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Stortford's MP calls for control on town's housing numbers

Mark Prisk MP
Pic: Vikki Lince
Mark Prisk MP Pic: Vikki Lince

Bishop's Stortford's MP Mark Prisk has spoken out against proposed changes to the East Herts Draft District Plan, which remove limits on key housing sites in the town.

The Conservative, a former business minister, wrote to the planning inspector Christine Thorby and to the district council on Monday to question the use of the words “at least” inserted before set housing numbers at sites including Stortford Fields and St Michael’s Hurst, which are currently under construction, the Goods Yard which is currently the subject of a planning application and Bishop’s Stortford South, breaching the Green Belt. Gilston Park – the Harlow North scheme – is also included.

The change could allow developers to substantially increase housing numbers beyond those in the plan from between 3,729 and 4,142 to a minimum of 4,426 before 2033.

Mr Prisk, who represents Hertford and Stortford, said “As it stands this change could let developers build many more homes than are needed. We must have control over the numbers and I am not convinced the language of ‘at least’ provides that control. I have written to both the inspector and to the council because we need to have clear limits set, both on individual sites and across the district.”

Mr Prisk has supported the need for more homes - when matched by extra infrastructure - and wrote to the council as part of its current consultation.

The main modifications for Bishop’s Stortford are:

At least 2,529 homes at Stortford Fields and St Michael’s Hurts.

At least 247 (up from 163) at a reserve secondary school site at Patmore Close.

At least 750 at Bishop’s Stortford South.

At least 150 at the Bishop’s Stortford High School site in London Road if it relocates to Stortford South.

At least 600 (up from 400) at the Goods Yard.

At least 100 at Old River Lane.

At least 50 east of Manor Links.

Plus a proposition of the “overall windfall allowance for the district”.

The so-called main modifications consultation began on February 15 and closes on March 29.

For more details see https://www.eastherts.gov.uk/mainmodifications

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