Troy Planning + Design were instructed by Redbourn Parish Council to test the physical capacity of the East of Hemel Hempstead Urban Extension comprising 1,500 dwellings which was proposed in the St Albans Local Plan as an allocation and strategic release of Green Belt. The Local Plan policy for East of Hemel stated that the allocation would deliver a density of 40 dwellings per hectare. The client considered this density to be optimistic given the known site constraints and land available for development.
The site is located north of the Buncefield Oil Depot which was the site of a serious explosion in 2005, therefore our analysis took account of the Health and Safety Executive’s exclusion zone for the site and compatibility of uses including education and housing.
We utilised the Council’s site allocation boundary, Green Belt Study and the Crown Estates initial concept plan as a starting point for our analysis. Our analysis demonstrated that to achieve 1,500 dwellings on the proposed site the average density would far exceed that of 40 dwellings per hectare purported by the local planning authority. This is particularly the case when considering the site’s Green Belt location, relationship to the existing town of Hemel Hempstead, neighbouring densities, Buncefield Oil Depot, Heritage Assets and the need to factor in land required for schools, roads and utilities.
Redbourn Parish, St Albans and City District, Hertfordshire UK
Redbourn Parish Council