Our consultation on the Emerging Strategy for Growth stage of the Local Plan closed in February 2021. This was the second consultation on the new Local Plan for Dacorum, and set out the emerging approach to accommodating growth across the borough.
The consultation ran for 13 weeks and attracted a high level of response. A total of 4,109 individuals and organisations responded, producing 15,574 separate responses. During the consultation, the Local Plan pages of our website were visited 40,852 times and our dedicated virtual exhibition attracted 4,674 users, visiting the exhibition 5,867 times.
Now the consultation has closed, we have prepared a summary report which provides an overview of the consultation process and the main issues raised in the responses.
The summary report was presented to our Strategic Planning and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee (SPAEOSC) last night (30 June 2021) for noting, together with a report setting out the recommended next steps for the Local Plan. As SPAEOSC is not a decision making body it will be for Cabinet to agree the next steps.
At its meeting in July, Cabinet will decide on how to progress the Local Plan, taking account of any views expressed by members of SPAEOSC. For example, it will consider if any further work needs to be done to investigate whether the level of growth required by the Government's Standard Methodology is appropriate for Dacorum, given the presence of the Green Belt, Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Chilterns Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation.
We will also be carrying out further analysis of urban capacity across the borough to determine if the impact on the Green Belt can be reduced, and re-examining matters that have changed following the COVID-19 pandemic. This means the publication of the Local Plan will be deferred.
The Local Plan will also align itself with the development of the new Hemel Place Strategy, which was endorsed by Cabinet on 20 April 2021. This is part of a multi-agency programme to develop an ambitious vision for the future transformation of the town.
We will prepare a revised Local Development Scheme setting out the programme as soon as practicable.
For further information, including the full Emerging Strategy for Growth document, please see our New Dacorum Local Plan (to 2038) page.