AN OPEN LETTER TO DACORUM MPS AND THE LEADER OF THE BOROUGH COUNCIL
We fully support meeting the 'need' for housing in Dacorum, especially when truly affordable and targeted at local people on the housing list. We also fully support the need for growth in the local economy. We do not, however, support the irreversible loss of precious green belt to provide for a housing number that is not supported by evidence of need. This loss of green belt is also contrary to the sustainable growth required to respond effectively to the climate emergency.
The slavish repetition of manifesto headlines by MPs, Sir Mike Penning and Gagan Mohindra, and the leader of Dacorum Borough Council, Andrew Williams (Hemel Today 4th February 2021) do a disservice to Dacorum's residents. Dacorum's leaders completely sidestep the specific questions posed by our letter of 29th January, and these are questions residents increasingly want answered in relation to the Local Plan's excessive level of development.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government's (MHCLG) announcement on the 'Standard Method' for calculating housing targets of 16th December 2020 increases Dacorum's housing target from 922 houses a year to 1,023 houses a year. We challenge Dacorum's leaders, listed above, to address the following questions:
The Local Plan, the government policy that drives it and our leaders' silence on the issues above, begs the question: "is housing policy simply a land grab to satisfy the demand for housing by developers?" We look forward to detailed answers.
Cllr William Allen on behalf of The Liberal Democrat Group on Dacorum Borough Council
For more info on the Local Plan, start here:https://hhlibdems.org.uk/en/article/2020/1385248/how-to-navigate-the-dacorum-local-plan-consultation