The Independent review of the proposed Local Plan up to 2033, is in its final stages prior being submitted to the Secretary of State for approval. The Examination Sessions that took placed in October and November 2018, several interested parties attended the sessions to act as a voice for Goffs Oak and the surrounding area. This included the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), GOCA representation and several local people attended and to many, opposing the proposed housing and business land allocations particularly on Green Belt Land. The CPRE planning Manager, Steve Baker presented a very good case for Goffs Oak and surrounding area and included the new national household projections forecasting 1900 fewer houses would be needed during the Plan period to 2033 that the number assumed by the Councils submitted Plan. Additionally, the CPRE had noted Broxbourne Council had already conceded that 600 more houses than stated in the Plan would be built on ‘windfall’ (ad-hoc additional) sites without using Green Belt Land.
On the 10th December 2018 a copy of the Inspector’s Post Hearing Note to the Council was released onto the Broxbourne website. To the disappointment of GOCA Committee, the Inspector has advised that the proposal to make provision for at least 7,718 homes in the period 2016-2033 is justified and consistent with national policy. The proposal in regards to retail and leisure, he found the proposal to make provision of the size of new retail development, primarily at Brookfield Riverside, or additional office floor space is not justified or consistent with national policy and has recommended a reduction.
The Inspector believed there are exceptional circumstances to justify removing land from the Green Belt in the locations proposed in the Plan and also to:-
• To reduce the amount of retail and office floor space at Brookfield Riverside
• To ensure that the main town centre uses proposed at Brookfield Riverside
are effectively integrated with the existing shops and would, ultimately, lead
to the creation of a new town centre.
• To avoid the need to relocate the existing traveller site, or ensure that
relocation would appropriately meet the needs of existing and future residents
in an accessible location.
• To provide greater clarity about where the existing allotments, household
waste recycling centre and Council depot will be relocated to.
• To preserve or enhance the significance of heritage assets on and near the
site and their settings.
For the full copy of the Independent Examination of the Broxbourne Local Plan, Inspector’s Post Hearings Advice, Cut and Paste into your browser.
In the Inspectors notes, he has asked the Council how the Plan could be modified. It is at this stage the Inspector will then confirm the next steps for the Examination process prior submission to the Secretary of State. Clearly the GOCA Committee is disappointed about the Inspectors findings and would like to ask for your feedback so we can take forward to the Committee meeting in the New Year, to consider if and what action could be taken forward.