Oliver has again pressed the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to reconsider the number of new houses which Hertsmere Borough Council must accommodate in their Local Plan.
The draft Local Plan has completed its consultation phase and a public engagement report will be finalised following consideration of residents’ comments.
Oliver wrote to Michael Gove in October to challenge Hertsmere’s housing numbers and the Hertsmere MP has reiterated his commitment to protecting the borough’s green spaces from excessive development.
Oliver said: 'With the consultation period on the Local Plan now over, I am pleased that so many residents engaged with the process and made their views known to the council. It is vital that residents’ voices are heard and properly taken into account.
Many Hertsmere residents have written to me to express their deep concerns about the number of houses included within the draft plan and the effect these would have on our green spaces and the distinct character of our towns and villages. I am in close contact with the council and I have relayed these concerns to councillors, making clear the strength of feeling on the issue.
It remains the case, however, that much of the pressure comes from central government targets. I’m determined to continue my campaign to get the Housing Department to look again at its approach to Hertsmere. There should be more recognition of the fact that almost all the borough’s undeveloped land is green belt, meaning it is exceptionally hard for us to meet high targets for new building. There needs to be a greater emphasis on beauty and protecting the environment, getting infrastructure in place and respecting local democracy.
I continue to engage the Housing Secretary on all these points as the Local Plan progresses.'