north of Barnet Lane. There will also be the creation of a new Media Quarter in Rowley Lane, to complement the new Sky Studios and planned Hertswood Studios being built in the area.
Property consultancy Bidwells and planning consultancy Woolf Bond Planning have said plans for the Cowley Hill development will include around 350 affordable homes, as well as a country park and onsite education provision.
What else does the plan include?
The draft plan would also see the creation of four new neighbourhoods in Bushey. It would include 800 homes to the south of Elstree Road, 750 homes on land adjacent to Little Bushey Lane and Bournehall Avenue. 350 homes east of Little Bushey Lane, and 200 homes on the site of the Former Bushey Golf and Country Club.
There are two sustainable neighbourhoods proposed for Potters Bar, with 900 homes in Wrotham Park land near Barnet Road, and 500 homes on the former Potters Bar Golf Club.
Hertsmere Borough Council’s Executive is meeting this week to decide on the next steps for the plan, which will then go before full Council on September 30.
If the council agrees to publish the draft plan, there will be another stage of public engagement, and sites will be formally assessed before it is submitted to the Government inspector.
The engagement period will commence in October 2021 when the council will be inviting residents' views.
Final publication and adoption of the plan is not scheduled until late 2022.
More information on the plan is available at https://www.hertsmerelocalplan.com/