Planning permission has been granted for a development of 55 affordable homes on the edge of Bushey in Hertfordshire. The site is within the Green Belt but compromises partly previously developed or Brownfield land. The additional increase in floor space and volume of existing buildings on the site was outweighed by the ‘significant’ contribution to the supply of affordable homes in the Borough.
Like many local authorities, Hertsmere have identified a significant demand for affordable homes of different tenures with ever increasing housing waiting lists. This demand is impacted by the Written Ministerial Statement in November 2014 for small-scale developers, which meant that developments of 10 units or less were exempt from contributing to affordable housing.
This planning application was heard at Committee in May 2018 when members resolved to follow Officer recommendation and grant permission. The application has since been referred to the Secretary of State, who decided not t call the application in for their own determination.
The applicant, Hightown Housing Association, has been through a proactive process with the Council to engage with statutory consultees on specific requirements of the development. The final detailed plans show contemporary styled units on an edge of settlement location. The central green space and use of traditional materials will create a strong sense of place with active frontages and natural surveillance.
The site is also within a ‘broad area of search’ in the emerging Local Plan for potential new housing development. Although the emerging Local Plan does not yet carry much weight in decision making, there could have also been opportunities for longer-term development together with adjacent landowners.
For more information on this project please contact our Buckinghamshire office.