A Colne Valley village less than a mile from Greater London could double in size by 2040.

The proposal is part of Three Rivers District Council’s Local Plan, which sets out where 10,678 homes could go between now and 2038.

Almost 2,600 people live in Maple Cross, which lies on the River Colne’s Hertfordshire bank, between the M25 and the London village of Harefield.

Rickmansworth, with its Metropolitan Line station, lies to the north. To the south, HS2 engineers are building a viaduct over the river which dives into the Chiltern Tunnel beneath the motorway.

To hit its new homes target, Three Rivers District Council committee will discuss adding 1,500 homes to the southern and western village edges, in the Green Belt, plugging the gap between the M25 and existing houses.

The authority previously said this site was not being “taken forward”, but councillors must revisit the plans because its previous consultations would have left a 1,705-home shortfall against the forecast need.

In addition to the 1,500 homes planned south and west of Maple Cross, the authority is discussing plans for 176 homes in Chalfont Lane.

In a past consultation, Buckinghamshire councillors told Three Rivers District Council it risks merging Maple Cross and a nearby village.

They wrote: “Your plan shows large scale housing on these two sites amounting to 1,676 dwellings and a 90-bed care home. They satisfy [Green Belt] purposes outlined in the National Planning Policy Framework and act as a buffer to retain the separation of Chalfont St Peter and indeed Buckinghamshire from its boundary with Three Rivers and Hertfordshire.”

The Chilterns Conservation Board wrote: “Both these sites are significant greenfield sites that have the potential to be highly visible from the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at Newland Park, outside of the district boundaries.”

Hertfordshire County Council “welcomes the inclusion of a care home” among the ambitions for the 1,500-home site.

They said: “Highways will only support this site if significant sustainable mitigation is provided. Hertfordshire County Council would recommend exploring reducing the size of the site and providing additional housing elsewhere in the district in more potentially sustainable locations.”

A Three Rivers report sets out: “The development will focus on sustainable and healthy living with a biodiverse network of green infrastructure, public open space including a linear park with enhanced cycle and walking connections. Officers recommended the full site coming forwards as it is considered the full range of benefits coming from this scale of development will make the site more sustainable.

“There is concern that the smaller scale of the site will lead to difficulties in providing the required sustainable transport mitigation in terms of viability.

“This is a greenfield site within the Green Belt. Harm to the Green Belt of releasing the northern part of the site was assessed as high. Harm to the Green Belt of releasing the central part of the site was assessed as moderate. Harm of releasing the southern part of the site was assessed as moderate to high.

“Harm of releasing the eastern parcel of the site, adjacent to Franklin’s Spring, was assessed as low to moderate.”

Three Rivers District Council’s local plan sub-committee will debate whether to include this site in its next local plan consultation at a meeting on Thursday, August 24.

If a developer comes forward, they must earmark land for a primary extension to Maple Cross Junior Mixed Infant and Nursery School, new parkland and play space, a local centre including shops, a nursery and an extended bus route, according to the draft Local Plan.

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