Agenda item

Hemel Garden Communities


J Doe and N Bateman presented.


Cllr Birnie asked if there was any duplication between HGC project and the New Local Plan team.


J Doe said that they talk to each other.


Cllr Beauchamp made the point that the 5.5 thousand homes in Hemel Hempstead would lead to far more density.


N Bateman replied that yes, it makes a difference – there is no development land.


J Doe added that there was an open space which will be a park.


N Bateman explained that phase 1 consisted of 2.5 thousand homes south of Redbourne Road.


Cllr Birnie asked if St Albans gives planning permission.


J Doe replied that yes, this is a fully engaged arrangement and Dacorum received all the same details so there is supposed to be joint working with strong input from DBC.


Cllr Birnie asked if HGC Board has representatives from Dacorum?


N Bateman explained that there were two members per authority.


Cllr Silwal asked how many enterprises were involved.


J Doe said that the LEP has its own governance.  One of the things they have done is to put money into Junction 8.


Cllr Birnie asked if the Board consisted of members or officers?


N Bateman said that there was a chief officer and one member from each Authority. In addition, the Stakeholder steering group represents each Authority and the LEP and also includes Highways England, Homes England and the Crown Estate, which are present for part of the meeting.


Cllr Stevens enquired how the 11,000 houses were distributed e.g. 5.5 each?


J Doe replied that the slide shows how the split works on either side of the boundary.  There is a debate in terms of our own Local Plan regarding making a claim on some of the St Albans land as this is essentially an extension of Hemel Hempstead. That is a request that we have made of St Albans through its ongoing Local Plan process and that request is still live.


Cllr Timmis asked if the green area on the map was Crown Estate?


N Bateman replied that only about 60% was and said that they would be engaging with other owners in the spring. There are still some to be brought into the programme but these will not be significant in the plan.


Cllr Timmis wanted to know what happened with CIL payments when dealing with St Albans land.


N Bateman said that would be subject to St Albans’ policies.


J Doe said it was another issue that has been raised with St Albans  S106  finance payments should be directed to Hemel Hempstead.  A lot of Section 106 payments would actually be going into the structure on site e.g. Schools, open spaces etc.,


N Bateman continued with her report.


Cllr Taylor said that he was particularly interested in the sustainable transport strategy and how it will be developed, he asked if there would be a chance for members to be involved in that


N Bateman explained that we are developing the strategy, there had only been limited engagement as it is high level, this has been looking at the fundamental links in the town and the priorities for taking this forward. The second stage is likely to commence in April.


Cllr Taylor asked if it was possible to share with members the work done so far and the scoping of the next stage.


J Doe explained that it is in draft form at the moment and it will be three or four weeks before there is anything to pass on but that they would do so when it was available.


N Bateman said that in terms of sustainable transport the idea is that there would be a shift of 60 percent within new developments towards this. We need to make sure that it is tailored to this town with its hills etc.,


Cllr Beauchamp asked at what point public engagement was envisaged.


N Bateman responded that there would be public engagement as part of the work they are doing and going forward.


Cllr Taylor said that he would like to clarify the point that he would be looking for input from Bus Companies as to how one would encourage bus useage.


N Bateman confirmed that would be part of the second stage.


Cllr Stevens asked if the HGC engagement strategy in March overlaps with the Local Plan.


N Bateman told him that they were two different entities. She explained that the engagement strategy she was referring to is applicable to Hemel Garden Communities whereas the Local Plan is about the whole borough and will have its own engagement strategy.


Cllr Silwal asked about the figures for jobs.


N Bateman said that the likelihood is for around 8000 jobs to support commercial development and then around 2000 for the wider picture such as local centres, schools etc.


Cllr Birnie enquired whether phase 1 was all on St Albans land.


N Bateman agreed that it was but said that Dacorum want to ensure that it fits in with the spatial vision for the town and that it relates well.


Cllr Hobson asked for clarification on whether the boundary could be moved.


J Doe explained that the only way to resolve that would be a Boundary Commission review but that would have to be part of a joint plan and is not envisaged at present. St Albans would be responsible for providing its own services, but we may look to assist with this as a revenue generating opportunity.


Cllr Beauchamp remarked that there was no mention of Buncefield.


J Doe said that Health and Safety Executive has looked at this and it is reflected in the design.


Cllr Ransley asked if we could insist that housing reflects what we have in Hemel Hempstead.


N Bateman said that we have limited powers but we do have government support.

J Doe mentioned that there is another document being worked on that is a joint piece of work with St Albans with the intention of developing firm design guidance which will pick up of all the things like ensuring it relates well to Hemel Hempstead’s New Local Plan.


Cllr Sutton thanked James Doe, Natalie Bateman and the team and said that it would be good to have a task and finish group set up if possible so that there could be more member engagement and working with the neighbouring authority.  Cllr Sutton added that he felt the scheme was good for both the existing population here and newcomers.


The report was noted and agreed.


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