The public examination of North Herts Local Plan will take place at Icknield Centre, Icknield Way, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 1EF. The examination starts on: Monday 13th November 2017 at 9:30am (after that first day, the sessions will start at 9:00am) and under the current schedule the final day will be Thursday 1st March, 2018.

Transition Town Letchworth’s aim is that the Local Plan should take account of long-term ‘carbon saving’ measures overall, in terms of the quality of housing, siting in terms of transport links especially walking and cycling, local jobs etc. We do not take a position on any particular sites among the housing proposals. Our responses to the Consultation late last year have been re-arranged into 38 representations so as to address the matters to be examined in the hearings. Each representation is on behalf of TTL only, or jointly for TTL and the Letchworth Sustainability Forum, with inputs by Grow It Yourself Organic and Herts WithOut Waste where appropriate.

EXAMINATION IN PUBLIC
This Local Plan is important because it will shape housing development in the North Hertfordshire district for a generation and more. It cannot come into effect until it has been approved via a formal Examination in Public. A Planning Inspector, Simon Berkeley BA MA MRTPI, has been appointed by the UK Government to examine North Herts. District Council’s draft Plan. He will run hearing sessions from mid November to mid December and then again from early February to 1st March. His purpose is to decide whether the Plan, along with associated documents presented to him, is basically sound or not. As a distinct question, he will decide at the outset whether the council has applied the Duty to Co- operate in regard to the draft Plan.

Last year the District Council consulted the public and gathered responses which they have provided to the Inspector for his review in the Examination. Authorities, agencies, companies, members of the public and local groups, the latter mainly from North Herts, have made representations as to whether they support or object to parts of the Plan. Where they have objected, they have been required to say how and why those parts should in their view be changed, along with evidence to support those comments. The Inspector has reviewed the draft Plan and listed the matters he wishes to examine. For each matter, he has identified the issues (expressed as questions and requests) that he will address in the hearings. The Inspector is not responsible for improving the Plan but just for deciding whether it is sound; that is to say, whether it has a strategy based on genuine requirements; whether that strategy is the most appropriate and backed by evidence; whether it is deliverable within the period of the Plan; and whether it is consistent with national policy. If he finds the Plan to be basically sound, his eventual report in 2018 may specify matters for the Council to fix to the satisfaction of the Planning Inspectorate. If he finds the Plan unsound or not in accordance with the Duty to Co-operate, he will reject it. The council would then, subject to any appeal and offer of remedial action, lack a plan with which to defend the district against unsuitable proposals from developers.

You are entitled to attend the hearings so as to observe them. You will only have a right to do speak at a particular hearing if you responded to the Consultation in late 2016 by requesting to speak on an issue to be addressed in that hearing, and confirmed your request by 20th October 2017. There is also an option to submit a hearing statement on issues to be discussed, as follows: for issues to be addressed in weeks 1, 2, 3 and 4 by 5.00pm on Friday 3rd November 2017; for weeks 5 and 6 by 5.00pm on Friday 12th January 2018.

Please note that the schedule may well change as the hearings take place, so it’s vital to check with the latest timetable before you attend.

CONTACT

Any queries about the examination or any correspondence to the Inspector should be sent to the Programme Officer:
Louise St John Howe, PO Services, PO Box 10965, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 3BF Email:
louise@poservices.co.uk Telephone: 07789 486419 LINKS

Latest News and Updates: https://north-herts.gov.uk/planning/planning-policy/local-plan/local-plan- examination/examination-latest-news-and-updates
The draft Local Plan: https://north-herts.gov.uk/home/planning/planning-policy/local-plan
Timetable of hearings: https://north-herts.gov.uk/planning/planning-policy/local-plan/local-plan- examination/hearing-sessions
Inspector’s Matters and Issues: https://north-herts.gov.uk/sites/northherts- cms/files/ED10%20north%20herts%20matters%20and%20issues%20copy_0.pdf Inspector’s Guidance Notes: https://north-herts.gov.uk/sites/northherts- cms/files/ED11%20north%20herts%20guidance%20note%20copy_0.pdf

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