An important step for the future of Hertsmere has been taken, with our councillors agreeing a framework which sets out the path to show how land in the borough will be used until 2040 and beyond.
At a Full Council meeting last night (Wednesday, November 22), elected members approved the report that presents a proposed new approach and updated timetable in the form of a Local Development Scheme for the Local Plan. Once it has been considered by an independent inspector at a public examination, the plan will become a blueprint for the way in which land in the borough is utilised and developed for more than the next 15 years.
Councillor Nik Oakley, portfolio holder for planning, infrastructure and transport, said: “The approval of this comprehensive report marks an important milestone as we chart our progress, with the new partnership administration having worked closely with our Planning Policy team to meet a commitment to present a new framework for the borough’s previously ‘set aside’ Local Plan.
“This framework is among our fundamental commitments; the Local Development Scheme has committed to a public consultation in spring next year to get our residents’ and businesses’ views on key policies and sites for housing and employment for possible inclusion in the final version of our new Local Plan.”
The council received almost 18,000 responses in a public consultation held during the previous administration in 2021, something cllr Oakely labelled a “record-breaking rejection”.
She continued: “Our residents’ feedback then showed clear concern over the amount of land proposed for removal from the Green Belt and allocated for housing and employment development. We’re committed to ensuring that the new Local Plan focuses on protecting those areas when setting targets for housing and employment land.
“As a borough which strongly recognises and values our film and television heritage, we’ve also commissioned a study to consider if we should be providing more land on which studios can expand to ensure that Hertsmere remains an influential location for an industry which is synonymous with the area.”
The new draft Local Plan needs to be submitted to government by June 2025, with adoption of the final version of the new Local Plan, covering up until 2040, expected by the end of 2026.
For more information and updates about the public consultation in spring 2024, please go to our Local Plan webpage and keep an eye on our social media channels.