Views on the future of South West Hertfordshire are being invited, as a draft vision for the area which aspires to accelerate ‘positive change’ is now open for public consultation...
The South West Hertfordshire 2050 - Realising Our Potential document, includes a draft vision and objectives for the area until 2050 and marks the first formal plan-making stage for the South West Herts Joint Strategic Plan, which is being drawn up by St Albans City and District Council, Dacorum Borough Council, Hertsmere Borough Council, Three Rivers District Council and Watford Borough Council, supported by Hertfordshire County Council.
The document covers all aspects of life in South West Hertfordshire and considers how to tackle the big issues and opportunities that lie ahead for the area, including the challenges of climate change. Responses to this consultation will help shape the more detailed content of the plan as it progresses.
Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “The plan has been developed following a consultation in early 2020 and using this feedback, we are working with other councils towards a single vision for the region that will make it an even better place to live, work and visit.
“This is particularly important for Watford, where we are trying to push back against the increased housing targets for our town which are being forced on us from central government. It is vitally important that planning policies and planning decisions are made locally and that local residents are given the power to shape their town.
“One of my key priorities is to improve our infrastructure to make sure that we can provide high quality services to all residents. Please have your say, as by only working together and taking a more strategic, long-term view can we deliver the right infrastructure, the right homes and space for our businesses to grow.”
The South West Hertfordshire 2050 – Realising our Potential has been developed following a poll in early 2020, which generated more than 14,500 comments, a series of workshops, and an online engagement exercise, in which participants were asked what type of future they would like to see.
In addition, residents and businesses are being asked to give their views on a Sustainability Appraisal Scoping report, which will help us consider the environmental, social and economic effects of the joint strategic plan.
SW Herts is one of only a small number of councils in the UK working together in this way. By considering the longer-term future of a bigger area as whole, the opportunities for the future such as more Government funding for infrastructure improvements are greater.
The SW Herts JSP will not replace Local Plans. Dacorum, Hertsmere, St Albans City & District, Three Rivers and Watford are still required to have in place their own up-to-date plans.
The full document is available to view at www.swhertsplan.com/consultation. Responses can be submitted until 5pm on Friday 4 November.
Chair of the SW Herts Member Group and Leader of St Albans City and District Council, Cllr Chris White said: “South West Hertfordshire is a wonderful place to live, work and visit – but we need to think about the future.
“The five local authorities which make up the area, supported by Hertfordshire County Council, have been working on a plan which will address key issues and opportunities for our area until 2050, such as climate change and the transition to zero carbon.
“This document marks the first step towards delivering that plan, and we want to hear from you on the particular issues that matter to you. Every comment matters to us.
“At this stage, we don’t know yet where growth should go, but we know we want it to happen sustainably, and we want the key pieces of infrastructure in place to support that growth.
“Tell us how you think our area can realise its full potential - your views will help shape the future of South West Hertfordshire.”