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Our response to the Local Plan consultation

Three Rivers District Council (TRDC) is consulting on a new Local Plan which will deliver 8,973 new homes. 80% are allocated to sites in the Green Belt.

You can view and respond to the consultation here. The deadline is 20 August at 5pm.

Please see our full response to Part 1: Preferred Policy Options here and to Part 2: Sites for Potential Allocation here. These are a collection of comments made by Green Party members to help other members and the wider community form a consultation response to the Three Rivers Local Plan.

What we think

  • The approach to new housing numbers is wrong. The Council should challenge the Government’s Standard Method more robustly, considering the constraints of the District, and use up-to-date data to calculate the actual requirements.
  • The removal of large areas of Green Belt will cause unacceptable conurbation between towns and ruin the special character of the area.
  • The Climate Emergency declaration made by the Council in 2019 must be specifically referenced and given prominence.
  • There is a distinct lack of vision for Rickmansworth town centre. The relocation of the library from its high street location is unacceptable.
  • The pressure to redevelop “brownfield” sites (such as the Flower House, Pin Wei Restaurant and the Builder’s Yard, Tibbs Hill Road) is driving viable smaller businesses out of the area, reducing local employment opportunities and increasing travel and transport distances. The Plan should recognise existing businesses outside of allocated employment areas.
  • There are too many potential dwellings close to the M25 which will be at risk of dangerous levels of pollution.
  • The Plan is not proactive enough on renewable energy. Following the Council's Climate Emergency Declaration in 2019, it should be designating sites for solar farms and investigating opportunities for water power.
  • A variety of electric vehicles, including e-bikes and e-scooters, need more consideration as to how they fit into the transport network. The transport policies do not seem to address the scale of the changes that will be needed.
  • The Council should set a much higher target for reducing carbon emissions in buildings than currently allowed under National Policy and challenge the Government to strike it out. All new builds should achieve net zero carbon.
  • A Sustainability Statement should be required for all new developments (not just major ones) and should cover associated landscaping works with an emphasis on using materials with low embodied carbon.
  • The potential sites for development will have an unacceptable impact on biodiversity. We are also in an Ecological Emergency.
  • A specific target for biodiversity net gain should be set, alongside a defined methodology for measurement and implementation.
  • Design and management plans should be required for new open spaces within major developments to prevent them from becoming grassy wastelands. Provision for local food production should be encouraged in new open spaces.
  • At least 25% of new builds should be built to accessible standards.

How to respond

The preferred method for accepting your representations is through the online consultation portal. It is recommended that you respond here by selecting "no" where you do not agree (or only agree in part) and explaining your reasons for each answer.

If you would prefer to copy the points above into a single response, you can also send representations via email and post. Please note that Three Rivers will only consider comments by respondents who provide their name and address.

Other responses

Here are some additional responses by local organisations that you might find helpful:

Maple Cross and West Hyde Residents Association

Chorelywood Residents Association

Croxley Green Residents Association

Kings Langley & District Residents Association

Bedmond Residents Association are preparing a thorough review of proposed sites and changes to the Green Belt and can be contacted here:

Herts CPRE

Colne Valley Regional Park

Keep Watford Rural campaign

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