At 2.15 pm, the Director of Planning at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government notified the Chief Executive of East Hertfordshire District Council that the Secretary of State, Rt. Hon James Brokenshire MP has today issued a holding direction under section 21a of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (inserted by section 145(5) of the Housing and Planning Act 2016) on the adoption of the East Herts District Plan, due to be adopted this evening.
Accordingly items 9 and 10 are being withdrawn from tonight’s Agenda, because this means we are currently unable to adopt the District Plan.
I am, of course, very disappointed with this decision both because it has been made at such a late stage in the process and also because the Plan was inspected by a senior and experienced planning inspector (appointed by the Secretary of State) and the Council has fully accepted all of her recommendations and suggestions.
We remain confident in the soundness of the Plan and will work with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to resolve any issues it has with the Plan. Due to the impact that this will have on the local and wider community and in view of the thorough examination of the Plan that has already taken place, we will encourage the Secretary of State to act expeditiously to avoid further uncertainty. We are all too well aware of the speculative development that has taken place in parts of our district because of the lack of a 5 year land supply. None of us want to be in that position again.
Linda Haysey, Leader of East Hertfordshire District Council
What nonsense and uncertainty this relatively new power introduces. Must be Green Belt and east of Stevenage related. Previous cases no intervention -and given examination intervention would be extraordinary and throw most local plans arund London into chaos. Sadly if you get a letter from an MP the SoS either has to intervene or face potential JR so boxed it. abolish this silly power ASAP.
The cluprit – must be the local Mp which by his previous letter shows he totally misunderstands national policy on Green Belt even apply the wrong test. If there were costs involved he should pay them.