Labour Response to the DBC Tring Development Plan
1. Do you support or oppose the current level of housing development (circa 2,700 houses) planned for Tring in the local development plan?
I & the local Labour Party don’t support this level of housing development as it will potentially destroy the natural environment in Tring and surrounding areas and of equal importance the very character of Tring. The rationale for my position is detailed in the Labour Party formal response published in February 2021 and submitted to the consultation which you can see in this link.
In a nutshell, Local Labour and I, as a candidate for Tring, stand for a Comprehensive
Development Plan that takes into account the real local housing needs and the climate and ecological emergency prioritising developments in brown fields and industrial areas rather than green belt.
In addition, with the COVID-19 crisis and Brexit, the housing scenario has changed
dramatically with many people transitioning to working from home with enormous office
spaces that can be transformed into homes. The whole national plan needs to recognise this significant chain of events and therefore should be rewritten into a revamped DBC plan.
If some development has to happen in the green belt it should be in much smaller numbers and as needed and spread throughout the whole Borough. The current plan shows a greater than a 40% increase in the urban area and population in Tring. Why? It is just unsustainable, given the infrastructure, local services; sewage & water quality.
We also propose to have developers subject to a pre-qualification / evaluation phase prior to open procurement to select the most sustainable and environmentally conscientious bidders, who can provide best practices. This will ensure that any new developments in Tring have zero carbon emissions and a net-zero carbon footprint which is essential.
Please see in this link the possible TODAY in UK for sustainable and green developments if
needed to be: Net zero housing – Project map – Good Homes Alliance
We pledge that under the current climate emergency if new urban areas are created, the same amount of space is given back to the community in the restoration of the natural environment by rewilding.
We also pledge for a zero-emissions transport for Tring with a shuttle bus to Tring Station to improve commuting to London with no need of so much car carbon emissions for this journey.
Development Plan Phase 1 has already started in West Tring (Roman Park). It is quite a large development and it will very soon bring a considerable amount of pressure to our town, as well as the incremental impacts caused by the vast development in East Tring. The Roman Park development does not seem to have any renewable energy housing feed, nor electrical charges for cars, which sooner or later will be a must in every home. It is very dense and does not seem to provide any green spaces for the community.
2. What level of housing in a revised plan for Tring would you support?
I would support a level of housing that fits the needs of our town prioritising brownfields and not Green Belt. If any development is needed to take place in Green Belt it will have to be very carefully designed according to Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) measurable sustainability parameters and requirements, ensuring zero carbon footprint and emissions.
Residents and local Tring associations that have worked hard to read and analyse such a lengthy plan ought to be involved in all future planning. The engagement of residents will generate many ideas that can be developed from this consultation phase.
Local labour would also like to propose a mandate that the equivalent urban acreage be given over to rewilding, in order to create and restore a natural environment similar to that found at Chilterns Natural habitats, like Ashridge.
The development must also take into account the required infrastructure which must include health centres, schools, children play areas etc. Serious consideration must be given to the views of Tring residents. Any housing development must be affordable and demonstrate sustainable zero carbon emissions – the build must be green from the ground up.
DBC should ensure the development contracts are strongly tied into DBC management, in
such a way that the profits are limited and a strong project management regime is put in
place, allowing DBC to hold the developers to account for the core values of the new Local
3. How would you propose to use a majority in DBC to reduce the number of
houses planned for Tring? Would you propose another Section 18 public
consultation of a revised Local Plan?
Unfortunately, we cannot answer this as it is currently not an option for Labour in Tring.
Hopefully, after the elections, we will have a stronger voice. However, in general, we believe that the plan as it is, should be stopped. We know that the council is taking all ideas, suggestions, and comments from replies to the Consultation in February 2021 and we presume that they will be integrated into the current plan. We understand that the current plan is greatly opposed by the public, therefore a new plan needs to be developed which addresses the expressed concerns, ideas and suggestions from Tring residents and associations.
4. Taking into consideration how your party voted, please explain your position on the merits, or otherwise, of the DBC decision to proceed with the public
consultation in November 2020.
The Labour Party is not in the DBC but strongly opposes the development as it is and it
formerly published its position. It also specified mandatory planning and infrastructure
requirements before any development permission is given.
Public consultation in November 2020 was strongly opposed due to lockdown impeding
physical space to inform and discuss with Tring residents. It was very bad timing, relying on
people to use computers and have internet connections. Also, it was a time of great worry
because of COVID-19 and adaptation to an unprecedented Christmas period. We asked to
postpone the consultation period until well after lockdown to give time and space to discuss.
Although it was postponed to February 2021 we believe it was still not the right time to try
and force through such a significant change in the Tring community.
Local Labour will also kindly like to propose a friendlier exposition of the Plan in the future.
The document is far too long for the public to read and analyse, so while not opposing a
detailed plan, an Executive Summary clearly articulating the key points of the plan will be
published. The Executive Summary should specify the mains concerns raised in the February 2021 consultation phase and how they have been addressed.
In summary, the local Labour Party pledges the following:
- Quantified targets to ensure we meet Dacorum’s declared target of 2030 net zero
- Affordable housing for local people on the living wage
- Phased development
- Increased green spaces
- Increased wild spaces
What Value will Voting for a Labour Councillor Bring to Grove & Tring Residents?
In summary, I believe that the foregoing is a comprehensive quality response to the questions raised. I also think that a vote for me as Labour Councillor for Tring, Dacorum &
Hertfordshire Councils will have the following benefits to residents:
- I will directly engage with the Tring residents by creating resident focus groups which
will range from the environment to employment.
- I am committed to ensuring that there is no “greenwashing” – developments will be
green from the ground up and comply with ESG standards.
- I am committed to ensuring that any developments will have the requisite green
infrastructure including education, health & care services and transportation.
- I am committed to working with businesses to deliver a rapid economic recovery that
will include the pedestrianisation of the high street to stimulate growth.
- I am committed to implementing a skills centre that upskills people in the areas of
technology & green technical skills.
- I am committed to supporting the running of an outstanding council by holding it to
account, not only to obtain value for money for ratepayers but also to have specific
measures in place regarding the Environment, Social & transparent Governance