Save Symondshyde campaigners’ delight as Green Belt site removed from Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan

PUBLISHED: 18:11 06 February 2020 | UPDATED: 18:11 06 February 2020

Campaigners Chris Oxley and John Gardner. Photo: KEVIN LINES

Campaigners Chris Oxley and John Gardner. Photo: KEVIN LINES

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The Save Symondshyde campaign is rejoicing after the latest proposed amendments to Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan includes removing the Symondshyde development.

Symondshyde. Picture: Save Symondshyde screenshotSymondshyde. Picture: Save Symondshyde screenshot

The group has been campaigning for years to prevent any new houses and roads being built in the area - situated between Hatfield and St Albans - to protect the 'outstanding area of Green Belt'.

In an email, John Gardener - chair of the Save Symondshyde campaign - said: "After almost four years of campaigning and following a remarkable turn of events last week, we can announce that Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council have agreed to remove the Symondshyde development proposals from the draft Local Plan!

"We are all delighted with the news, and we know you will be too."

READ MORE: Symondshyde campaign gathers momentum

Together, with higher annual windfall assumptions, the total number of new homes proposed for the Local Plan will be 14,011 over 16 years, significantly lower than the 16,000 homes target.

The new lower figure allowed for all proposed development in Symonshyde to be removed from the plan - preventing high harm to the Green Belt was also a deciding factor.

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The planning inspector had already scheduled a site-specific hearing to discuss all issues relating to the proposed development of Symondshyde on March 11, but campaigners are now waiting to find out whether the inspector will agree to cancel the hearing.

It is possible the inspector will hold the hearing in order to give all parties, including the landowner or developer, a chance to present their evidence.

Mr Gardener added: "We do need more housing in the district and in Hertfordshire, but we believe that Symondshyde was and remains an entirely unsustainable option, that should be permanently removed from consideration.

"We are not resting on our laurels but we do need to give thanks to everyone who has fought to achieve this outcome.

"Local councillors committed to good decision making and democratic process have helped and supported us throughout.

"With your support we will continue to fight to keep Symondshyde the open, beautiful, windswept and wild place that we all love, available for all local people."

A six-week consultation on all sites will open later this month.


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