Watford committed to working with its South West Hertfordshire neighbours on a strategic plan for growth at last night’s full council meeting (Tuesday 13 March).
Watford Borough Council, Hertsmere Borough Council, St Albans City and District Council, Three Rivers District Council and Dacorum Borough Council will develop a new Joint Strategic Plan (JSP) for growth in South West Herts.
The JSP will deal with strategic issues that go beyond individual council boundaries, ensuring that key infrastructure – such as transport, schools, health, and utilities like water and sewerage – are properly coordinated and delivered. All five councils also make up a single housing market area, which means they have previously worked together to identify existing and future housing need.
This work already has the informal support of Hertfordshire County Council, which provides key services and infrastructure in the county.
By working together, the councils are confident they will be in a stronger position to deliver sustainable growth and access infrastructure funding opportunities to improve essential local transport links, health services and educational facilities that local people want to see.
Each council will still be responsible for preparing their own Local Plan, but the JSP will be the first critical stage in local planning work across South West Herts, setting the strategic development framework and shared priorities within which individual local plans can be prepared.
The councils will work towards agreeing this strategic framework through preparation of a Statement of Common Ground (SoCG), which is expected to be published in the summer.
Map showing area to be covered by the Joint Strategic Plan: