Local Plan Regulation 18 Consultation Part 4

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Three Rivers’ Preferred Local Plan
Lower Housing Growth Option
Protecting More Green Belt Land


Have your say on the council’s new plan for fewer houses and protecting the green belt.


This consultation has now closed.


The consultation period starts on Friday 27 October 2023 and runs for a period of six weeks, ending at 11:59 pm on Sunday 10 December 2023.

To participate please scroll to the bottom of this page and click on ‘take survey’. The questions can be found at the bottom of each section, just click on ‘save and continue’ to move on to the next section. We’d like as much engagement as possible but you can choose which questions you wish to respond to. You do not have to answer every question, if you wish to move on to questions about another area in the district please scroll to the bottom of the page and press save and continue to move on.


A PDF version of the consultation document is available together with the appendices in the Documents tab to the right hand side of this page.


Please note that Three Rivers will only consider comments by respondents who provide their full name and address. Your name, organisation and response will be made publicly available once we publish responses; any comments made in your response therefore cannot be treated as confidential (published comments will exclude your personal contact details).

Inappropriate, offensive or racist comments will not be accepted.

We cannot consider matters that are outside the boundaries of the planning process and are likely to be civil matters between parties. These include representations in relation to loss of property value, loss of view from property, private access rights, moral issues and restrictive covenants.

Decisions on sites will not solely be based upon how many responses of support or objection are received but will primarily be based on the impact of the development assessed against local and national policy and the requirements that a Local Plan must meet.

An updated sustainability appraisal working note has been prepared. This document appraises the environmental, social and economic implications of the sites and can be viewed on the Documents tab to the right hand side of this page.


Notification of Future Consultations

If you would like your email address to be added to the Local Plan consultation database so that you are notified of future Local Plan consultations, please request this by emailing localplanconsult@threerivers.gov.uk including your full name and email address.




Foreword by Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Deputy Leader of the Council and Lead Member on the Local Plan and Infrastructure, Three Rivers District Council


Dear Fellow Residents,

In January I said we would be consulting you further on what we, the Council, considered is the right housing number on the right sites for Three Rivers. That figure, we have concluded is 4,852 against the required government target of 11,466. This public consultation asks you if you agree with that figure and this approach which fails to meet the government figure. If you do, then please respond saying so and if not, tell us why.

In December 2022 all Councillors unanimously agreed my proposal to bring forward a revised Local Plan that did not meet the target, which is now 11,466 new homes over the 18 years to 2041.

We have consulted residents three times on our proposed new polices that guide the type and nature of developments, and on housing sites proposed by landowners that had been assessed as being probably suitable for development. We ruled out 230 sites we did not even ask your views on!

Over 20,000 responses were received – so thank you. In our consultations we did not meet the government figure, even if every site was included, we would still be 1,318 short. I know many of you felt many sites were unacceptable given the harm they would cause to the Green Belt. With 76% of Three Rivers being Green Belt I am not surprised, but we are required in law to seek your views.

So, our new plan uses the Green Belt as a constraint and rules out putting forward sites independently rated higher than moderate harm - this becomes our “red line”. We have taken every Brownfield site – but this is only 988 new homes. We have included planning permissions, some granted on appeal. So, this new plan proposes, subject to your views, just a small percentage of Green Belt land that will provide some new homes for future Three Rivers’ generations but protects 98% of our Green Belt. It does mean 2,385 new homes on such sites (out of 4,852) but not the 9,000 it would mean if were to meet the government target figure.

This plan also seeks to provide for new health facilities, schools and community infrastructure. Our proposed polices are seeking 40% of homes to be affordable, with 25% being ‘first homes’ and 75% being social rent. We are seeking to restrict the number of luxury 4+bed homes. We will require developments to meet climate change objectives.

I will be honest with you our plan is a risk. Once it’s finalised following, yes yet a further technical consultation probably next October, we must submit it to a Government Inspector for approval at a Public Inquiry. As it’s below the government housing figure, they might reject it, ask us to start again, or impose the higher figure and sites not in this consultation on Three Rivers. Developers can argue at the public Inquiry for their sites to be included. So do let us know about the most recent sites we have excluded in Question 3. As we go to print the government has not changed any of the planning rules or the housing targets for Councils.

Trying to get the lower housing figure backed by evidence that protects more of our Green Belt is a risk worth taking and I hope you will support it.

I am pleased that that our approach is backed by the Three Rivers Joint Residents’ Association representing 22 separate residents’ groups. Council officers and I have engaged with the Joint Residents Association, and they have made valuable informed contributions to the process not only on sites, but the detailed polices and I thank them.

So please let us have your views.

Kind regards

Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst




Three Rivers’ Preferred Local Plan
Lower Housing Growth Option
Protecting More Green Belt Land


Have your say on the council’s new plan for fewer houses and protecting the green belt.


This consultation has now closed.


The consultation period starts on Friday 27 October 2023 and runs for a period of six weeks, ending at 11:59 pm on Sunday 10 December 2023.

To participate please scroll to the bottom of this page and click on ‘take survey’. The questions can be found at the bottom of each section, just click on ‘save and continue’ to move on to the next section. We’d like as much engagement as possible but you can choose which questions you wish to respond to. You do not have to answer every question, if you wish to move on to questions about another area in the district please scroll to the bottom of the page and press save and continue to move on.


A PDF version of the consultation document is available together with the appendices in the Documents tab to the right hand side of this page.


Please note that Three Rivers will only consider comments by respondents who provide their full name and address. Your name, organisation and response will be made publicly available once we publish responses; any comments made in your response therefore cannot be treated as confidential (published comments will exclude your personal contact details).

Inappropriate, offensive or racist comments will not be accepted.

We cannot consider matters that are outside the boundaries of the planning process and are likely to be civil matters between parties. These include representations in relation to loss of property value, loss of view from property, private access rights, moral issues and restrictive covenants.

Decisions on sites will not solely be based upon how many responses of support or objection are received but will primarily be based on the impact of the development assessed against local and national policy and the requirements that a Local Plan must meet.

An updated sustainability appraisal working note has been prepared. This document appraises the environmental, social and economic implications of the sites and can be viewed on the Documents tab to the right hand side of this page.


Notification of Future Consultations

If you would like your email address to be added to the Local Plan consultation database so that you are notified of future Local Plan consultations, please request this by emailing localplanconsult@threerivers.gov.uk including your full name and email address.




Foreword by Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Deputy Leader of the Council and Lead Member on the Local Plan and Infrastructure, Three Rivers District Council


Dear Fellow Residents,

In January I said we would be consulting you further on what we, the Council, considered is the right housing number on the right sites for Three Rivers. That figure, we have concluded is 4,852 against the required government target of 11,466. This public consultation asks you if you agree with that figure and this approach which fails to meet the government figure. If you do, then please respond saying so and if not, tell us why.

In December 2022 all Councillors unanimously agreed my proposal to bring forward a revised Local Plan that did not meet the target, which is now 11,466 new homes over the 18 years to 2041.

We have consulted residents three times on our proposed new polices that guide the type and nature of developments, and on housing sites proposed by landowners that had been assessed as being probably suitable for development. We ruled out 230 sites we did not even ask your views on!

Over 20,000 responses were received – so thank you. In our consultations we did not meet the government figure, even if every site was included, we would still be 1,318 short. I know many of you felt many sites were unacceptable given the harm they would cause to the Green Belt. With 76% of Three Rivers being Green Belt I am not surprised, but we are required in law to seek your views.

So, our new plan uses the Green Belt as a constraint and rules out putting forward sites independently rated higher than moderate harm - this becomes our “red line”. We have taken every Brownfield site – but this is only 988 new homes. We have included planning permissions, some granted on appeal. So, this new plan proposes, subject to your views, just a small percentage of Green Belt land that will provide some new homes for future Three Rivers’ generations but protects 98% of our Green Belt. It does mean 2,385 new homes on such sites (out of 4,852) but not the 9,000 it would mean if were to meet the government target figure.

This plan also seeks to provide for new health facilities, schools and community infrastructure. Our proposed polices are seeking 40% of homes to be affordable, with 25% being ‘first homes’ and 75% being social rent. We are seeking to restrict the number of luxury 4+bed homes. We will require developments to meet climate change objectives.

I will be honest with you our plan is a risk. Once it’s finalised following, yes yet a further technical consultation probably next October, we must submit it to a Government Inspector for approval at a Public Inquiry. As it’s below the government housing figure, they might reject it, ask us to start again, or impose the higher figure and sites not in this consultation on Three Rivers. Developers can argue at the public Inquiry for their sites to be included. So do let us know about the most recent sites we have excluded in Question 3. As we go to print the government has not changed any of the planning rules or the housing targets for Councils.

Trying to get the lower housing figure backed by evidence that protects more of our Green Belt is a risk worth taking and I hope you will support it.

I am pleased that that our approach is backed by the Three Rivers Joint Residents’ Association representing 22 separate residents’ groups. Council officers and I have engaged with the Joint Residents Association, and they have made valuable informed contributions to the process not only on sites, but the detailed polices and I thank them.

So please let us have your views.

Kind regards

Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst



Page last updated: 13 Dec 2023, 12:45 PM