The good news is that the Knebworth Neighbourhood Plan (KNP) is so thorough and comprehensive that “it’s the biggest Neighbourhood Plan” that our planning professional has ever dealt with. Residents should be reassured by this as it means that we have taken on your views comprehensively and dealt with your local concerns and issues, at least those which fall into the scope of the NP*. However, Devil is in the detail and to ensure that everything is absolutely correct we have decided to submit it to the December meeting rather than November.
Following intense and extensive extra sessions, it now looks very certain that we’re on course to have it ready for Parish Councillors to review in time to discuss at their meeting on 11th December.
You might be interested to know that one of the issues within the KNP is how important the Green Belt is around Knebworth, particularly with regard to avoiding coalescence with other settlements such as Stevenage. NHDC produced a document in 2016, which was revised in September 2018 before they made amendments to their own NHDC Local Plan.
We would like to draw your attention to the North Hertfordshire Green Belt Review Update 2018 on the NHDC website Local Plan Examination Page https://www.north-herts.gov.uk/planning/planning-policy/local-plan/local-plan-examination/examination-documents. It clearly shows that the Green Belt around Knebworth plays a significant part in helping to keep separation from other settlements. One of the reasons that the Planning Inspector has asked for more hearings to take place is because NHDC commissioned the Green Belt Report and then appeared to ignore the findings.
That might help you understand why we are still waiting for further information on the status of the NHDC Local Plan and any potential impact due to the Inspector’s requirement for more hearings.
*The scope of the Neighbourhood Plan is often a cause for confusion as it can only deal with planning issues. We intend to make the scope clear when we ask for your views again.
Knebworth Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee