Local Plan 2011-2031 Proposed Submission Draft

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SECTION FOUR - COMMUNITIES

(2) 13 Communities

13.1 This chapter sets out the site allocations for development for each community in North Hertfordshire. It identifies the detailed site-specific criteria for each local housing allocation. Retail and employment allocations are also identified and site- specific criteria are provided where considered necessary.

13.2 All development sites listed in this chapter are shown on the Proposals Map. The communities are generally based on the established network of town and parish boundaries[138] and are arranged alphabetically as follows:

  • Ashwell;
  • Baldock;
  • Barkway;
  • Barley;
  • Bygrave;
  • Caldecote;
  • Clothall;
  • Cockernhoe and East of Luton
  • Codicote;
  • Graveley and North of Stevenage;
  • Great Ashby and north-east of Stevenage;
  • Hexton;
  • Hinxworth;
  • Hitchin;
  • Holwell;
  • Ickleford;
  • Kelshall;
  • Kimpton;
  • King's Walden;
  • Knebworth;
  • Langley;
  • Letchworth Garden City;
  • Lilley;
  • Lower Stondon;
  • Newnham;
  • Nuthampstead;
  • Offley;
  • Pirton;
  • Preston;
  • Radwell;
  • Reed;
  • Royston;
  • Rushden;
  • Sandon;
  • St Ippolyts;
  • St Paul's Walden;
  • Therfield;
  • Wallington;
  • Weston; and
  • Wymondley.

13.3 Information on new homes is provided for each community. This is based upon any proposed housing allocations in that area along with new homes built since 2011 and existing planning permissions. These figures are not a target and do not necessarily represent the maximum number of new homes that will be built[139].

Note: For the avoidance of confusion, sites retained from the Preferred Options version of the plan have kept the same reference number. References for sites that were included in the Preferred Options but have not been carried forward have not been re-used. Any new sites have been given the next available reference number. This means that site allocation references for individual communities may not necessarily run sequentially.

(7) Ashwell

Introduction

13.4 Ashwell is the northernmost parish in the District (and county). The village of Ashwell has a relatively good range of facilities. At the 2011 census the population of the parish was 1,870, and there were 841 dwellings in the parish. Apart from the village the parish also includes a wide tract of countryside and some scattered farms.

Role in settlement hierarchy

13.5 Ashwell is identified as a Category A village. A development boundary is shown on the Proposals Map to indicate the area within which further development will be allowed. The boundary has been drawn so as to allow for Ashwell's development needs during this Plan period.

Heritage

13.6 Ashwell has one conservation area, covering much of the central part of the village, and numerous listed buildings. The parish church of St Mary is Grade I listed. To the north of the village the grounds of Ashwell Bury are designated as a historic park and garden. To the south-west of the village lies the Arbury Banks Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Housing

13.7 One housing site is identified in Ashwell for 33 new homes. 62 further homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011.

Ref

Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

Dwelling estimate

(115) AS1

Land west of Claybush Road

33 homes

  • Provision of pedestrian access into the village;
  • Sensitive design and layout required in terms of ridge line and setting within landscape, additional planting required on the east and west boundaries to improve views from Arbury Banks and screen properties on Claybush Road;
  • Heritage Impact Assessment required informing design and layout at southern extent of site to respect setting of Arbury Banks Scheduled Ancient Monument and the views of St Marys Church; and
  • Provide archaeological survey prior to development.

Total allocated sites

33 homes

Completions and permissions

62 homes

Total allocated, completed and permitted

95 homes

Economy

13.8 The facilities of Ashwell are designated as a Local Centre under policy SP04. The extent of the neighbourhood centre is shown on a map in Appendix 4. Any applications in this area will be considered in accordance with the detailed policies of this Plan.

Infrastructure & mitigation

13.9 The impact of the proposed site on heritage assets and the landscape is a key consideration. Our overall evidence base concludes that, in order to meet our housing requirements over the plan period, it will be necessary to allocate some sites which may impact upon heritage assets and landscape[140]. Our aim will be to ensure that the overall integrity of relevant heritage assets are protected and that the development is designed to minimise impact on the landscape.

13.10 Currently there is no pedestrian access along Claybush Road, therefore the development should deliver a pedestrian access route into the village to enable access to services and facilities.

13.11 The footpath network in Ashwell currently extends to the junction of Bear Lane and Ashwell Street and there may be opportunities to connect from here from the north of the allocated site.

13.12 Additional education provision will be needed in Ashwell during the Plan period, funding will therefore be sought to ensure the local education infrastructure can accommodate the additional demand arising from the site.

(135) Baldock

Introduction

13.13 Baldock is a market town near the source of the River Ivel. It lies on the site of a Roman town which stood at the junction of the Icknield Way and the Roman roads to Godmanchester, Braughing, and St Albans. The site of the Roman town appears to have been abandoned after the Roman withdrawal; the modern town was founded by the Knights Templar in the twelfth century on an area of land which formerly belonged to Weston. A parish was created for the new town which covered a relatively small area. The town's original parish boundaries were Icknield Way to the north, Station Road / Clothall Road to the east, South Road / Crabtree Lane to the south and Weston Way / Norton Road to the west. Baldock has since grown beyond those medieval boundaries to take in areas which formerly belonged to Norton, Bygrave, Clothall, Weston and Willian.

13.14 Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City and Baldock lie very close to each other and have strong relationships linking them in terms of housing markets and job movements. That said, each town retains a distinct identity of its own. The needs for development arising from the three towns are comparatively high, but the gaps separating the towns are small and of great importance if the town's urban areas and identities are to be kept distinct. Managing growth in this relatively developed part of the District whilst allowing each town to retain its identity is one of the challenges to be addressed.

13.15 At the 2011 census the population of Baldock (defined as the unparished area) was 10,280, and there were 4,491 dwellings in the town.

Role in settlement hierarchy

13.16 Baldock is classed as a town in Policy SP2: Settlement Hierarchy. A boundary for the town is shown on the Proposals Map. Beyond this boundary is classed as Green Belt.

Heritage

13.17 Baldock has one conservation area, covering the town centre and older parts of the town. Most of the town's listed buildings are on one of the four streets radiating from the Town Hall crossroads: Hitchin Street, Church Street, Whitehorse Street and High Street. The parish church of St Mary is a Grade I listed building.

13.18 Baldock also has an important history as a Roman settlement, which was centred on Walls Field to the east of the town centre, which is a scheduled ancient monument. A large area around this is also of archaeological significance.

Housing

13.19 8 housing sites are allocated in and around Baldock. These will deliver an estimated 3,436 new homes (3,136 during the plan period to 2031). A further 154 new homes have been built or granted planning permission since the start of the plan period in 2011.


Ref

Strategic Housing Sites

Dwelling estimate

(6) BA1

Land North of Baldock (see Policy SP14)

2,800 homes

Ref

Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

Dwelling estimate

(41) BA2

Land west of Clothall Road (Clothall parish)

200 homes

  • Creation of appropriate, defensible Green Belt boundary along south-western perimeter of site;
  • Appropriate mitigation measures for noise associated with the A505 to potentially include insulation and orientation of living spaces;
  • Proposals to be informed by a site-specific landscape assessment;
  • Preliminary Risk Assessment to identify any contamination associated with previous uses including mitigation;
  • Consider and mitigate against potential adverse impacts upon Weston Hills Local Wildlife Site;
  • Heritage impact assessment (including assessment of significance) and sensitive design to ensure appropriate protection of adjacent Scheduled Ancient Monument; and
  • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development.

(49) BA3

Land south of Clothall Common (Clothall parish)

200 homes

  • Deliver, in combination with Site BA4, a southern link road connecting Wallington Road to B656 Royston Road;
  • Site layout to take account of existing wastewater infrastructure;
  • Appropriate solution for short- and long-term education requirements having regard to up-to-date assessments of need;
  • Appropriate mitigation measures for noise associated with the A505 to potentially include insulation and orientation of living spaces;
  • Incorporate alignment of former Wallington Road and Bridleway Clothall 027 as green corridor along northern perimeter of site;
  • Incorporate ordinary watercourses (and any appropriate measures) within comprehensive green infrastructure and / or SUDs approach;
  • Address existing surface water flood risk issues, including any run-off through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
  • Proposals to be informed by a site-specific landscape assessment;
  • Heritage impact assessment (including assessment of significance) and sensitive design to ensure appropriate protection of adjacent Scheduled Ancient Monument; and
  • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development.

(28) BA4

Land east of Clothall Common (part in Clothall parish)

95 homes

  • Deliver, in combination with Site BA3, a southern link road connecting Wallington Road to B656 Royston Road
  • Site layout to take account of existing wastewater infrastructure
  • Incorporate ordinary watercourses (and any appropriate measures) within comprehensive green infrastructure and / or SUDs approach;
  • Proposals to be informed by a site-specific landscape assessment;
  • Address existing surface water flood risk issues, including any run-off through SUDs or other appropriate solution
  • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development.

(12) BA5

Land off Yeomanry Drive

25 homes

  • Site layout to take account of existing wastewater infrastructure;
  • Incorporate ordinary watercourses (and any appropriate measures) within comprehensive green infrastructure and / or SUDs approach;
  • Address existing surface water flood risk issues, including any run-off through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
  • Appropriate treatment of south-eastern and south-western boundaries to maintain access to, and integrity of, Footpath Baldock 036;
  • Heritage impact assessment (including assessment of significance) and sensitive design to ensure appropriate protection of adjacent Scheduled Ancient Monument; and
  • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development.

(2) BA6

Land at Icknield Way

26 homes

  • Site layout to take account of existing wastewater infrastructure
  • Address existing surface water flood risk issues, including any run-off through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
  • Investigate and provide adequate mitigation measures/remediation for contamination where identified from previous employment use;
  • Incorporate footpath Baldock 001 through the site
  • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development;
  • Adequate mitigation measures for noise associated with the railway to potentially include insulation and orientation of living spaces;  and
  • Sensitive design to respect setting of Baldock Conservation Area.

(3) BA7

Land rear of Clare Crescent

20 homes

  • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development;
  • Preliminary Risk Assessment to identify any contamination associated with previous uses including mitigation;
  • Address existing surface water flood risk issues, including any run-off through SUDs or other appropriate solution.

    (4) BA11

    Deans Yard, South Road

    20 homes

    • Heritage impact assessment (including assessment of significance) and sensitive design to ensure appropriate protection of adjacent Scheduled Ancient Monument; and
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development;
    • Sensitive design to enhance the setting of Building of Local Interest;
    • Investigate and provide adequate mitigation measures/remediation for contamination associated with previous use.

    Total allocated sites*

    3,386 homes

    Completions and permissions

    204 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted 2011-2031*

    3,290 homes

    * Land North of Baldock is allocated for 2,800 homes in total with 2,500 of these anticipated to be completed by 2031. The higher number is used in the total allocated sites. The lower number is used in the total allocated, completed and permitted 2011-2031

    Economy

    13.20 The town's current employment areas are relatively modest. In part this is due to the town's close proximity to the major employment area east of Letchworth Garden City. This Plan proposes extending the current small employment area on Royston Road into a larger business park to take advantage of the good location close to the junction with the bypass and within reasonably close proximity of the railway station and town centre.

    13.21 In order to help deliver additional local jobs in the District in combination with residential development over the plan period, policy SP3 identifies that 19.6 hectares of employment land should be allocated at Baldock. Given the site's location adjacent to the A505 it provides an ideal location for employment development and it is considered this will allow for future growth over the plan period.


    Ref

    Employment allocations and site-specific criteria

    Hectares

    New employment allocation

    (18) BA10

    Royston Road

    19.6

    • Ensure access arrangements control HGV movements to direct vehicles towards the A505 rather than through Baldock.
    • Address existing surface water flood risk issues, including any run-off through SUDs or other appropriate solution
    • Provide adequate mitigation measures for noise associated with the railway line and for any potential employment activity in relation to Clothall Common;
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development;

    Designated employment areas

    BE1

    Bondor Business Centre

    2.5

    (1) BE2

    Royston Road

    3.3

    Parts of employment areas designated for business use only

    BB1

    Bondor Business Centre East

    1.0

    13.22 Baldock's town centre provides for day to day shopping, with a range of shops mostly along High Street and Whitehorse Street and a large supermarket on the edge of the town centre. A traditional street market is held in the High Street on Wednesdays, whilst specialist farmers and craft markets are occasionally held. Baldock has been bypassed twice: first by the north-south A1 in the 1963 and then by the east-west A505 in 2006. Following the second bypass's opening a programme of enhancement works were carried out to the town centre improving the quality of the street-scene.

    13.23 The shops along High Street and Whitehorse Street lie within the designated town centre. Proposals here will be determined in line with our detailed policies on shopping frontages.

    Infrastructure & mitigation

    13.24 It is anticipated  that development of the large, greenfield sites around Baldock will occur sequentially with those to the south of the town coming forward first and being used to support some of the upfront costs associated with our Strategic Housing Site to the north of Baldock.

    13.25 Over the plan period, the education requirement for Baldock will see up 8FE of additional schools provision. The exact configuration of the education infrastructure is still to be finalised.

    13.26 With regards to primary provision it is likely that 2FE will be provided south of the railway and 6FE to the north.

    13.27 Our Strategic Policy for north of Baldock sets out our expectations in relation to that site, including provision of a new secondary school.

    13.28 Ahead of, or alongside this, some expansion of Knights Templar School may be possible. Equally, it may be necessary to include some secondary provision to the south of the town in the short- to medium-term until the long-term arrangements are finalised and put in place.

    13.29 The Station Road / Clothall Road / Royston Road junction is identified as pinch point in the Council's transport modelling. Provision of a new road associated with BA1 linking the A507 with the A505 will help mitigate this issue enabling movement from north to east without the need to use the junction.

    13.30 Additionally a southern link road is also proposed to enable the development of BA3 and BA4 but also improving connectivity to the south of the town providing the ability to bypass this junction.

    13.31 For much of its length, the A505 Baldock Bypass provides the most appropriate, defensible Green Belt boundary to the south of the town. This requires the removal of some land to the south of Wallington Road lying outside of the allocated housing areas and which should generally remain undeveloped. Our detailed policies set out the approach we will take to areas of Urban Open Land.

    13.32 Heritage and archaeology are key considerations in Baldock owing to the rich history of the settlement. It is considered that sites closest to the scheduled ancient monuments (namely BA2, BA3, BA5 and BA11) can avoid substantial harm to the significance of this asset. Sensitive design will be a critical factor in the development of these sites.

    13.33 The mapped extent of surface water flooding, illustrates a potential issue in Baldock, although this may not reflect the true nature of the extent of flooding in the area. SUDs techniques will need to be employed to ensure that the issue is adequately mitigated and risk is not increased


    (12) Barkway

    Introduction

    13.34 Barkway is located in the rural area to the east of the District. At the 2011 census the population of the parish was 775 people, living in 329 dwellings. The village has a limited range of facilities including a primary school, garage, pub and golf course.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.35 Barkway is identified as a Category A village in the settlement hierarchy and is the largest in population terms of three villages located in the area to the east of the A10 and to the south of Royston. Despite this, facilities are limited and so residents would be likely to travel to either Royston to the north or Buntingford to the south for many day to day items. A development boundary is shown on the Proposals Map to indicate the area within which further development will be allowed. The boundary has been drawn so as to allow for Barkway's development needs during this Plan period.

    Heritage

    13.36 Many properties in the village date back to the 17th and 18th century although there are also a number from the 16th century and even some from the 15th century. The older part of the village has a linear form with many of the oldest properties fronting the High Street. Many are rendered, with some displaying distinctive pargetting (ornamental plasterwork), whilst several properties have thatched roofs. Barkway has had a village church for over 1000 years, although the current flint and stone church dates back to the 13th century. The designated conservation area covers much of the historic linear section of the village. The parish church of St Mary Magdalene is a Grade I listed building. To the north-east of the village the Cockenach estate is designated as a historic park and garden.

    Housing

    13.37 Three sites are allocated in Barkway for an estimated 173 new homes. A further 31 homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011.

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (5) BK1

    Land off Cambridge Road

    13 homes

    • Site layout designed to integrate with any future use of adjoining reserve school site;
    • Appropriate treatment of northern boundary to maintain integrity of Bridleway Barkway 017;
    • Sensitive design to respect setting of Barkway Conservation Area and Cokenach Registered Park and Garden to include:
      • Reinforcing hedgerows and landscaping along southern boundary of site; and
      • Access arrangements designed to minimise harm to heritage assets

    (6) BK2

    Land off Windmill Close

    20 homes

    • Part of the site to be retained as open space; and
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development

    (84) BK3

    Land between Cambridge Road & Royston Road

    140 homes

    • Development should be set back from the road;
    • Lower density housing would be appropriate on the eastern part of the site;
    • Incorporation of footpath Barkway 017 as a north-south green corridor  through the site;
    • Appropriate treatment of northern boundary to maintain alignment and integrity of Bridleway Barkway 018
    • Explore opportunities for connecting road from Royston Road to Cambridge Road having regard to heritage considerations (below);
    • Sensitive integration into existing village, particularly in terms of design, building orientation and opportunities for pedestrian and cycle access;
    • Provision of local convenience shop;
    • Site layout designed to integrate with any future use of adjoining reserve school site;
    • Development should include extensive tree planting, maintenance of the existing boundaries and hedgerows.
    • Sensitive design to respect setting of Cokenach Registered Park and Garden and listed buildings within Newsells estate to include:
      • Reinforcing of hedgerows and landscaping along site boundaries; and
      • Access arrangements designed to minimise harm to heritage assets

    Total allocated sites

    173 homes

    Completions and permissions

    31 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    204 homes

    Economy

    13.38 The visible economic activity of the village is limited to a petrol filling station/garage, soft furnishings business and car repairs business. Barkway Park Golf Club is also located near to the edge of the village.

    Infrastructure & mitigation

    13.39 The existing first school site in Barkway is constrained and is considered difficult to expand. Hertfordshire County Council hold a reserve school site in the village, lying between sites BK1 and BK3. This will be retained providing the opportunity to respond to the increase in the number of dwellings for the village.

    13.40 We will work with the County Council and Diocese (who operate the school in Barkway) to explore the most appropriate long-term education solution.

    13.41 Although Barkway has a range of local facilities, there is presently no shop in the village. The development of land to the north of the village, provides an opportunity to remedy this and support the long-term role of the village.


    (2) Barley

    Introduction

    13.42 Barley is located in the rural area on the eastern edge of the District. At the 2011 census the parish had a population of approximately 662 people and 287 dwellings. It has a reasonable range of services for a village of its size. These services include a primary school, doctor's surgery, post office and general store, petrol filling station/garage and two public houses.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.43 Barley is identified as a Category A village in the settlement hierarchy. General development will be permitted within the defined village boundary. Beyond the village boundary, land is classified as Rural Area beyond the Green Belt.

    13.44 Whilst Barley is smaller than the neighbouring village of Barkway, it does have a wider range of facilities and so does attract visits from both Barkway and other nearby settlements. However, for many requirements residents visit the nearby town of Royston.

    Heritage

    13.45 Barley has grown slowly but more or less continuously over recent centuries and so contains a wide variety of buildings. This includes buildings from the start of the 17th century as well as St Margaret of Antioch Church which originally dates from the 12th century. The Barley conservation area covers much of the village.

    Housing

    13.46 There are no sites allocated for residential development in Barley. Four homes have been granted planning permission or built since 2011.

    Economy

    13.47 The economy of Barley is mixed and reflects the relatively diverse range of facilities and businesses that exist in the village. In addition to those mentioned above this also includes a coach hire company, doctor's surgery and livery operation.

    (2) Bygrave

    Introduction

    13.48 Bygrave is a small village to the north-east of Baldock. The older part of the village is clustered around the parish church just off the road from Baldock to Ashwell. More recent development has been built along the main road towards Baldock, notably at Lower Bygrave in the mid-twentieth century. The parish extends up to the edges of Baldock, and used to include part of the town; Baldock Station and the surrounding area were historically in Bygrave parish, gradually being transferred to Baldock between 1881 and 1928.

    13.49 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Bygrave was 304 and there were 108 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.50 Bygrave village is identified as a Category C settlement  where only limited affordable housing or facilities for local community needs will be allowed. Most of the parish, including the village itself, is within the Green Belt.

    Housing

    13.51 Our Strategic Housing Site to the north of Baldock (see Policy SP14) is mostly within the parish of Bygrave. No other housing sites are allocated in Bygrave. There have been no planning permissions granted or new homes built in the parish since 2011.

    Economy

    13.52 Site BA10, Royston Road, Baldock, is mostly in the parish of Bygrave and is discussed on the Baldock page. No other employment sites are allocated in Bygrave.

    Caldecote

    Introduction

    13.53 Caldecote is North Hertfordshire's smallest parish. Whilst it remains administratively a separate parish, it now shares a joint parish council with neighbouring Newnham. The village today is much smaller than it was in medieval times; the church (now closed) was rebuilt in the 14th century, just before the village was effectively abandoned (around the time of the Black Death), leaving just a manor house and a couple of farm cottages.

    13.54 Away from the shrunken village, the parish does include a couple of buildings on the A1, including a petrol filling station with shop. Apart from this the parish has little in way of facilities.

    13.55 Population statistics are not available for Caldecote separately due to its small size. The combined population of the three parishes of Caldecote, Newnham and Radwell at the 2011 census was 209 and there were 97 dwellings across the three parishes.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.56 Caldecote is identified as a Category C settlement where only limited affordable housing or facilities for local community needs will be allowed. The whole of the parish is designated as Rural Area beyond the Green Belt within which there is general restraint on development.

    Housing

    13.57 No sites are allocated for housing in Caldecote. There have been no planning permissions granted or new homes built in the parish since 2011.

    (2) Clothall

    Introduction

    13.58 Clothall is a long, thin parish stretching from the southern edges of Baldock to the District's southern border with East Hertfordshire near Luffenhall. The parish contains the small village of Clothall and the hamlet of Luffenhall. It also gives its name to the Clothall Common area of Baldock, which used to be part of Clothall parish before being transferred to Baldock.

    13.59 The village contains a village hall and church but has few other facilities.

    13.60 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Clothall was 150 and there were 67 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.61 Clothall is identified as a Category C settlement where only limited affordable housing or facilities for local community needs will be allowed. Much of the parish, including the village itself, is washed over with Green Belt, with southern and eastern parts of the parish classed as Rural Area Beyond the Green Belt.

    Housing

    13.62 Some of the sites on the south-eastern edges of Baldock are in the parish of Clothall. For further discussion of these, see the Baldock page. No other housing sites are allocated in Clothall. There have been no planning permissions granted or new homes built within that part of Clothall parish outside of the Baldock urban area since 2011.


    (1) Cockernhoe and East of Luton

    Introduction

    13.63 Cockernhoe and the area east of Luton is part of Offley parish. The Cockernhoe ward of Offley parish covers the area between Luton and Lilley Bottom Road and includes Cockernhoe, Mangrove Green and Tea Green. There are also a number of scattered farms and Putteridge Bury.

    13.64 The remainder of Offley parish is discussed in its own section of this chapter.

    13.65 At the 2011 census the population of the Cockernhoe ward of Offley parish was 493 and there were 205 dwellings in the ward.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.66 Cockernhoe is identified as a Category A village. The development boundary is shown on the Proposals Map to indicate the area within which further development will be allowed. The boundary has been drawn so as to include both the village and the adjoining expansion of Luton. Outside this boundary the rest of the Cockernhoe ward is classed as Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.67 This area includes the Putteridge Bury historic park and garden, now used by the University of Bedfordshire.

    Housing

    13.68 Our strategic site to the East of Luton is located in Cockernhoe ward. This will deliver 2,100 homes over the plan period. The significant majority of these homes are included as an allowance towards unmet needs arising from Luton. No further local housing allocations are proposed in this area. Five homes have been built or granted planning permission within the Cockernhoe ward of Offley parish since 2011.

    Ref

    Strategic Housing Sites

    Dwelling estimate

    (7) EL1, EL2 & EL3

    Land East of Luton (see Policy SP19)

    2,100 homes

    Total allocated sites

    2,100 homes

    Completions and permissions

    5 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    2,105 homes

    Economy

    13.69 There is a school and a village hall in Cockernhoe and public houses in Tea Green and Mangrove Green. Outside the village, there is significant employment generated by the Putteridge Bury campus of the University of Bedfordshire.

    13.70 There are likely to be small scale opportunities for additional employment development associated with the East of Luton sites, notably in the neighbourhood centre. Opportunities for other employment development on those sites will be considered through the masterplanning process.

    (122) Codicote

    Introduction

    13.71 The parish of Codicote covers an area much wider than just the village as it includes some developed parts of Oaklands (Pottersheath) and areas north of Welwyn (Danesbury). It also includes hamlets such as Nup End to the north as well as a number of scattered farms.

    13.72 The village of Codicote has a relatively good range of facilities, including a school, shops, several public houses, village hall, car repairs garage and a church.

    13.73 At the 2011 census the population of the parish was 3,344 and there were 1,496 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.74 Codicote is identified as a Category A village. The development boundary is shown on the Proposals Map to indicate the area within which further development will be allowed. The boundary has been drawn so as to encompass the existing developed extent but also allow for Codicote's future development needs.

    13.75 The part of Oaklands in Codicote parish is also identified as a Category A village under Policy SP2. The rest of the parish is classed as Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.76 The village has one conservation area covering the linear part of the settlement which grew up along the High Street (B656). The wider parish also includes parts of the Ayot St Lawrence and Old Knebworth conservation areas, and also parts of the Ayot House and Knebworth Park designated historic parks and gardens.

    Housing

    13.77 Four sites are allocated in and around Codicote village for an estimated 315 new homes. A further 49 homes have been built or granted planning permission with the parish since 2011.

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (55) CD1

    Land south of Cowards Lane

    73 homes

    • Detailed drainage strategy identifying water infrastructure required and mechanism(s) for delivery;
    • Sensitive integration into existing village, particularly in terms of design, building orientation and opportunities for cycle and pedestrian access
    • Sensitive design, particularly at north-east of site, to prevent adverse impact upon setting of Listed Buildings on High Street;
    • Preliminary Risk Assessment to identify any contamination associated with previous uses including mitigation;
    • Consider and mitigate against potential adverse impacts upon Hollands Farm Meadow Local Wildlife Site and adjoining priority woodland habitat

    (47) CD2

    Codicote Garden Centre, High Street

    54 homes

    • Detailed drainage strategy identifying water infrastructure required and mechanism(s) for delivery;
    • Preliminary Risk Assessment to identify any contamination associated with previous uses including mitigation;
    • Consider and mitigate against potential adverse impacts upon adjoining priority deciduous woodland habitat;
    • Sensitive design takin g opportunities to enhance setting of Grade II* Listed Church of St Giles

    (53) CD3

    Land north of The Close

    48 homes

    • Detailed drainage strategy identifying water infrastructure required and mechanism(s) for delivery;
    • Address existing surface water flood risk issues through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • Sensitive incorporation of Footpaths Codicote 007 and 008 as perimeter features around the site and a connection from the High Street to the wider countryside;
    • Heritage impact assessment (including assessment of significance) and sensitive design to ensure appropriate approach to nearby Grade II* listed The Bury;

    (54) CD5

    Land south of Heath Lane

    140 homes

    • Land broadly to the east of the current alignment of footpath Codicote 014 to be reserved for expansion of the existing school;
    • Detailed drainage strategy identifying water infrastructure required and mechanism(s) for delivery;
    • Preliminary Risk Assessment to identify any contamination associated with previous uses including mitigation;
    • Consider and mitigate against potential adverse impacts upon nearby features of biodiversity interest including:
      • Codicote Lodge Icehouse & surrounds Local Wildlife Site;
      • Heath Plantation Local Wildlife Site;
      • Meadow NW of First Spring Local Wildlife Site; and
      • Priority deciduous woodland habitat adjoining the site;
    • Sensitive incorporation of existing rights of way, including footpaths Codicote 014, 015 & 016 as green corridors through the site connecting the existing village to the wider countryside;
    • Proposals to be informed by a site-specific landscape assessment, particularly ensuring development at the south-west of the site does not encroach beyond acceptable limits into longer views across the Mimram Valley;
    • Lower density of development to southern edge of site to respect local character; and
    • Sensitive treatment of Heath Lane frontage to minimise impact upon nearby Listed Buildings.

    Total allocated sites

    315 homes

    Completions and permissions

    49 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    364 homes

    13.78 A site adjoining the existing Gypsy and Traveller site at Pulmore Water has been identified for six additional pitches.

    Ref

    Site

    Pitch estimate

    (12) CD4

    Land at Pulmore Water, St Albans Road

    6

    Economy

    13.79 The facilities of Codicote are designated as a village centre under policy SP4. Proposals in this area will be determined in accordance with our detailed policies. The extent of the village centre is shown on the map in Appendix 4.

    Infrastructure and mitigation

    13.80 The existing 1 FE Codicote school regularly fills most of its available places from the local area. Its current site is physically constrained.  Expansion of the existing primary school is required to accommodate demand from the additional residential development that is planned in Codicote.

    13.81 Our transport modelling does not identify a requirement for any specific mitigation measures in Codicote. However, there can be localised pinch points on the High Street, particularly at peak times or when delays or incidents on the A1(M) result in the B656 being used as an alternate route between Welwyn Garden City and Hitchin.

    13.82 Sites in Codicote will need to ensure that any transport assessments appropriately take these issues into account and contribute reasonably to any necessary mitigation measures which may seek to address these issues.

    13.83 Codicote lies within the Thames Water area and the water company have identified localised constraints in wastewater infrastructure. Prospective applicants should work with Thames Water, and together, to identify the likely cumulative nature of infrastructure required.

    (5) Graveley and North of Stevenage

    Introduction

    13.84 The parish of Graveley includes the village and the surrounding areas to the north and east. This incorporates Jacks Hill, Manor Farm and Chesfield. The area to the south abuts Stevenage Borough Council administrative boundary.

    13.85 The village includes a school, two public houses, a village hall and a church. At the 2011 census the population of the parish was 487 and there were 198 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.86 Graveley is identified as a Category A village. The development boundary is shown on the Proposals Map to indicate the area within which further development will be allowed. The boundary has been drawn so as to encompass the existing developed extent but also allow for Graveley's future development needs.

    13.87 Most of the parish is covered by the Green Belt, but the southern part of the parish contains the North of Stevenage strategic  site and the eastern part of the parish contains a site adjoining Great Ashby (discussed on the Great Ashby page).

    Heritage

    13.88 The village contains one conservation area, which includes the majority of the listed buildings. The parish church of St Mary is a Grade I listed building. There are also a number of heritage assets in the hamlet of Chesfield, including listed buildings and the ruined church of St Etheldreda.

    Housing

    13.89 Our strategic site to the north of Stevenage is located in Graveley parish. One site is allocated within the village for an estimated 8 new homes. A further 8 homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011.

    Ref

    Strategic Housing Sites

    Dwelling estimate

    (2) NS1

    Land North of Stevenage (see Policy SP15)

    900 homes

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (1) GR1

    Land at Milksey Lane

    8 homes

    • Sensitive design to minimise impacts upon Graveley Conservation Area;
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development;
    • Maintain Public Right of Way (Graveley 018) through the site.

    Total allocated sites

    908 homes

    Completions and permissions

    8 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    916 homes

    (4) Great Ashby and north-east of Stevenage

    Introduction

    13.90 Great Ashby is a relatively new parish, representing the residential area adjoining Stevenage. Formerly part of Graveley parish (and a small strip of Weston parish), the new parish covers the residential estate adjoining the north east Stevenage.

    13.91 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Great Ashby was 5,706 and there were 2,172 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.92 Great Ashby adjoins Stevenage and so for the purposes of settlement hierarchy is considered part of the town.

    Heritage

    13.93 There are no Conservation Areas or listed buildings within Great Ashby.

    Housing

    13.94 Two sites are allocated in and around Great Ashby for an estimated 930 new homes. There have been no new homes built or granted planning permission within Great Ashby since 2011.

    Ref

    Strategic Housing Sites

    Dwelling estimate

    (5) GA2

    Land North-East of Great Ashby (Weston parish) (see Policy SP18)

    600 homes

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (83) GA1

    Land at Roundwood (Graveley parish)

    330 homes

    • Detailed drainage strategy identifying water infrastructure required and mechanism(s) for delivery.
    • Sensitive integration into existing settlement in terms of development layout and building orientation;
    • Principal vehicular access taken from existing residential streets within Great Ashby;
    • Maintain general integrity of Weston Road, including as a through route for pedestrians and cyclists
    • Retention and sensitive treatment of priority woodland habitats surrounding site to north and west;
    • Consider and mitigate against any adverse impacts upon adjacent local wildlife site at Parsonsgreen Wood;
    • Integration of Footpath Graveley 010 as a perimeter feature around the north of the site;
    • Sensitive design and landscaping around northern and western peripheries to minimise impacts upon wider landscape and heritage assets, including the setting of the Scheduled Ancient Monument at Chesfield Church.

    Total allocated sites

    930 homes

    Completions and permissions

    0 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    930 homes

    Economy

    13.95 The facilities of Great Ashby are designated as a neighbourhood centre under policy SP4. The extent of the neighbourhood centre is shown on the map in Appendix 4. Proposals in this area will be considered in accordance with the detailed policies of this Plan.

    Infrastructure and mitigation

    13.96 Our Strategic Policies set out the key requirements in relation to the land at north-east of Great Ashby (see Policy SP18).

    13.97 School place provision in Great Ashby is a key issue. The existing primary school at Round Diamond was built to serve the original development but is regularly oversubscribed. This results in some children having to travel further afield for their education.

    13.98 Hertfordshire County Council have identified expansion potential at The Leys Primary School within Stevenage as an option for providing additional capacity in the wider north Stevenage and Great Ashby area.

    13.99 Our proposals for site GA2 also require consideration of education provision, including a minimum requirement to provide a new 2FE primary school. Between them, these measures should ensure sufficient provision to serve Great Ashby as a whole.

    13.100 Our transport modelling does not identify any specific mitigation scheme requirements for Great Ashby. However, it is recognised that there are localised highway issues in the area, particularly relating to on-street car parking[141]. These have arisen, in part, as a result of national planning policies in place at the time Great Ashby was developed which restricted the amount of off-street car parking the District Council could require.

    13.101 Potential highway management measures, such as the use of Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs), lie outside the direct control of the planning system and it is therefore not for this Local Plan to dictate the most appropriate solution(s).

    13.102 It is recognised that a careful balance needs to be struck between facilitating new development, ensuring safe vehicular access throughout Great Ashby, the provision of parking places and the need to ensure that any measures which might be implemented do not simply displace problems to other locations.

    13.103 We will continue to work with the community council and highway authority to determine the most appropriate solution(s). Sites in Great Ashby will need to ensure that any transport assessments appropriately take these matters into account and contribute reasonably to any necessary mitigation measures, or wider strategies which may seek to address these issues.

    13.104 Thames Water have identified that additional wastewater infrastructure capacity is likely to be required to support development at Great Ashby. Applicants should provide sufficient detail alongside any applications to demonstrate that these requirements have been understood and addressed.

    Hexton

    Introduction

    13.105 The parish of Hexton contains the village and surrounding countryside. It adjoins Central Bedfordshire to the north, east and west. Most of the parish is covered by the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    13.106 The village includes a school, shop, public house, village hall and church.

    13.107 At the 2011 census the population of the parish was 123 and there were 52 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.108 Hexton is identified as a Category A village. The development boundary is shown on the Proposals Map to indicate the area within which further development will be allowed. The boundary has been drawn so as to encompass the existing developed extent.

    13.109 Beyond the village boundary, the whole of the parish is designated as Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.110 The parish contains the Hexton Conservation Area which includes a number of listed buildings. Ravensburgh Castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The grounds of Hexton Manor are designated as a historic park and garden.

    Housing

    13.111 There are no sites allocated for residential development in Hexton. Planning permission has been granted for one new home since 2011.

    Hinxworth

    Introduction

    13.112 The parish of Hinxworth contains the village and surrounding farmland. It adjoins Central Bedfordshire to the west and north. There is a village hall, public house and church, but little else by way of facilities.

    13.113 At the 2011 census the population of the parish was 313 and there were 127 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.114 Hinxworth is identified as a Category B village, within which infilling development which does not expand the built up area into the surrounding countryside will be allowed.

    Heritage

    13.115 The parish contains the Hinxworth Conservation Area which includes a number of listed buildings.

    Housing

    13.116 There are no sites allocated for residential development in Hinxworth. Three new homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011.

    (9) Hitchin

    Introduction

    13.117 Hitchin is one of North Hertfordshire's main towns. Historically it forms the main market town serving the area, and administratively it was the base for the Hitchin Rural District Council, which until 1974 covered most of the territory which now comprises North Hertfordshire.

    13.118 Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City and Baldock lie very close to each other and have strong relationships linking them in terms of housing markets and job movements. That said, each town retains a distinct identity of its own. The needs for development arising from the three towns are comparatively high, but the gaps separating the towns are small and of great importance if the town's urban areas and identities are to be kept distinct. Managing growth in this relatively developed part of the District whilst allowing each town to retain its identity is one of the challenges to be addressed.

    13.119 At the 2011 census the population of Hitchin (defined as the unparished area of the town) was 32,731 and there were 14,702 dwellings in the unparished area. A further 870 people and 329 dwellings are found in the part of St Ippolyts parish which falls within Hitchin Priory ward, giving a combined population of 33,601 for the urban area of Hitchin, making it the most populous individual urban area in the District, narrowly overtaking Letchworth Garden City, which had been larger in the 2001 census.

    13.120 The town has grown over the years and has absorbed the former village of Walsworth within its urban area, as well as smaller hamlets such as Bearton Green, giving different parts of the modern town different characters. In the east of the town Walsworth Common / Purwell Meadows forms a major open space along the River Purwell.

    13.121 The town has some small areas of relative deprivation, notably on the Westmill estate in the north-west of the town. The Council is working with partners to try and regenerate the neighbourhood centre there and improve community facilities.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.122 Hitchin is classed as a town under Policy SP2. A settlement boundary is defined for the town (shown on the Proposals Map), within which new development is encouraged. Beyond the settlement boundary is Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.123 Hitchin developed around its long thin medieval market place, which ran parallel to the River Hiz and stretched from Bancroft in the north to Bridge Street and Tilehouse Street in the south, adjoining Hitchin Priory. The parish church of St Mary's is between the historic market place and the river. Both Hitchin Priory and the parish church of St Mary's are Grade I listed buildings.

    13.124 Infilling within the historic market place created the streets of Sun Street and Bucklersbury to the south and High Street and Churchyard to the north, leaving the smaller area now known as Market Place which forms the visual and commercial heart of the town. This area is covered by the Hitchin conservation area, which also includes some of the early suburban areas, notably between Walsworth Road and Wymondley Road which developed between the old town and the railway.

    13.125 Separate conservation areas cover the area around Hitchin Station and nearby Ransom's Recreation Ground, Hitchin Hill Path, Butts Close, and the hamlet of Charlton to the south-west of the town.

    Housing

    13.126 Seven sites are allocated in and around Hitchin for an estimated 1,009 new homes. The significant majority of these will be built at our Strategic Housing Site at Highover Farm. A further 638 homes have been built or granted planning permission in Hitchin since 2011.

    Ref

    Strategic Housing Sites

    Dwelling estimate

    (5) HT1

    Land at Highover Farm (see Policy SP17)

    700 homes

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (9) HT2

    Land north of Pound Farm (St Ippolyts parish)

    84 homes

    • Site layout designed to take account of existing wastewater infrastructure;
    • Address existing surface water flood risk issues through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • Maintain appropriate buffer zone from Ippolitts Brook at south-east of site;
    • Consider and mitigate against any adverse impacts upon adjoining priority habitat (deciduous woodland) and key features of interest of adjacent local wildlife site (Folly Alder Swamp);
    • Sensitive design towards south-west of site and in areas viewed from Mill Lane to minimise harm to heritage assets.

    (7) HT3

    Land south of Oughtonhead Lane

    46 homes

    • Access from Westbury Way or  Long Innings whilst maintaining the general integrity and character of Oughtonhead Lane (Restricted Byway Hitchin 003);
    • Consider and mitigate against potential adverse cumulative impacts of sites in this area on Oughtonhead Lane SSSI;
    • Sensitive design to minimise impacts upon landscapes to the west, including longer views from the Chilterns AONB.

    (11) HT5

    Land at junction of Grays Lane & Lucas Lane

    16 homes

    • Improvements to Grays Lane to provide access to sites HT5 and HT6 whilst maintaining appropriate access to Bridleway Hitchin 004 and Byway Open to All Traffic Hitchin 007;
    • Consider and mitigate against potential adverse cumulative impacts of sites in this area on Oughtonhead Lane SSSI;
    • Sensitive design to minimise impacts upon landscapes to the west, including longer views from the Chilterns AONB.

    (13) HT6

    Land at junction of Grays Lane & Crow Furlong

    53 homes

    • Improvements to Grays Lane to provide access to sites HT5 and HT6 whilst maintaining appropriate access to Bridleway Hitchin 004 and Byway Open to All Traffic Hitchin 007;
    • Consider and mitigate against any adverse impacts upon adjoining priority habitat (deciduous woodland);
    • Consider and mitigate against potential adverse cumulative impacts of sites in this area on Oughtonhead Lane SSSI;
    • Sensitive design to minimise impacts upon landscapes to the west, including longer views from the Chilterns AONB;
    • Archaeological survey to take place prior to development.

    (1) HT8

    Industrial Area, Cooks Way

    50 homes

    • Preliminary Risk Assessment to identify any contamination associated with previous uses including mitigation;
    • Site layout designed to take account of existing wastewater infrastructure;
    • Higher intensity development to take account of site location and surrounding completed schemes.

    (1) HT10

    Former B&Q site

    60 homes

    • Preliminary Risk Assessment to identify any contamination associated with previous uses including mitigation;
    • Enhance routes to nearby open space and / or on-site provision of open space;
    • Higher intensity development to take account of site location and surrounding completed schemes;
    • High quality and innovative design accentuating the site's corner location and as a gateway to the Hitchin Station area.

    Total allocated sites

    1,009 homes

    Completions and permissions

    638 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    1,647 homes

    Economy

    13.127 Hitchin contains a number of existing employment areas spread across the town. The largest of these is at Wilbury Way. Although no new sites for employment uses are proposed in Hitchin in this Plan, protection of the existing employment areas will be important to ensure the future of the economy and support wider economic growth.

    13.128 The following sites are designated employment areas shown on the Proposals Map. Applications will be considered in accordance with our detailed policies.


    Ref

    Employment allocations and site-specific criteria

    Hectares

    Designated employment areas

    HE1

    Wilbury Way

    38.9

    (1) HE2

    Burymead Road

    7.1

    (2) HE3

    Station approach

    1.4

    HE4

    Land adjacent to Priory Park

    0.9

    Parts of employment areas designated for business use only

    HB1

    Wilbury Way

    3.6

    HB2

    Cadwell Lane

    0.8

    (1) HB3

    Burymead Road

    7.1

    (1) HB4

    Land adjacent to Priory Park

    0.9

    13.129 Hitchin town centre is the District's largest town centre. It has a good range of shops, with the primary shopping area being largely around Market Place and along High Street and Bancroft, with secondary shopping areas along Hermitage Road, Bucklersbury and Sun Street.

    13.130 The Churchgate Centre and its surrounds make an important contribution to the vitality of the town centre. It supports a significant amount of retail floorspace, provides the location of Hitchin Market and ensures a large quantity of surface level car-parking in easy access of the shops and facilities.

    13.131 However, our evidence also recognises that this area lacks amenity value and is largely a negative contribution to the Hitchin Conservation Area and to the setting of individual listed buildings[142].

    13.132 A need for additional retail floorspace has been recognised and national guidance is clear that, where this is the case, sites should be allocated where this need can be met. Our evidence sees the Churchgate Centre and the surrounding area as a location where up to 4,000m² of additional retail floorspace could be provided as part of a comprehensive mixed-use redevelopment[143].

    13.133 Redevelopment of this area at a suitable scale and reflecting the historic properties of Hitchin town centre has the potential to enhance the character, appearance and significance of this area.

    13.134 This scheme will be retail-led. Consequently, no specific housing allocation or requirement is identified and any residential units here will contribute towards the windfall allowances identified in Policy SP8 of this Plan.

    13.135 A number of high-level, site-specific criteria are identified below. Any scheme here will need to take these into account and take a comprehensive approach to the treatment of heritage assets to ensure an appropriate scheme.


    Ref

    Retail allocations and site-specific criteria

    (3) HT11

    Churchgate and its surrounding area

    Mixed-use

    • Redevelopment to provide approximately 4,000m2 of gross additional main town centre use floorspace;
    • Provision of residential accommodation on upper floors;
    • Identification of suitable, long-term location for Hitchin Market;
    • Ensure an appropriate level of car parking is retained and / or provided across the town centre as a whole;
    • Provision of high quality public realm including strengthened pedestrian links between Market Place, Queen Street, Portmill Lane, Bancroft and along the River Hiz;
    • Preservation and enhancement of heritage assets including Hitchin Conservation Area and listed buildings, including:
      • Protection of key views of Grade I listed St Mary's Church, including from Hollow Lane;
      • Consideration and sensitive treatment of key listed buildings and their settings including the Sun Hotel, the Biggin and various buildings in Market Place;
      • Retention and enhancement of terracing to River Hiz;
      • Any replacement buildings required to:
        • respect existing building frontage lines on Sun Street and Market Place; and
        • provide architectural variation to reflect rhythm of historic building plots.
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development.

    (4) HT12

    Paynes Park

    Mixed use

    • Redevelopment to provide approximately 4,000m2 of gross additional main town centre use floorspace;
    • Preservation and enhancement of heritage assets including Hitchin Conservation Area and listed buildings, including:
    • Protection and enhancement of Paynes Park House and The Cock Public House which lie within the site boundary;
    • Respect for the setting of the Green Hythe, Bank Flat and 3-4 High Street which are adjacent to the site;
    • Incorporate and maintain alignment of PROW along West Alley (Hitchin 090);
    • Environmental improvements to the area and frontage along Paynes Park.

    13.136 Policy SP4 identifies there are seven local centres in Hitchin, which will be encouraged to thrive and protected under policy ETC6. They are:

    • Grove Road;
    • Nightingale Road;
    • Ninesprings;
    • Redhill Road;
    • Walsworth Road
    • Walsworth (Cambridge Road); and
    • Westmill (John Barker Place).

    13.137 The extent of these centres is shown on the maps in Appendix 4.

    Infrastructure and mitigation

    13.138 Our Strategic Policies set out the key requirements in relation to the land at Highover Farm (see Policy SP17).

    13.139 This includes a presumption in favour of an on-site primary school. The cumulative demand arising from the remaining sites within Hitchin will create further demand for additional school places.

    13.140 Land at Bearton Green was identified as a reserve school site in the previous local plan. This is currently used as a detached playing field by William Ransom Primary to allow the school to expand. This land could be used to facilitate expansion of other existing primary schools by providing detached playing fields.

    13.141 Hertfordshire County Council will need to undertake further work to understand the dynamics of school place allocations within Hitchin and to identify the most appropriate location(s) to make any additional primary school provision.

    13.142 Some expansion of existing secondary schools is considered feasible. This Plan removes the Priory School from the Green Belt to facilitate additional provision where this is considered the most suitable approach.

    13.143 Our transport modelling identifies that a number of junction improvement schemes will be required in Hitchin by 2031:

    • A505 Cambridge Road / Willian Road / Woolgrove Road
    • A505 Upper Tilehouse Street /  B655 Pirton Road
    • A505 & A602 Paynes Park
    • A602 / B656 / Gosmore Road
    • Cadwell Lane / Wilbury Way / Woolgrove Road

    13.144 A number of these highway mitigation schemes are on the routes of the A505 and A602 as they pass through the town. It is notable from the transport work that the majority of these schemes would be required even if no further development was being proposed through this Plan.

    13.145 All schemes in Hitchin will be required to make reasonable contributions towards the funding of these works. However, appropriate funding arrangements will need to be made. These need to reflect the fact that background traffic growth triggers the requirement for the schemes with new development then utilising some of the additional capacity that would be provided.

    13.146 Any highway mitigation scheme at the A602 / B656 / Gosmore Road roundabout will need to consider the effects upon the Air Quality Management Area which has been declared on the approach to this junction.

    13.147 Anglian Water recognise that there is capacity within the environmental consent for Hitchin Water Recycling Centre to accommodate planned growth in the town. Local upgrades may be required for certain schemes, notably site HT2. The need for such upgrades will be determined at the planning application stage when Anglian Water is approached by the developer.

    Holwell

    Introduction

    13.148 Holwell is a small parish on the border with Bedfordshire. Until 1897 it was part of Bedfordshire. The parish contains the village of Holwell and the surrounding rural area. There is a village hall and church, but little else by way of facilities.

    13.149 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Holwell was 361 and there were 164 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.150 Holwell is defined as a Category B village within which infilling development that does not extend the built up area into the surrounding countryside will be allowed. The whole parish is classed as Rural Area Beyond the Green Belt.

    Housing

    13.151 There are no sites allocated for residential development in Holwell. 10 homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011.

    (14) Ickleford

    Introduction

    13.152 Ickleford lies to the north of Hitchin. Apart from the village the parish includes some scattered farms and tracts of countryside. The village of Ickleford has a relatively good range of facilities, including a school, shops, public houses, village hall and church.

    13.153 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Ickleford was 1,833 and there were 844 dwellings in the parish.

    13.154 The civil parish extends north to the District and county boundary with neighbouring Central Bedfordshire. This Plan allocates land for development along the administrative boundary. This site is considered under a specific section of this chapter on Lower Stondon. This is the settlement within Central Bedfordshire that the site will adjoin.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.155 Ickleford is identified as a Category A village. The development boundary is shown on the Proposals Map to indicate the area within which further development will be allowed. Most of the rest of the parish is classed as Green Belt, save a small area in the far north of the parish on the Bedfordshire border which is rural area beyond the Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.156 Ickleford has one conservation area which covers the central area of the village, covering the two greens (Upper Green and Lower Green) between which the village grew. The parish church of St Katherine's is a Grade I listed building.

    Housing

    13.157 Three sites are allocated around the edge of Ickleford village for an estimated 199 new homes. 10 further new homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011. 

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (82) IC1

    Land at Duncots Close

    9 homes

    • Address existing surface water flood risk issues through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • No built development in north-east corner of site to protect views from Grade I listed church
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development.

    (91) IC2

    Burford Grange, Bedford Road

    40 homes

    • Consider and mitigate against any adverse impacts key features of interest of adjoining local wildlife site (Westmill Lane)
    • Site layout designed to take account of existing wastewater infrastructure;

    (103) IC3

    Land at Bedford Road

    150 homes

    • Appropriate solution for primary education requirements having regard to up-to-date assessments of need;
    • Appropriate junction access arrangements to Bedford Road;
    • Sensitive incorporation of Footpaths Ickleford 013 & 014 as green routes around the edge of the site including appropriate measures to reinforce the new Green Belt boundary along their alignment;
    • Integration of Bridleway Ickleford 015 as a green corridor through the site;
    • Sensitive treatment of priority deciduous woodland habitat or, where this cannot be (fully) retained, compensatory provision elsewhere within or adjoining the site;
    • Development proposals to be informed by site-specific landscape assessment;
    • Sensitive integration into existing village, particularly in terms of design, building orientation and opportunities for cycle and pedestrian access;
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development;
    • Consider and mitigate against potential adverse impacts of sites on Oughtonhead Lane SSSI.

    Total allocated sites

    199 homes

    Completions and permissions

    10 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    209 homes

    Infrastructure and mitigation

    13.158 Our transport modelling work does not identify any specific mitigation works that are required on the Ickleford road network. Development here will, however, contribute toward traffic generation within Hitchin and appropriate contributions will be sought towards identified schemes in the town.

    13.159 Site IC3 will require the creation of a new access onto the A600 Bedford Road. The most appropriate solution, along with any consequential works – such as changes to speed limits entering / exiting the village from / to the north – will be explored through transport assessments.

    13.160 Ickleford Primary is a 1FE school and regularly fills most of its available places from the local area. However, it is located on a constrained site. The school premises lie partially within the Conservation Area and the original school building is listed. There is no capacity to expand within the current site.

    13.161 The estimated number of homes on site IC3 makes allowance for the provision of a new primary school of up to 2FE on this site. This would allow for the relocation of the existing school and additional provision to meet requirements arising from new development if this is determined to be the most appropriate solution.

    13.162 In considering this issue, regard will need to be given to the nature of the existing school's catchment, the relationship with other schools on the northern edges of Hitchin and the most desirable format(s) for delivering primary education in the village.

    13.163 Anglian Water consider there is capacity in the relevant treatment works to support the level of growth proposed.

    Kelshall

    Introduction

    13.164 Kelshall is a small village in hilly country to the south-west of Royston. It is one of a group of villages established by the Saxons along the line of the chalk ridge from Baldock to Royston.

    13.165 Kelshall has a village hall and church but few other facilities.

    13.166 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Kelshall was 163 and there were 65 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.167 Kelshall has limited facilities and is identified as a Category B village within which infilling development which does not extend the built up area of the village into the surrounding countryside will be allowed.

    Housing

    13.168 No sites are allocated in Kelshall for residential development. One new home has been built in the parish since 2011.

    (1) Kimpton

    Introduction

    13.169 Kimpton parish is on the south-western edge of the District. The village of Kimpton has a relatively good range of facilities, including a school, shop, public houses, village hall and church. Apart from the village itself, the parish also includes the smaller settlements of Peters Green and Blackmore End as well as some scattered farms and a wide tract of countryside.

    13.170 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Kimpton was 2,167 and there were 884 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.171 Kimpton is identified as a Category A village under policy SP2. It has been excluded from the Green Belt with its settlement boundary being shown on the Proposals Map. Blackmore End is classed as a Category B settlement. It has also been excluded from the Green Belt and infilling development that does not extend the built up area into the surrounding countryside will be permitted. Peters Green is a Category C settlement. Development here will be restricted to limited affordable housing and facilities for local community needs in accordance with our detailed policies.

    Heritage

    13.172  Kimpton has two conservation areas. Kimpton Village covers the eastern part of the village around the church and green, and Kimpton Bottom lies at the western end of the village. The parish church of St Peter and St Paul is a Grade I listed building.

    Housing

    13.173 One site is allocated in Kimpton for an estimated 13 new homes. 32 homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011.

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (3) KM3

    Land north of High Street

    13 homes

    • Address existing surface water flood risk issues through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • Sensitive design to minimise impacts upon adjoining Conservation Area.

    Total allocated sites

    13 homes

    Completions and permissions

    32 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    45 homes

     Economy

    13.174 Kimpton has a small employment area along Claggy Road. This is not sufficiently large to designate as an employment area, but does perform an important role in providing local employment and facilities. The Council will therefore seek to protect the employment function of this area under policy ETC4: Employment development outside employment areas.

    (1) King's Walden

    Introduction

    13.175 King's Walden parish lies on the western edge of the District, close to Luton Airport. The largest village in the parish is Breachwood Green. It also includes the smaller village of King's Walden (including Ley Green). The parish also includes several scattered smaller hamlets and farms and the surrounding countryside. Breachwood Green has a school, public house, village hall and church. King's Walden has a shop, public house and church.

    13.176 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of King's Walden was 1,015 and there were 410 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.177 Breachwood Green is classed as a Category A village in Policy SP2. It has been excluded from the Green Belt and development will be supported within the defined settlement boundary. The rest of the parish is designated as Green Belt, including the settlement of King's Walden itself.

    Heritage

    13.178 There are no conservation areas in the parish. The parish church of St Mary's is a Grade I listed building.

    Housing

    13.179 One site is allocated in King's Walden parish, at Breachwood Green, for an estimated 16 new homes. One additional new home has been built since 2011.

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (150) KW1

    Land west of The Heath, Breachwood Green

    16 homes

    • Appropriate noise monitoring and mitigation measures, to potentially include insulation and appropriate orientation of living spaces, demonstrating WHO and BS8223 standards will be met;
    • Reprovision of existing allotments subject to up-to-date assessments of need;
    • Sensitive treatment on site frontage to minimise impacts upon setting of nearby Listed buildings on The Heath;
    • Reinforce western site boundary to screen views, enhance Green Belt boundary and maintain rural setting of Listed buildings on Brownings Lane;
    • Incorporation of Footpath Kings Walden 008 as green corridor through the site.

    Total allocated sites

    16 homes

    Completions and permissions

    1 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    17 homes

    Infrastructure and mitigation

    13.180 Breachwood Green is located on the approach and departure flightpaths from Luton airport and any schemes will need to demonstrate that noise issues have been appropriately addressed and that internal noise levels within any new homes are within relevant guideline levels.

    13.181 This site is currently in use as allotments and, subject to appropriate surveys and evidence at the point of any application, will need to be replaced. There is a second allotment site within Breachwood Green at Colemans Road and consideration should be given as to whether land in this area may be able to accommodate the displaced plots.

    13.182 Thames Water have identified that some improvements may be required to existing wastewater infrastructure. However, it is considered that this can be dealt with through the planning application process and / or by condition.

    (182) Knebworth

    Introduction

    13.183 Knebworth parish lies on the southern edge of District between Stevenage and Welwyn. The village of Knebworth has a good range of facilities including a railway station, school, doctors and dentists, library, a range of shops, village hall and churches. The railway and A1(M) both cross the parish. East of the A1(M) is Knebworth village, which grew up around Knebworth Station. West of the A1(M) is Old Knebworth, adjoining the Knebworth House estate. Apart from the two villages the parish also includes the Knebworth House parkland and surrounding countryside.

    13.184 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Knebworth was 4,496 and there were 2,002 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.185 Knebworth is identified as a Category A village. It is excluded from the Green Belt with a settlement boundary shown on the Proposals Map. General development will be permitted in this area. The rest of the parish is designated Green Belt. Old Knebworth is identified as a Category B village within the Green Belt where limited infilling will be allowed.

    Heritage

    13.186 Knebworth village has moved twice. The original village was in what is now Knebworth Park, clustered around the parish church of St Mary and St Thomas. The church, which is a Grade I listed building, now stands alone in the park, after one of the owners of Knebworth House moved the village to enlarge the park. The village's new location was what is now called Old Knebworth. The settlement now called Knebworth grew up around the railway station a little way to the east of Old Knebworth.

    13.187 Knebworth has three conservation areas. The Old Knebworth conservation area covers that village, whilst the Deards End Lane and Stockens Green conservation areas cover suburban parts of the main village with particular distinctive characteristics. Knebworth Park is designated as a historic park and garden. The smaller Homewood estate, built as the dower house to Knebworth House, is also a designated historic park and garden.

    Housing

    13.188 This Plan identifies four local housing allocations within Knebworth for an estimated 598 new homes. A further 65 homes have already been built or granted planning permission.


    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (130) KB1

    Land at Deards End

    200 homes

    • Sensitive design and / or lower density housing at east of site to respect setting of Deards End Lane Conservation Area and listed buildings;
    • Creation of appropriate, defensible Green Belt boundary along north-western perimeter of site;
    • Transport assessment (or equivalent) to demonstrate highway impacts, including construction traffic, will not significantly affect Deards End Lane railway bridge (Scheduled Ancient Monument);
    • Preliminary Risk Assessment to identify any contamination associated with previous uses including mitigation;
    • Appropriate noise mitigation measures, to potentially include insulation and appropriate orientation of living spaces;
    • Consider and mitigate against potential adverse impacts upon Knebworth Woods SSSI and priority habitat (deciduous woodland) adjoining site; and
    • Detailed drainage strategy identifying water infrastructure required and mechanism(s) for delivery.

    (143) KB2

    Land off Gypsy Lane

    184 homes

    • Sensitive design and / or lower density housing where site affects setting of Stockens Green Conservation Area;
    • Creation of appropriate, defensible Green Belt boundary along southern perimeter of site;
    • Provision of 1FE Primary School
    • Preliminary Risk Assessment to identify any contamination associated with previous uses including mitigation;
    • Address existing surface water flood risk issues, including any run-off from A1(M), through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • Transport assessment (or equivalent) to demonstrate highway impacts, including construction traffic, will not significantly affect Deards End Lane railway bridge (Scheduled Ancient Monument);
    • Appropriate noise mitigation measures, to potentially include buffer strip, insulation and appropriate orientation of living spaces; and
    • Detailed drainage strategy identifying water infrastructure required and mechanism(s) for delivery.

    (83) KB3

    Chas Lowe site, London Road

    14 homes

    • Address existing surface water flood risk issues through removal of hardstanding, SUDs or other appropriate solution.

    (169) KB4

    Land east of Knebworth

    200 homes

    • Structural landscaping and planting to provide and / or reinforce Green Belt boundary to east;
    • Up to 4ha of land for education purposes subject to up-to-date assessments of need;
    • Integrate Bridleway Knebworth 001 as part of green infrastructure strategy;
    • Address existing surface water flood risk issues through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • Preserve longer views from Knebworth to wider countryside along dry valley to south of Watton Road; and
    • Detailed drainage strategy identifying water infrastructure required and mechanism(s) for delivery.

    Total allocated sites

    598 homes

    Completions and permissions

    65 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    663 homes

    Economy

    13.189 The facilities of Knebworth are designated as a village centre in our retail hierarchy under policy SP4. Applications in this area, outside of the allocated housing site, will be assessed using our detailed development management policies. The village centre is shown on the Proposals Map and the detailed in Appendix 4.

    Infrastructure and mitigation

    13.190 The new homes in Knebworth will require additional school places. There is currently one primary school in Knebworth to the east of the High Street. This takes 60 Reception aged pupils each year. In recent years, school places have been filled by local children and the catchment is relatively tightly drawn.

    13.191 Site KB2 will provide an additional primary school that will meet the needs arising from new development at the west of Knebworth and provide capacity to serve some existing residential areas.

    13.192 There is currently no secondary education provision in Knebworth. Pupils travel to a variety of schools in Hitchin, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City. Although some of these journeys can, and are, made by public transport, many are also made by car. This contributes to some of the known traffic issues in the town and across the wider road network.

    13.193 New development, particularly on site KB4 to the east of Knebworth, provides the opportunity to look at alternate approaches. Making smaller-scale secondary provision, possibly as an 'all-through school'[144] may be an appropriate solution which meets future needs, benefits existing residents and provides a more sustainable approach.

    13.194 We will work with Hertfordshire County Council, the Parish Council, the landowner and Knebworth Primary School to explore the most appropriate education solution for this site.

    13.195 Our transport modelling does not identify any specific mitigation scheme requirements for Knebworth. However, the high street is a known pinch point, particularly when delays or incidents on the A1(M) result in the B197 being used as an alternate route between Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage.

    13.196 Some of the capacity issues here arise from the way in  which the local highway is managed and in particular, the provision of short-stay on-street parking adjacent to the shops[145].

    13.197 Highway management measures, such as the use of Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs), lie outside the direct control of the planning system and it is therefore not for this Local Plan to dictate the most appropriate solution(s).

    13.198 It is recognised that a careful balance needs to be struck between ensuring the continued vitality of the local centre, providing access to local facilities and supporting the new development planned for Knebworth. We will continue to work outside of the local plan process to identify and implement the most appropriate future strategy.

    13.199 Sites in Knebworth will need to ensure that any transport assessments appropriately take these issues into account and contribute reasonably to any necessary mitigation measures, or wider strategies which may seek to address these issues.

    13.200 A planning application has recently been submitted for a new library, doctors surgery and pharmacy on the site of the current library within the identified village centre.

    13.201 Knebworth lies within the Thames Water area with wastewater draining to their facility at Rye Meads near Hoddesdon. Previous work identifies that this treatment works should have sufficient capacity to handle all planned development within its catchment until at least 2026 with a reasonable prospect of being able to accommodate development to 2031.

    13.202 However, it is also recognised that there are constraints in the infrastructure connecting to Rye Meads and capacity from Knebworth is an issue that has been identified. Scheme promoters should work with Thames Water, and together, to identify the likely nature of infrastructure required to ensure this can be programmed appropriately.


    Langley

    Introduction

    13.203 Langley is one of the District's smaller parishes. Historically it was part of the parish of Hitchin, becoming a separate civil parish in 1894. The parish of Langley has no meaningful facilities. Apart from the small village of Langley the parish also includes a wide tract of countryside and some scattered farms.

    13.204 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Langley was 175 and there were 71 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.205 Langley is identified as a Category C settlement, within which only limited additional development will only be allowed to meet defined local needs. The parish is classed as Green Belt, apart from a small area which falls within the land west of Stevenage which is safeguarded for potential long-term development by Policy SP8.

    Housing

    13.206 No sites are allocated in Langley for residential development. Seven new homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011.

    (6) Letchworth Garden City

    Introduction

    13.207 Letchworth is the world's first garden city based on Ebenezer Howard's original concept of a self contained settlement combining both town and country living. Much of the town is the product of a Master Plan, with areas of low, medium and higher density housing, industry, open space and the town centre in broadly separate land uses with attractively planned landscapes. Large open spaces are integrated into the town's layout, notably at Norton Common and Howard Park and Gardens.

    13.208 The original masterplan for the garden city was focussed on the area between the three parallel roads of Wilbury Road / Norton Road in the north, Icknield Way across the middle of the area, and Hitchin Road / Baldock Road (the A505) to the south. After the Second World War development spread beyond the original masterplan, with the Grange estate to the north and the Jackmans, Lordship and Manor Park estates to the south.

    13.209 The town's administrative boundaries also include the three villages of Willian, Norton and the old village of Letchworth, which were the three pre-garden city parishes covering the area. Today Willian remains a distinct village, being slightly separated from the urban area of Letchworth by one or two thin fields. Norton abuts the urban area with no clear point where Norton ends and the garden city begins. The old village of Letchworth, which stretched from St Mary's Church and Letchworth Hall up the length of Letchworth Lane to the corner shop on Baldock Road, is effectively absorbed within the urban area of the garden city.

    13.210 At the 2011 census the population of Letchworth Garden City (including Willian and Norton) was 33,249 and there were 14,271 dwellings in the town[146].

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.211 Letchworth Garden City is the District's second largest urban area, with only slightly fewer people than neighbouring Hitchin. Letchworth has largely grown to fill most of the space between Hitchin and Baldock, leaving little room for further growth that does not erode the separation between those towns. North and south of the town are the villages of Stotfold (in Central Bedfordshire) and Willian. A settlement boundary is defined for the town (shown on the Proposals Map) within which new development is encouraged. Beyond the settlement boundary is Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.212 As the world's first garden city, the importance of the original design and layout of the Garden City is recognised in the two Conservation Area designations, Letchworth and Croft Lane. There are many listed buildings in the town. There are also conservation areas for the old villages of Willian and Norton.

    13.213 The Broadway and Broadway Gardens are designated as a historic park and garden, as is Howard Park and Gardens.

    13.214 New development within Letchworth Garden City will need to demonstrate how it accords with Garden City principles.

    Housing

    13.215 Fourteen sites are allocated in Letchworth for an estimated 1,546 additional dwellings. A further 594 homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011 and the town will see more than 2,000 new homes built over the plan period.

    Ref

    Strategic Housing Sites

    Dwelling estimate

    (1) LG1

    Land north of Letchworth (see Policy SP15)

    900 homes

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (11) LG3

    Land east of Kristiansand Way and Talbot Way

    120 homes

    • Structural planting to reinforce Green Belt boundary along north-eastern perimeter of site;
    • Appropriate mitigation measures for noise associated with motorway and / or adjoining employment are to potentially include insulation and orientation of living spaces;
    • Ensure appropriate residential amenity for any properties adjoining employment area, especially if access to the site is via Flint Road;
    • Re-provision of allotments if access to the site is from the west. Re-provision prior to commencement of development, within the vicinity of the site and the same or better quality;
    • Proposals to be informed by a site-specific landscape assessment;
    • Retention of Public Right of Way Letchworth Garden City 026 and diversion if necessary;
    • Sensitive design and / or lower density housing where the site affects setting of the Norton Conservation Area and nearby Grade II Listed Buildings on Church Lane and Norton Road;
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development.

    (7) LG4

    Land north of former Norton School, Norton Road

    45 homes

    • Appropriate access arrangements to minimise impact upon Croft Lane Conservation Area;
    • Justification for any loss of open space. Re-provision or contributions towards improvements to existing provision where appropriate;
    • Address existing surface water flood risk through SUDs or other appropriate solution, particularly on the western boundary of the site;
    • Sensitive design and / or lower density housing where site affects the setting of the Letchworth Conservation Area, the setting of the Croft Lane Conservation Area and setting of the Grade II Listed Croft Corner and Grade II Listed Treetops;
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development.

    (5) LG5

    Land at Birds Hill

    86 homes

    • Higher density/flatted development may be achieved given surrounding built form, subject to heritage considerations;
    • Appropriate mitigation measures for noise associated with railway and / or adjoining employment are to potentially include insulation and orientation of living spaces;
    • Ensure appropriate residential amenity for any properties adjoining employment area;
    • Preliminary Risk Assessment to investigate and provide adequate mitigation measures/remediation for contamination from previous land uses
    • Sensitive design where site affects setting of the Letchworth Conservation Area and Grade II Listed buildings on Birds Hill;
    • Retention of any buildings of historic and/or architectural interest.

    (10) LG6

    Land off Radburn Way

    35 homes

    • Re-provision or relocation of any garages lost as a result of development subject to up-to-date evidence of occupation and demand;
    • Retention of an area of priority orchard habitat within any scheme with appropriate compensatory provision for any habitat lost as a result of development.

    (5) LG8

    Pixmore Centre, Pixmore Avenue

    80 homes

    • Higher density/flatted development may be achieved given surrounding built form, subject to heritage considerations;
    • Ensure appropriate residential amenity for any properties adjoining employment area;
    • Preliminary Risk Assessment to identify any contamination associated with previous uses including mitigation;
    • Sensitive design where site affects setting of the Letchworth Conservation Area and various Grade II Listed buildings in the vicinity of the site.

    (3) LG9

    Former Lannock School

    45 homes

    • Justification for any loss of open space. Re-provision or contributions towards improvements to existing provision where appropriate;
    • Lower density development with retention of some existing trees and green space to retain sense of openness and accord with Garden City principles;
    • Site layout designed to take account of existing wastewater infrastructure;
    • Address existing surface water flood risk issues through SUDs or other appropriate solution.

    (11) LG10

    Former playing field, Croft Lane

    37 homes

    • Justification for the loss of outdoor sports facilities. Re-provision or contributions towards improvements to existing provision where appropriate;
    • Sensitive design and lower density development to minimise harm to the Croft Lane Conservation Area and setting of the Grade II Listed Buildings along Cashio Lane, Croft Lane and Norton Road;
    • Access arrangements to minimise impact upon heritage assets;
    • Provide archaeological survey prior to development.

    (1) LG13

    Glebe Road industrial estate

    10 homes

    • Ensure appropriate residential amenity for any properties adjoining employment area;
    • Sensitive design and / or lower density housing where site affects the Letchworth Conservation Area;
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development.
    • Preliminary Risk Assessment to investigate and provide adequate mitigation measures/remediation for contamination from previous land uses
    • Address potential surface water flood risk though SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • Detailed drainage strategy identifying water infrastructure required and mechanism(s) for delivery.

    (1) LG14

    Site at Icknield Way

    8 homes

    • Sensitive design and / or lower density housing where site affects the setting of the Letchworth Conservation Area;
    • Address potential surface water flood risk through SUDs or other appropriate solution.

    (4) LG15

    Garages, Icknield Way

    25 homes

    • Address potential surface water flood risk through SUDs or other appropriate solution.

    (5) LG16

    Foundation House

    47 homes

    • Ensure appropriate residential amenity for any properties adjoining employment area;
    • Detailed drainage strategy identifying water infrastructure required and mechanism(s) for delivery.
    • Preliminary Risk Assessment to investigate and provide adequate mitigation measures/remediation for contamination from previous land uses
    • Sensitive design and / or lower density housing where site affects the setting of the Letchworth Conservation Area;
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development.
    • Address potential surface water flood risk through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • Detailed drainage strategy identifying water infrastructure required and mechanism(s) for delivery.

    (4) LG17

    Hamonte

    30 homes

    • No site-specific requirements identified.

    (4) LG18

    Former Depot, Icknield Way

    55 homes

    • Address potential surface water flood risk through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • Preliminary Risk Assessment to investigate and provide adequate mitigation measures/remediation for contamination from previous land uses.

    Total allocated sites

    1,523  homes

    Completions and permissions

    594 homes

    Broad location – Letchworth Garden City town centre

    50 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    2,167 homes

    Economy

    13.216 Letchworth Garden City plays a significant role in the District's economy, with a major employment area centred on Works Road and Avenue One. The town centre also provides a range of shops and employment opportunities.

    13.217 In order to help deliver the additional local jobs estimated to be needed in the District over the plan period, policy SP3 identifies that 1.5 hectares of employment land should be allocated at the former Power Station on Works Road, partly to compensate the loss of employment sites on the western fringes of the main employment area, but also to provide new employment space for business growth.

    Ref

    Employment allocations and site-specific criteria

    Hectares

    LG12

    Former power station, Works Road

    1.5

    Designated employment areas

    LE1

    Works Road

    70.9

    LE2

    Blackhorse Road

    11.8

    LE3

    Icknield Way

    11.4

    LE4

    Spirella

    2.8


    Parts of employment areas designated for business use only

    (1) LB1

    Amor Way

    0.2

    (1) LB2

    Blackhorse Road North

    4.8

    (1) LB3

    Icknield Way North

    3.7

    (1) LB4

    Icknield Way South

    3.0

    (1) LB5

    Spirella

    2.8

    13.218 Letchworth has the second largest town centre in the District as identified on the Proposals Maps. The town centre contains both primary and secondary frontage located in the main retail area around Eastcheap, Leys Avenue, Station Road and the Garden Square shopping centre. These areas will be defined on the Proposals Map.

    13.219 There is no immediate identified need (up to 2021) for additional retail floorspace in Letchworth as existing permissions and filling vacant units help meet the town's short term requirement. However, beyond 2021 there is a need to identify sites to accommodate additional floorspace. This will be in the form of mixed use allocations.

    13.220 Additionally in the longer term Letchworth has the potential capacity to meet wider District needs, recapturing trade that is currently diverted to Hitchin.  There are a number of opportunities within the town centre boundary that could accommodate this additional provision as detail below.

    Ref

    Retail allocations and site-specific criteria

    LG19

    The Wynd, Openshaw Way

    Mixed use

    • Redevelopment to provide approximately 4,500m2 of gross additional main town centre use floorspace;
    • No net loss of residential accommodation;
    • Ensure an appropriate level of car parking is retained and / or provided across the town centre as a whole;
    • A public pedestrian link should be provided through the site from Norton Way South and Howard Gardens;
    • Sensitive design to respect Letchworth Conservation Area and the listed building at 52-58 Leys Avenue;
    • Address existing surface water flood risk issues, including any run-off, through SUDs or other appropriate solution.

    LG20

    Gernon Road

    Mixed use

    • Redevelopment to provide approximately 1,000m2 of gross additional main town centre use floorspace;
    • Development should seek to retain parts of the library that make a positive contribution to the appearance and street-scene;
    • Development should enhance the setting of Broadway Gardens;
    • Preservation or enhancement of the setting of the listed museum;
    • Sensitive design to respect Letchworth Conservation Area and Letchworth Museum, Vasant Hall and Town Hall listed buildings;
    • Address existing surface water flood risk issues, including any run-off, through SUDs or other appropriate solution.

    LG21

    Arena Parade

    Mixed use

    • Redevelopment to provide approximately 5000m2 of gross additional main town centre use floorspace;
    • No net loss of residential accommodation;
    • Ensure an appropriate level of car parking is retained and / or provided across the town centre as a whole;
    • Maintenance of building lines along Broadway and Eastcheap;
    • Improve east to west pedestrian links;
    • Vehicle access/egress and servicing should be from Broadway;
    • Sensitive design to respect Letchworth Conservation Area and the Town Hall and Broadway Chambers listed buildings;
    • Address existing surface water flood risk issues, including any run-off, through SUDs or other appropriate solution.

    13.221 Policy SP4: Town and Local Centres identifies two neighbourhood centres in Letchworth. Proposals in these areas will be determined using our detailed policies. The centres are:

    • Jackmans; and
    • Grange.

    13.222 The extent of these neighbourhood centres is shown on the maps in Appendix 4.

    Infrastructure and mitigation

    13.223 The provision of more than 2,000 homes across Letchworth Garden City will require a range of supporting infrastructure.

    13.224 Our strategic policy for the land north of Letchworth (see Policy SP15) sets out a range of matters that will need to be considered. The cumulative impacts of a number of smaller developments across the town will also need to be addressed.

    13.225 Further schools provision will be needed. However, Hertfordshire County Council need to undertake further work to determine which schools have capacity to expand on their existing sites and how this relates to the proposed pattern of development across the town. This applies to both primary and secondary level education.

    13.226 Our transport modelling identifies two specific junctions where works will be required to support traffic growth in Letchworth Garden City over the plan period:

    • A505 / Norton Way; and
    • Junction 9 of the A1(M), known locally as Letchworth Gate

    13.227 It is notable from the transport work that both of these schemes would be required even if the development being proposed through this Plan did not occur.

    13.228 Schemes in Letchworth will be required to make reasonable contributions towards these schemes and / or other schemes in nearby locations (see Baldock and Hitchin sections of this chapter in particular) where traffic generation arising from new development will have an impact.

    13.229 However, appropriate funding arrangements will need to be made. These need to reflect the fact that background traffic growth triggers the requirements with new development then utilising some of the additional capacity that would be provided.

    13.230 This issue should be explored further through the transport assessments that will accompany any planning applications on these sites. This will help to determine the most appropriate approach, and any other local measures which may be required, on a case-by-case basis.

    13.231 Anglian Water have previously identified that there is sufficient capacity within the environmental consent at Letchworth Water Recycling Centre to accommodate the levels of growth being proposed.

    Lilley

    Introduction

    13.232 Lilley is in the northwest of the District. The village of Lilley has a limited range of facilities. Apart from the village the parish also includes the surrounding countryside, most of which is within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    13.233 Lilley has a public house, village hall and church. At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Lilley was 386 and there were 161 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.234 Lilley is identified as a Category B village, within which infilling development that does not extend the built up area into surrounding countryside will be allowed. The whole parish is also classed as Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.235 Lilley has one conservation area covering the central part of the village.

    Housing

    13.236 No sites are allocated in Lilley for residential development. One new home has been granted planning permission since 2011.

    Lower Stondon

    Introduction

    13.237 Lower Stondon lies outside of North Hertfordshire in neighbouring Central Bedfordshire. It consists of the original village core and more recent development which lies between the A600 Bedford Road and Henlow airfield. This development extends to the administrative boundary between the two authorities.

    13.238 Land within North Hertfordshire adjoining Lower Stondon lies within Ickleford parish. The remainder of Ickleford parish has its own section in this chapter.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.239 Land within North Hertfordshire adjoining Lower Stondon is identified as a Category A village. The development boundary is shown on the Proposals Map to indicate the area within which further development will be allowed.

    13.240 Land beyond this boundary forms part of the Rural Area Beyond the Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.241 The Grade II* listed Old Ramerick Manor lies immediately to the east of the settlement boundary.

    Housing

    13.242 One new site is located adjoining Lower Stondon. Four further new homes have been completed adjacent to the site since 2011. 

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (81) LS1

    Land at Bedford Road

    120 homes

    • Appropriate junction access arrangements to Bedford Road;
    • Sensitive integration into existing settlement, particularly in terms of design, building orientation and opportunities for cycle and pedestrian access;
    • Sensitive incorporation of Footpaths Ickleford 001 & 002 as green routes through and around the edge of the site;
    • No residential development within Flood Zones 2 or 3;
    • Incorporate ordinary watercourses (and any appropriate measures) and address existing surface water flood risk issues within comprehensive green infrastructure and / or SUDs approach;
    • Development proposals to be informed by site-specific landscape and heritage assessment;
    • Development-free buffer along eastern edge of site to minimise harm to adjacent listed building;
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development.

    Total allocated sites

    120 homes

    Completions and permissions

    4 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    124 homes

    Infrastructure and mitigation

    13.243 Our transport modelling work does not identify any specific mitigation works that are required in this area. Development here will, however, contribute toward traffic generation within Hitchin and appropriate contributions will be sought towards schemes in the town.

    13.244 Site LS1 will require the creation of a new access onto the A600 Bedford Road. The most appropriate solution, along with any consequential works – such as changes to speed limits entering / exiting the village from / to the north – will be explored through transport assessments.

    13.245 The nearest school within Hertfordshire is Ickleford Primary. Our approach to education here is set out in the Ickleford section of this chapter. However, development of this site will tie in to the urban area of Lower Stondon and parents may express a preference for their children to go to school within the village.

    13.246 On this and all other relevant matters it will be necessary to consider how the proposed development interacts with land and facilities in the administrative area of Central Bedfordshire Council.


    Newnham

    Introduction

    13.247 Newnham is a small parish to the north of Baldock, containing village of Newnham and the surrounding countryside. Newnham shares a parish council with the neighbouring small parish of Caldecote.

    13.248 Population statistics are not available for Newnham separately due to its small size. The combined population of the three parishes of Caldecote, Newnham and Radwell at the 2011 census was 209 and there were 97 dwellings across the three parishes.

    13.249 Newnham has a village hall and church, but little else by way of facilities.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.250 Newnham is identified as a Category B village, where infilling development will be allowed which does not extend the built up area of the village into surrounding countryside. Most of the parish (including the village) is classed as Rural Area Beyond the Green Belt, except the southernmost part of the parish which is within the Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.251 A conservation area covers almost the whole village.

    Housing

    13.252 No sites are allocated in Newnham for residential development. No new homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011.

    Nuthampstead

    Introduction

    13.253 Nuthampstead is a small parish located in the far east of the District, to the south east of Royston. Historically it was part of the parish of Barkway, becoming a separate civil parish in 1866. The area is characterised by thick woodland and rich farmland and is on the county boundary with Essex. Nuthampstead's dwellings are grouped in the hamlets of Nuthampstead and Morrice Green. Apart from a pub at Nuthampstead there is little by way of facilities.

    13.254 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Nuthampstead was 142 and there were 52 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.255 Nuthampstead is identified as a Category C settlement, within which only  limited additional development to meet community needs will be permitted. The parish is classed as Rural Area Beyond the Green Belt, within which there is general restraint on development.

    Housing

    13.256 No sites are allocated in Nuthampstead for residential development. No new homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011.

    Economy

    13.257 In terms of the economy of the local area, there are, unusually for this size of settlement, two industrial areas in the parish providing premises for a range of businesses. These are not sufficiently large to designate as an employment area, but do perform an important role in providing local employment and facilities. Our detailed policies set out our approach to employment development outside of formally allocated areas.

    Offley

    Introduction

    13.258 Offley is a large parish in the western part of the District between Luton and Hitchin. The parish is split into two wards: Offley and Cockernhoe. At the 2011 census the population of the whole parish was 1,398 and there were 607 dwellings in the parish. Of these, 493 people and 205 dwellings were in the Cockernhoe ward (discussed on the Cockernhoe and East of Luton page of this chapter) and the remaining 905 people and 402 dwellings were in the Offley ward (the subject of this page).

    13.259 The village of Offley (also known as Great Offley) has a relatively good range of facilities, including a school, shop, public houses, village hall and church. Apart from Offley, the ward includes the surrounding countryside and the hamlet of Little Offley. The northern part of the ward is designated as part of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.260 Offley is identified as a Category A village, with a settlement boundary shown on the Proposals Map. The remainder of the ward is classed as Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.261 Offley has one conservation area covering the core of the village. The parish church of St Mary Magdalene is a Grade I listed building.

    Housing

    13.262 No sites are allocated in Offley. Since 2011, 73 new homes have been built or granted planning permission in the Offley ward of the parish.

    (5) Pirton

    Introduction

    13.263 Pirton is a medium sized village in the north-west of the District, on the border with Central Bedfordshire. The parish contains the village and the surrounding countryside, with just a couple of isolated buildings outside the village itself. The village has a reasonable range of facilities, including a school, shop, public houses, village hall and church. The western part of the parish is designated as part of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    13.264 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Pirton was 1,274 and there were 521 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.265 Pirton is designated as a Category A village, with a settlement boundary shown on the Proposals Map within which development will be allowed. The majority of the remainder of the parish is classed as rural area beyond the Green Belt, apart from a small section of Green Belt in the south-east of the parish.

    Heritage

    13.266 Pirton has a conservation area covering much of the older part of the village, including the site of the castle, Great Green and Little Green. The parish church of St Mary is a Grade I listed building. To the west of the village in the Chilterns, High Down House is also a Grade I listed building.

    Housing

    13.267 No sites are allocated in Pirton by this Plan. Around 94 homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011[147].

    (1) Preston

    Introduction

    13.268 Preston is a small village to the south of Hitchin. Historically it was part of the parish of Hitchin, becoming a separate civil parish in 1894. The parish covers the village and surrounding countryside. The village has a school, village hall, public house and a church. It is also home to a private school in the former manor house of Temple Dinsley.

    13.269 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Preston was 420 and there were 158 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.270 Preston is classed as a Category A village, with a boundary within which development will be allowed. The remainder of the parish is designated as Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.271 The grounds of Temple Dinsley form a historic park and garden, whilst much of the village is covered by a conservation area.

    Housing

    13.272 One site is allocated in Preston for an estimated 21 new homes. A further 17 homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011.

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (48) PR1

    Land off Templars Lane

    21 homes

    • Consider and mitigate against potential adverse impacts upon nearby Wain Wood SSSI;
    • Sensitive design that considers any impacts upon the setting of Preston Conservation Area and adjacent listed buildings;
    • Detailed drainage strategy identifying water infrastructure required and mechanism(s) for delivery.

    Total allocated sites

    21 homes

    Completions and permissions

    17 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    38 homes

    Radwell

    Introduction

    13.273 Radwell is a small parish to the north of Baldock on the River Ivel and on the border with Central Bedfordshire. The village essentially comprises one street, with a village hall and church but little else by way of facilities. The parish also includes the Baldock Service Station at junction 10 of the A1(M).

    13.274 Population statistics are not available for Radwell separately due to its small size. The combined population of the three parishes of Caldecote, Newnham and Radwell at the 2011 census was 209 and there were 97 dwellings across the three parishes.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.275 Radwell is classed as a Category C settlement where only limited development to meet defined community needs will be permitted. The southern part of the parish is classed as Green Belt, whilst the northern part is classed as Rural Area Beyond the Green Belt.

    Housing

    13.276 No sites are allocated for residential development in Radwell. Since 2011, six new homes have been either built or granted planning permission.

    (1) Reed

    Introduction

    13.277 Reed is located to the east of the A10, approximately 3 miles south of Royston. Reed forms part of the group of Saxon villages established on the chalk ridge which dominates the area. The village has a school, village hall and a church.

    13.278 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Reed was 310 and there were 134 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.279 Reed is identified as a Category A village in the settlement hierarchy. A settlement boundary is shown on the Proposals Map within which development will be allowed. The remainder of the parish is classed as rural area beyond the Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.280 The village is located just east of Ermine Street, the old Great North Road and now the A10. The Saxon parish church of St Mary is a Grade I listed building. Much of the village is covered by the conservation area. The village has a loose-knit layout, with the fields and open spaces in and around the village forming an important part of the village's character.

    Housing

    13.281 One site is allocated in Reed for an estimated 22 new homes. A further 12 new homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011.

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (3) RD1

    Land at Blacksmiths Lane

    22 homes

    • Detailed drainage strategy identifying water infrastructure required and mechanism(s) for delivery;
    • Sensitive design required where the site affects the Reed Conservation Area and adjacent listed buildings; and
    • Existing Right of Way should be incorporated or diverted as appropriate.

    Total allocated sites

    22 homes

    Completions and permissions

    12 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    34 homes

    (14) Royston

    Introduction

    13.282 Royston lies in a shallow bowl set in the East Anglian Heights chalk escarpment, overlooking and bounded by the Cambridgeshire Plain to the north. At the time of the 2011 census the town had a population of 15,781 and there were 6,800 dwellings in the town. Development of the town has tended to be informed by the busy roads running through and around the town and the Cambridge to London railway line which bisects the town.

    13.283 The town historically straddled Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire; the original county boundary was Icknield Way. The town did not exist at the time of the Domesday Book. Instead it appears to have been founded in the medieval period and did not become a separate parish until 1540. Prior to that it straddled the parishes of Barkway, Reed and Therfield (in Hertfordshire) and Melbourn and Bassingbourn (in Cambridgeshire). The boundary was last changed as recently as 1989 after the construction of the A505 bypass.

    13.284 On the south-western edge of Royston is Therfield Heath, which forms an important open heathland. As well as providing open space for the town it is a rare chalk grassland habitat, and is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Local Nature Reserve. Therfield Heath is also recognised for its historic and archaeological  importance.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.285 Royston is the third largest of the four towns in North Hertfordshire when measured by population. The relative isolation of the town means that it plays an important service role for many of the surrounding villages in both Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire. A settlement boundary is defined for the town (shown on the Proposals Map) within which additional development will be allowed.

    Heritage

    13.286 The town grew up around the crossroads of Icknield Way and Ermine Street, although the market place is not at the crossroads itself but to the south-east. One theory as to why the market is not at the crossroads is that Ermine Street originally approached the town from the south-east along Grange Bottom, avoiding the steepest parts of the hill to the south, and that the present line of High Street / London Road is a result of medieval realignments. The town centre is covered by a conservation area.

    13.287 The parish church of St John's is a Grade I listed building, being originally the church of an Augustinian Priory, becoming the parish church after the dissolution of the monasteries. The Old Palace at 23 Kneesworth Street, 18 Melbourn Street and Royston Cave are also Grade I listed buildings.

    13.288 Therfield Heath contains Scheduled Ancient Monuments due to the presence of prehistoric barrows. The round barrow cemetery is the largest known example of its type in Hertfordshire, and provides important information on the beliefs and social organisation of early prehistoric communities.

    Housing

    13.289 Eight sites are allocated in Royston providing a total of more than 1,000 new homes. 663 further homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011.

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (6) RY1

    Land west of Ivy Farm, Baldock Road

    279 homes

    • Appropriate solution for primary education requirements having regard to up-to-date assessments of need and geographical distribution of existing provision;
    • Retention of Public Right of Way Royston 017 as a green corridor through the site;
    • Appropriate mitigation measures for noise associated with the adjoining railway  to potentially include insulation and appropriate orientation of living spaces;
    • Design to minimise visual impact of the development from Therfield Heath;
    • Proposals to be informed by a site-specific landscape assessment and to retain trees as a buffer to the railway line;
    • Consider and mitigate against potential adverse impacts upon Therfield Heath SSSI including provision of green infrastructure within the development to reduce recreational pressure;
    • Address potential surface water flood risk through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development.
    • Sensitive design and mitigation measures to address any impact on the setting of the Scheduled Ancient Monuments (pre-historic barrows).

    (4) RY2

    Land north of Newmarket Road

    330 homes

    • New vehicular access from the A505;
    • Appropriate solution for education requirements arising from sites RY2 and RY10 having regard to up-to-date assessments of need;
    • Design to minimise visual and landscape impact, including development limits below the 70 metre contours;
    • Undertake an ecological survey (including reptiles) due to adjacent habitats and provide mitigation and/ or off-setting measures as necessary. Developer to ensure management of the chalk grassland;
    • Protect and enhance hedgerows and trees where possible. Retain roadside trees and tree clump along the A505 and Newmarket Road;
    • Address potential surface water flood risk through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • Additional wastewater treatment capacity to be provided prior to commencement of development;
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development.

    (4) RY4

    Land north of Lindsay Close

    40 homes

    • Access connecting from Old North Road in the west to Burns Road at the east;
    • Appropriate mitigation measures for noise associated with the A505 Royston Bypass to potentially include insulation and appropriate orientation of living spaces;
    • Site design and landscaping to mitigate landscape impacts;
    • Protect and enhance tree belts where possible;
    • Address existing surface water flood risk through SUDs or other appropriate solution, particularly to the east of the site;
    • Site layout design to take account of existing wastewater infrastructure;
    • Undertake a detailed assessment of the impact of the Royston Water Recycling Centre in relation to odours, lighting, noise and traffic impacts and provide mitigation measures where necessary.

    RY5

    Agricultural supplier, Garden Walk

    20 homes

    • Retain tree belts where possible;
    • Address surface water flood risk through SUDs or other appropriate solution, particularly along Garden Walk;
    • Preliminary Risk Assessment to identify any contamination associated with previous uses including mitigation.

    (2) RY7

    Anglian Business Park, Orchard Road

    48 homes

    • Higher density/flatted development may be achieved given surrounding built form;
    • Appropriate mitigation measures for noise associated with the railway  to potentially include insulation and orientation of living spaces;
    • Ensure appropriate residential amenity for any properties adjoining employment area or likely to be affected by existing, permitted operations;
    • Address potential surface water flood risk through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • Site layout designed to take account of existing wastewater infrastructure.

    (3) RY8

    Land at Lumen Road

    14 homes

    • Ensure appropriate residential amenity having regard to adjoining employment uses
    • Design and layout to take account of foul pumping station within proximity to the site ensuring a buffer of 15m from the boundary of proposed occupied buildings;
    • Address potential surface water flood risk through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • Site layout designed to take account of existing wastewater infrastructure;
    • Phasing of development to link with Sewage Treatment Works improvements;
    • Preliminary Risk Assessment to identify any contamination associated with previous uses including mitigation;
    • Sensitive design and / or lower density housing where the site affects the setting of the Grade II Listed 21 Mill Road.

    (9) RY10

    Land south of Newmarket Road

    300 homes

    • Appropriate solution for education requirements arising from sites RY2 and RY10 having regard to up-to-date assessments of need;
    • Provide a site-specific landscape assessment and tree survey. Retention of trees and hedgerows where possible;
    • Design and layout to respond to topography;
    • Address potential surface water flood risk through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development;
    • Detailed drainage strategy identifying water infrastructure required and mechanism(s) for delivery.

    RY11

    Land at Barkway Road

    18 homes

    • Sensitive treatment of western boundary to maintain integrity of Bridleway Royston 010

    Total allocated sites

    1,049 homes

    Completions and permissions

    663 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    1,712 homes

    Economy

    13.290 The economy of Royston is split between the town centre functions and the large employment area to the north of the town although both are covered by the Business Improvement District (BID) area.

    13.291 In order to help deliver the additional local jobs estimated to be needed in the District over the plan period, policy SP3 identifies that 10.9 hectares of employment land should be allocated at York Way. The existing employment area is currently thriving feeding off both the Hertfordshire and Cambridge economies, with a wide range of businesses located there including many operations associated with Johnson Matthey.


    Ref

    Employment allocations and site-specific criteria

    Hectares

    (4) RY9

    Land north of York Way

    10.9

    • Site is within Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Consultation Zone;
    • Site should deliver a new access to the Orchard Road employment area from the A505;
    • Address existing surface water flood risk issues, including any run-off, through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • Sensitive design / layout considering views to and from the Scheduled Ancient Monuments located on Therfield Heath;
    • Compensatory or offsetting measures for loss of existing grassland habitat.

    Designated employment areas

    (1) RE1

    Orchard Road

    38.9

    13.292 The town centre contains a range of small independent shops and services as well as a small number of national retailers. There is also a wide range of eating and drinking establishments in the town centre.

    13.293 The town centre contains both primary and secondary shopping frontages which will be defined on the Proposals Map for the main retail area around the High Street, Market Hill, Lower King Street and Melbourn Street.

    13.294 There is no immediate identified need (up to 2021) for additional retail floorspace as a result of existing permissions and filling of vacant units, however, post 2021 additional floorspace will be needed, which should be accommodated at the Town Hall site.

    13.295 This scheme will be retail-led. Consequently, no specific housing allocation or requirement is identified and any residential units here will contribute towards the windfall allowances identified in Policy SP8 of this Plan.

    Ref

    Retail allocations and site-specific criteria

    Hectares

    (3) RY12

    Town Hall Site, Melbourn Street

    1.4

    • Redevelopment to provide approximately 4,000m2 of gross additional main town centre use floorspace;
    • Provision of residential accommodation on upper floors;
    • Retention or re-provision of civic uses across the town or onsite;
    • Retention of existing trees where possible;
    • Ensure an appropriate level of car parking is retained and / or provided across the town centre as a whole;
    • Consideration of retaining the Town Hall;
    • Sensitive high quality design given the prominent location of the site as a gateway to the town centre and to respect the setting of Royston Conservation Area and Banyers Hotel and No18 Melbourn Street listed buildings.

    Infrastructure and mitigation

    13.296 More than 1,000 homes are planned for Royston over the period 2011-2031. This will require the provision of supporting infrastructure.

    13.297 The potential impacts of site RY1 on the SSSI and heritage assets and Therfield Heath is one of the key consideration. Our overall evidence base concludes that, in order to meet our housing requirements over the plan period, it will be necessary to allocate some sites which may impact upon heritage assets and landscape[148]. Our aim will be to ensure that the overall integrity of relevant heritage assets are protected and that the development is designed to minimise impact on the landscape.

    13.298 The A505 Royston Bypass provides the most appropriate, settlement boundary to the north of the town. This requires the removal of some land within the bypass, but beyond the existing and proposed employment areas, which should generally remain undeveloped. Our detailed policies set out the approach we will take to areas of Urban Open Land.

    13.299 Hertfordshire County Council has recently provided additional First School capacity within the town. As a consequence, it is considered that existing school sites have been developed to capacity.

    13.300 A further 2FE will be required over the plan period. This is the County Council's preferred school size and would normally require the provision of one new site. However, the majority of new development in Royston will be around the peripheries of the existing town. It may be more appropriate for the provision of two separate, smaller schools to the east and west of the town respectively to best accommodate future patterns of demand and increase the sustainability of new developments in these locations.

    13.301 In its role as Highway Authority, Hertfordshire County Council has recently developed a new county-wide transport model, 'COMET'. This will be used to identify transport mitigation schemes in the Royston area. These will be reflected in future iterations of the Infrastructure Development Plan.

    13.302 There are known capacity constraints in the wastewater treatment works at Royston[149]. Specific evidence has been prepared to help identify potential solutions. We will work together with developers and Anglian Water to ensure sufficient capacity is available for new developments to proceed. Where appropriate 'Grampian conditions' – which prevent development from occurring until such as time as specific conditions are met – will be used.

    Rushden

    Introduction

    13.303 Rushden is a small village to the south-east of Baldock. It shares a parish council with neighbouring Wallington, although they remain separate parishes. The village has a public house, village hall and church.

    13.304 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Rushden was 242 and there were 103 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.305 Rusden is classed as a Category B village, where infilling development that does not extend the built core of the village will be allowed. The whole parish is classed as Rural Area Beyond the Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.306 There are two conservation areas in Rushden, one covering the core of the village around the church, and the other covering Southern Green to the east. The Julians estate to the north of the village is designated as an historic park and garden.

    Housing

    13.307 There are no sites allocated for residential development in Rushden. Two new homes have been built since 2011.

    (1) Sandon

    Introduction

    13.308 Sandon is a village to the east of Baldock. The parish covers a large area of countryside as well as the main village, including numerous small hamlets such as Roe Green and Green End. The main village has a school, village hall and church.

    13.309 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Sandon was 495 and there were 214 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.310 Sandon is classed as a Category A village, with a settlement boundary within which further development will be allowed shown on the Proposals Map. The remainder of the parish is classed as Rural Area Beyond the Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.311 There are two conservation areas in Sandon, one for the main village and one for Roe Green. The parish church of All Saints is a Grade I listed building.

    Housing

    13.312 There are no sites allocated for residential development in Sandon. 13 new homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011.

    (2) St Ippolyts

    Introduction

    13.313 St Ippolyts is a parish to the south of Hitchin. As well as St Ippolyts village it includes Gosmore and the southern part of the urban area of Hitchin. The parish includes a significant rural area, especially to the south of the village.

    13.314 Whilst St Ippolyts and Gosmore are perceived as separate villages, it is hard to say where one ends and the other begins. The core of St Ippolyts is around the church on the hill to the east and the core of Gosmore is along Gosmore High Street to the west, but the largely developed area between the two has an ambiguous identity with some properties having St Ippolyts postal addresses and others having Gosmore postal addresses. Facilities in this conjoined pair of villages include a school, shop, public houses, village hall and church.

    13.315 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of St Ippolyts was 2,047 and there were 799 dwellings in the parish. Of these, 870 people and 329 dwellings were found in the part of the parish which falls in Hitchin Priory ward, leaving 1,177 people and 470 dwellings in the more rural part of the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.316 The northern part of the parish forms part of the town of Hitchin. St Ippolyts is classed as a Category A village, with the boundary drawn so as to include Gosmore. The settlement boundary is shown on the Proposals Map within which development will be allowed. 

    13.317 In the south of the parish is part of the West of Stevenage site. This land is safeguarded for long-term potential development by Policy SP8. The remainder of the parish is classed as Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.318 There are two conservation areas, one for the original hilltop settlement part of St Ippolyts and one for Gosmore. The medieval farmhouse at Almshoe Bury and the parish church of St Ippolyts are both Grade I listed buildings.

    Housing

    13.319 Two sites are allocated in St Ippolyts for an estimated 52 new homes. A further 34 homes have been built or granted planning permission in the parish since 2011.

    13.320 Site HT2, Pound Farm, which is in the parish but on the edge of Hitchin, is covered in the Hitchin section of this document.

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (5) SI1

    Land south of Waterdell Lane

    40 homes

    • Detailed drainage strategy identifying water infrastructure required and mechanism(s) for delivery.

    (2) SI2

    Land south of Stevenage Road

    12 homes

    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development.
    • Trees should be incorporated into the design of the development;
    • Maintain the existing right of way through the site. 

    Total allocated sites

    52 homes

    Completions and permissions

    34 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    86 homes

    (5) St Paul's Walden

    Introduction

    13.321 St Paul's Walden is a rural parish in the west of the District. The main village in the parish is Whitwell, with St Paul's Walden itself and the hamlet of Bendish being smaller settlements.

    13.322 Whitwell has a school, shop, village hall, and public houses. St Paul's Walden has a public house and church.

    13.323 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of St Paul's Walden was 1,293 and there were 537 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.324 Whitwell is classed as a Category A village, with a boundary shown on the Proposals Map within which further development will be allowed. The remainder of the parish is classed as Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.325 There are conservation areas for both Whitwell and Bendish. The parish church of All Saints is a Grade I listed building. The parks of St Paul's Walden Bury and The Hoo are both designated as historic parks and gardens.

    Housing

    13.326 One site is allocated in St Paul's Walden at Whitwell for an estimated 41 new homes. A further nine homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011.

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (52) SP2

    Land between Horn Hill and Bendish Lane, Whitwell

    41 homes

    • Detailed drainage strategy identifying water infrastructure required and mechanism(s) for delivery.
    • Address existing surface water flood risk issues through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • Integration of Byway Open to All Traffic St Paul's Walden 036 as a green corridor through the site and boundary feature;
    • Sensitive design approach, particularly towards north-east of site to minimise impacts on adjoining Conservation Area.

    Total allocated sites

    41 homes

    Completions and permissions

    9 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    50 homes


    (2) Therfield

    Introduction

    13.327 Therfield is a village to the east of the District, south of Royston. It has a school, public house, village hall and churches. The surrounding parish includes a sizable rural area, including Therfield Heath in the north on the edge of Royston.

    13.328 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Therfield was 556 and there were 217 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.329 Therfield is identified as a Category A village, with a settlement boundary within which additional development will be allowed shown on the Proposals Map. The remainder of the parish is classed as rural area beyond the Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.330 Therfield has a conservation area covering much of the older part of the village, including the remains of the motte and bailey castle.

    Housing

    13.331 One site is allocated in Therfield for an estimated 12 new homes. 10 further homes have been either built or granted planning permission since 2011.

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (5) TH1

    Land at Police Row

    12 homes

    • Frontage development facing Police Row only;
    • Sensitive treatment of western boundary to maintain integrity of Footpath Therfield 022;
    • No infiltration drainage SUDs (or other) features without prior consent of Environment Agency;
    • An assessment of the impact of development on the Therfield Conservation Area should be undertaken;
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development.

    Total allocated sites

    12 homes

    Completions and permissions

    10 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    22 homes


    Wallington

    Introduction

    13.332 Wallington is a small village to the east of Baldock. It shares a parish council with neighbouring Rushden, but remains a separate parish. The village has a village hall and church, but little else by way of facilities. The parish also includes the surrounding countryside.

    13.333 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Wallington was 150 and there were 60 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.334 Wallington is classed as a Category B village, where infilling development that does not extend the built core of the village will be allowed. Most of the parish is classed as Rural Area beyond the Green Belt, except a small area on the western edge of the parish which is Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.335 The Wallington conservation area covers most of the village.

    Housing

    13.336 There are no sites allocated for residential development in Wallington. One new home has been built since 2011.


    (1) Weston

    Introduction

    13.337 Weston is a medium sized village to the south of Baldock. The parish is large, stretching from the southern edges of Baldock down to the north-eastern edges of Stevenage at Great Ashby. The village sites on a plateau, which drops sharply away on the edge of Baldock as the Weston Hills.

    13.338 The village has a school, shop, village hall, public house and church, and some small businesses. Beside the main village the parish also includes the hamlet of Halls Green (also with a public house) and several other smaller hamlets and isolated farms and dwellings.

    13.339 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Weston was 1,054 and there were 441 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.340 Weston is classed as a Category A village, with a settlement boundary defined on the Proposals Map within which additional development will be allowed. In the south of the parish site GA1 at Great Ashby is mostly in Weston parish. Most of the rest of the parish is classed as Green Belt, apart from the eastern edges of the parish which are classed as rural area beyond the Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.341 The Weston conservation area covers the older parts of the village. The parish church of Holy Trinity is a Grade I listed building.

    Housing

    13.342 One site is allocated in Weston for an estimated 40 new homes. A further seven new homes have been built or granted planning permission.

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (19) WE1

    Land off Hitchin Road

    40 homes

    • Site layout to take account of existing wastewater infrastructure;
    • Address existing surface water flood risk issues, including any run-off through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development.

    Total allocated sites

    40 homes

    Completions and permissions

    7 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    47 homes

    Economy

    13.343 Weston has a number of small businesses, notably at Weston Barns on Hitchin Road. This is not sufficiently large to designate as an employment area, but does perform an important role in providing local employment and facilities. The Council will therefore seek to protect the employment function of this area under the detailed policies of this Plan.

    (6) Wymondley

    Introduction

    13.344 Wymondley is a parish to the east of Hitchin. It was created in 1937 by the merger of the two former parishes of Great Wymondley and Little Wymondley. Despite the names, Little Wymondley has long been the more populous, overtaking Great Wymondley between the 1851 and 1861 censuses.

    13.345 As well as the villages of Great and Little Wymondley the parish includes the hamlets of Titmore Green, Redcoats Green and Todds Green. The parish also includes the surrounding rural area, stretching from the edges of Hitchin in the north to the edges of Stevenage in the south.

    13.346 Great Wymondley has a public house, village hall and church. Little Wymondley has a school, non-food shop, churches and public houses.

    13.347 At the 2011 census the population of the parish of Wymondley was 1,153 and there were 480 dwellings in the parish.

    Role in settlement hierarchy

    13.348 Little Wymondley is classed as a Category A village, with a settlement boundary shown on the Proposals Map within which additional development will be allowed.

    13.349 Great Wymondley is classed as a Category B village, where infilling that does not extend the built core of the village into the surrounding countryside will be allowed.

    13.350 In the south of the parish is part of the West of Stevenage site. This land is safeguarded for long-term potential development by Policy SP8. The remainder of the parish is classed as Green Belt.

    Heritage

    13.351 A conservation area covers most of Great Wymondley village. Wymondley Bury, The Priory and the parish church of St Mary at Great Wymondley are all Grade I listed buildings.

    Housing

    13.352 One site is allocated in Wymondley for an estimated 300 additional homes. 15 further homes have been built or granted planning permission since 2011.

    Ref

    Local Housing Allocations and site specific criteria

    Dwelling estimate

    (24) WY1

    Land south of Little Wymondley

    300 homes

    • Appropriate solution for primary education requirements having regard to up-to-date assessments of need;
    • Detailed drainage strategy identifying water infrastructure required and mechanism(s) for delivery.
    • Address existing surface water and river flood risk issues, particularly along Stevenage Road, through SUDs or other appropriate solution;
    • Sensitive integration into the existing village, particularly in terms of design, building orientation and opportunities for cycle and pedestrian access;
    • Proposals to be informed by a site-specific landscape assessment;
    • Appropriate mitigation measures for noise associated with A602 Wymondley Bypass  to potentially include landscaping and / or insulation and appropriate orientation of living spaces;
    • Access to the site to take into account the impact on heritage assets and surface water flooding;
    • Minimise impact upon the heritage assets and their settings near the site, to include;
      • Any access from Stevenage Road to consider impact upon setting of Listed Buildings;
      • Consideration of key views from Wymondley Bury and St Mary's Church;
      • Reinforcing existing boundary planting;
      • Retention of significant groups of trees within the site;
    • Archaeological survey to be completed prior to development.

    Total allocated sites

    300 homes

    Completions and permissions

    16 homes

    Total allocated, completed and permitted

    316 homes

    Economy

    13.353 Wymondley has a number of small businesses, notably along Stevenage Road in Little Wymondley. This is not sufficiently large to designate as an employment area, but does perform an important role in providing local employment and facilities. The Council will therefore seek to protect the employment function of this area under the detailed policies of this Plan.

    Infrastructure and mitigation

    13.354 Wymondley JMI School is currently 0.5FE but has the potential to expand to 1FE on the existing site.  There is also the opportunity to explore moving the school to a new site within the land south of Little Wymondley. However, this would result in some existing residents having to travel further to school across Stevenage Road. This issue should be explored through any application.

    13.355 Our transport modelling identifies the junction between Hitchin Road and Arch Road in Great Wymondley as a location where a mitigation scheme will be required to support new development.

    13.356 Any development on site WY1 will need to make appropriate contributions, recognising that developments in Hitchin, Letchworth and, to a lesser degree, Stevenage are all likely to contribute to traffic movements through this junction.

    13.357 Anglian Water recognise that improvements to wastewater infrastructure may be required to support the proposed development.

    13.358 There are known flooding issues in Wymondley from both surface and river flooding. The key flood route broadly follows the alignment of Stevenage Road with an additional surface water flood route along Priory Lane.

    13.359 Any development to the south of Little Wymondley will be required to achieve the equivalent of greenfield run off rates to ensure existing issues are not exacerbated. Opportunities will also be sought to alleviate existing problems.

    13.360 The A602 Wymondley Bypass provides the most appropriate, defensible Green Belt boundary to the south of the village. This requires the removal of some land from the Green Belt that lies within the bypass but which should generally remain undeveloped. Our detailed policies set out the approach we will take to areas of Urban Open Land.


    [138] Exceptions to this include where development is proposed on the edge of an existing settlement but using land (partly) in an adjoining parish. Sites on the edge of Baldock but in Clothall parish, for example, are included in the Baldock section.

    [139] The housing requirements set out in Policy SP08 include allowances for windfall development. These are sites which come forward for development outside of the local plan  process. It is not possible to say exactly where in the District these schemes will occur.

    [140] Housing and Green Belt Technical Paper (NHDC, 2016)

    [141] This also explains why high-level traffic modelling, which will not contain this level of intelligence, considers there to be sufficient capacity.

    [142] Heritage Assessment of Churchgate, Hitchin (Amec Foster Wheeler, 2016)

    [143] North Hertfordshire Retail Study Update (NLP, 2016); Retail Background Paper (NHDC, 2016)

    [144] All-through schools make provision for all children from age 4 to 18. See Policy SP10.

    [145] This also explains why high-level traffic modelling, which will not contain this level of intelligence, considers there to be sufficient capacity.

    [146] At the time of the 2011 census this was the area of the Letchworth Garden City parish, which has subsequently been abolished. The area is the same as the combined five Letchworth wards on NHDC.

    [147] Outline planning permission has been granted for up to 82 new homes at Holwell Turn. The precise number of homes to be built will be determined by a detailed, 'reserved matters' application. An estimate of 70 homes has been used for the purposes of calculating overall housing numbers in this Plan. This figure is without prejudice to the determination of any future planning applications on this site.

    [148] Housing and Green Belt Technical Paper (NHDC, 2016)

    [149] Royston Sewage Treatment Work Water Cycle Study (NHDC, 2012)

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