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PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT St Albans


It would be seriously remiss not to mention St Albans City Council’s draft Local Plan. This raises the possibility of Green Belt development in two areas known as East of Hemel Hempstead, North, about 1,500 homes, and East of Hemel Hempstead, South, about 1,000 homes. It’s possible they are referred to in that way to avoid the embarrassment of saying Quite a Long Way West of St Albans. The sites actually abut the Hemel Hempstead built-up area. In effect, it is Hemel’s Green Belt that is being stolen here. A consultation on the latest version of this plan ran last October and November.


Villages


Among the larger villages, Bovingdon will have to accommodate around 130 new homes; there is an LA to the north of Chesham Road. Smaller villages fall into a separate category. Places like Potten End will be ‘sustained’ by ‘local affordable housing and other very limited development’. A key paragraph in the Core Strategy makes this undertaking: ‘New development will be phased to ensure there is either existing infrastructure capacity to accommodate increased demand or that additional infrastructure is provided.’ It goes on to list: l Roads, sewerage and waste disposal


Council houses


In 2012 DBC embarked on its first council house building programme in 25 years. It aims


to complete 300 by 2020. The first groups will be 26 homes at Farm Place, Northchurch, nine at Galley Hill, Gadebridge and 36 at London Rd, Apsley, due to have been completed by March.


The Council says it aims to build up a ‘land bank’ that could support 200 new homes.


Unlike the Core Strategy, it doesn’t necessarily expect the bulk of these to be in Hemel Hempstead.


@LivingMagazines /LivingMagazines


West Hemel Hempstead: earmarked for 900 homes


l Schools, healthcare and recreation l Open space and waterways. But the closing sentence of this promising commitment is discouragingly close to gibberish: ‘Where appropriate, pooled contributions will be pooled and used to address the cumulative impact of development proposals.’ The Core Strategy document has plenty to say about housing types and the kind of household that will need to be accommodated in the future. Its requirement for 35% of all new dwellings to be ‘affordable’ is worth noting. ‘On rural housing sites 100% of all new homes will normally be affordable,’ it says. ‘A minimum of 75% of the affordable housing units provided should be for rent.’ n


Housing Associations


‘We aim to help Housing Associations build at least 150 affordable homes in Dacorum


every year,’ says DBC. On larger sites around the borough (10 or more dwellings in Hemel Hempstead, five or more elsewhere) 35% will


be affordable. The majority will be available for rent, and the mix of types and sizes will favour smaller households. The definition used by


DBC of ‘affordable’ is housing ‘provided, with subsidy, for people who are unable to resolve their housing requirements in the general


housing market because of the relationship between local housing costs and incomes’.


Spring 2015 | 31


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