Election Candidates’ Statements on the Local Plan
NMDGBS has asked all the candidates standing for our two North Mymms wards in the Borough Council election for a statement on their views on the Local Plan. Specifically we have asked them whether or not they will support the Plan if the Inspector insists on the Plan meeting a Full Objectively Assessed Housing Need (FOAHN) of 16,000 dwellings.
We have received responses as follows.
From Teresa Travell, Conservative Party candidate for Welham Green and Hatfield South
“As chairman of North Mymms Parish Council I have appeared at the hearings held by the inspector and our position has always been against excessive building on the green belt. If elected to the borough council I will not support an increase in housing numbers to 16,000. Throughout the Local Plan hearings I have always considered the number of proposed houses to be too high. I even consider the number of over 13,000 in the latest submission to be an unsatisfactory increase. It is important that local democracy is preserved and that the very strong feelings locally are respected by the inspector.”
Peter Basford, Richard Griffiths and Paul Zukowskyj, Lib Dem, candidates for the two wards, have given us a joint statement of their party’s policy which they support.
“The Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan is a plan to build way more houses than we actually need. The inspector and the council seem unwilling to believe the evidence provided by the statistics and are being driven instead by Government policy to ‘build build build’. The local Lib Dems do not believe a housing target in five figures is right or can be justified. The council should have put up a far more convincing argument against the projection. If the local plan has a housing target of 13,800 or even 16,000, the Lib Dems will vote against, as we did in November 2020 at full council, the only party to do so. Damage to our area from speculative developers is no different to damage to our area from a plan not fit for purpose.”
From Stephen Boulton Conservative Party candidate for Brookmans Park and Little Heath
“I am very much against any increase of assessed housing need to 16,000, and cannot see a way in which that figure can be supported. Throughout iterations of the Local Plan process I have always considered the number of dwellings suggested to be too high given historical evidence and uncertainty in future numbers. The recently submitted target of 13,800 is still a significant and uncomfortable increase. I shall review the inspector’s report once available and determine the best way forward at that point. In making any decision, my priority will always be to minimise any impact on the very important green belt and to respect local opinions. Any final plan must be the council’s plan and not the inspector’s plan.”
We shall publish additional replies if and as they are received.