1,000 plus new homes for Hitchin?

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By JulieGK | Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 21:44

A large housing development in south west Hitchin could be on the cards after a list of potential sites was published yesterday.

Each year, North Herts District Council (NHDC) publishes its Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) which considers the amount of land available for housing development.  

This year's SHLAA contains some larger areas for possible development over the next 20 years, 'Strategic Sites' that might be suitable for 1,000 or more homes, in addition to other smaller developments in towns and villages.

The sites outlined in the SHLAA, including the larger sites, have all been proposed by landowners and the development industry.  They have not been drawn up by the Council, but the Council will need to choose between them.

The seven proposed larger sites are:

• South West of Hitchin;

• North of Letchworth;

• East of Luton;

• Rush Green (new village);

• North of Stevenage;

• North East of Stevenage; and

• West of Stevenage

These are in addition to 130 proposed developments smaller than 1000 homes, including in Baldock and in Royston, some of which are still substantial.

It is the intention that the 29 January 2013 Cabinet meeting will be asked to authorise a full public consultation on the housing numbers and possible sites.  Subject to Cabinet approval, it is anticipated that the public consultation will run from 11 February 2013 to 28 March 2013.

Cllr Tom Brindley, NHDC's portfolio holder for planning, transport and enterprise, said: "The future of housing in North Herts is a vitally important issue, and we wanted to make sure that all the sites being considered are available for the public to see at the earliest opportunity.

"We're not saying that we need to build on all these sites, but we need to begin looking at them all thoroughly to establish how we can meet the future demand of people living in or moving into the area.  

"I would urge people to get involved with the consultation when it begins next year to let us know what they think about the numbers of new homes being considered, and where they think they should go."

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