Draft Local Plan ‘could be a disaster’ for Redbourn

Green Belt land around Redbourn has been earmarked for new homes to help meet Dacorum's housing need

Green Belt land around Redbourn has been earmarked for new homes to help meet Dacorum's housing need as part of the St Albans Local Plan. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Proposals to offer Dacorum residents affordable housing in Redbourn as part of St Albans district council’s draft Local Plan have met with opposition from residents.

The Local Plan is currently undergoing examination hearings, which are being transmitted by a live webcast on the council's website. It identifies opportunities for large-scale future housing, commercial development, infrastructure and environmental protection.

St Albans district council and Dacorum Borough Council have a duty to cooperate, which means land in St Albans district can be allocated to help Dacorum Borough Council meet its housing needs.

The joint position statement from both councils says: "Dacorum council currently has a substantial number of people on its waiting list and, given the proposed expansion of our main town proposed by St Albans, Dacorum requires a sizeable portion of affordable housing delivered as part of East Hemel Hempstead towards meeting the housing needs of Dacorum."

However Redbourn Parish Council has objected to the plans, which they say infringe on Green Belt land in Redbourn. Parish council chairman David Mitchell said: "Redbourn residents are very much against the Local Plan proposals and the extensive loss of local Green Belt.

"The impact of the Local Plan on Redbourn would be huge. 5,550 new houses are allocated to Redbourn ward, of which 3,500 would be in Redbourn parish - all on the Green Belt. Redbourn village itself is about 2,300 houses, so we would see local housing trebling if this all goes ahead.

"Redbourn Parish Council and residents are worried that the rural nature of Redbourn would be lost forever if the countryside is concreted over. We feel that far too many houses are being allocated to our area and that housing should be spread more evenly around the district.

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"It begs the question, how will St Albans district council make up the shortfall in affordable housing for St Albans residents?"

Developers SEGRO also have plans for Redbourn as part of their controversial Strategic Rail Freight Interchange, which David fears will mean significant expansion of the village.

He said: "All in all the draft Local Plan could be a disaster for Redbourn."