Watford's pledge to achieve development and sustainability commitments

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The purpose of the Development Quality Charter is to achieve a new benchmark for high quality and sustainable development in Hertfordshire...

Watford Borough Council has proudly announced its official endorsement of the Hertfordshire Development Quality Charter, solidifying its commitment to uphold the highest standards of quality and sustainability in local authority led new developments across the town.

This collaborative initiative seeks to establish a benchmark for excellence, ensuring that residents benefit from thoughtfully designed spaces to live, work, and visit. The charter serves as a guiding force, encouraging best practices in urban planning, architecture, and environmental sustainability.

To support their commitment, the council aims to meet the design and sustainability pledges outlined in the charter, and thanks to the town's RTPI East of England award-winning Local Plan, several of these objectives have already been successfully achieved. Although this document already imposes higher standards on developers, the charter serves to strengthen our commitment, especially when the council functions as developers for its own sites.

Watford's dedication to the principles of the Charter is exemplified by its recent success with the Riverside Road project. This small-scale development, consisting of five three-bedroom affordable family homes, was spearheaded by the council and designed by Bell Phillips Architects.

The project's outstanding quality and commitment to sustainability earned it the prestigious Richard Feilden Award in the Housing Design Awards, specifically for the best social housing scheme in the UK. Riverside Road stood out among 54 national finalists, and the development is a testament to the council’s proactive approach to aligning with the charter, even before the formal endorsement.

Peter Taylor at Riverside Road

Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, said: "By signing up to the Hertfordshire Development Quality Charter, the council reaffirms its commitment to high quality and sustainable communities. We want to not only meet the needs of the present, but also contribute to the well-being of future generations.

“The charter demonstrates our determination to work with stakeholders, architects, and the local residents to bring forward projects that serve the community. We want to protect and enhance the local environment and make sure that new homes are built to a high standard.”

Cllr Richard Roberts, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council and Chair of Hertfordshire Growth Board, said: “From building new homes and protecting green spaces to growing our economy while cutting carbon emissions, Hertfordshire is perfectly placed to lead the way on sustainable place-making.

“Consistently delivering high-quality new homes and buildings which meet the latest environmental standards is vital to achieving this ambition which is why the launch of Hertfordshire’s new Development Quality Charter is so important.

“It will set the benchmark for quality and sustainability for new developments across the county and ensure residents benefit from well-designed places to live, work and visit.

“Launching this new charter at the Hertfordshire Infrastructure and Development Board is symbolic of the deep partnership between the development sector and local government which will enable its principles to be literally built into the fabric of our communities.

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For more information on the charter, please visit hidb.co.uk/new-development-quality-charter-for-hertfordshire/.

Published: 3rd February 2024

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