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CPRE response to the Hertsmere Local Plan Issues and Options consultation



Countryside campaigners, CPRE Hertfordshire, welcomed what Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said yesterday in his budget speech about continued protection for the Green Belt. “We are very pleased” said CPRE Hertfordshire’ Chairman Richard Bullen. “We believe that there is great value in the Green Belt. It has been shown over and over again that walking in the country is good for the human psyche. For most in towns and cities, the Green Belt is the nearest accessible bit of countryside to their homes”.

Protecting the Green Belt is something that national politicians having been promising for years. Many will remember Gordon Brown affirming his commitment.

Local politicians seem not to have heard what their opposite numbers in Whitehall and Westminster have been saying though. CPRE Hertfordshire has reviewed all of the local housing plans put forward or in course by the borough and district councils in the county and calculated that at least 40,000 houses will be built in what is today Green Belt land over the next 15 years.

These local politicians often claim that it is national government who is forcing them to put forward plans with housing numbers that leave them no choice but build on the Green Belt.

“We know” said CPRE Hertfordshire’s Chairman Richard Bullen, “that local authority finances are tight. So, they want more business rates and think that more houses will mean more workers for these businesses”.

So, just what is government policy as regards the Green Belt? If it is to be protected, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has the power to over-rule local authority plans and he should use his power to do this if these plans include building on the Green Belt. If he won’t do this, then we have to conclude that Mr Hammond’s statement was so much hot air at least.

“There is such a huge conflict between the words about protecting the Green Belt and what is happening on the ground. If this government is committed to transparency, they should clear up the murky mess that exists now” said CPRE Hertfordshire’s Richard Bullen.


As you may already be aware, Dacorum Borough Council has recently launched a new consultation on Local Plan Issues and Options in which it invites views on how the Borough’s housing need should be met over the period to 2036 and where development should be located. The deadline for responses to Dacorum is Wednesday 13th December 2017.

The Council is proposing 3 alternative levels of housing growth ranging from 13,846 new homes to 25,300. Of these, it is estimated that around 10,940 can be provided from existing and planned sites leaving up to 14,360 to be built in Green Belt countryside. This would have a massive impact on the rural landscape and on the town and village communities across the Borough. Existing road networks and infrastructure are already under severe strain.

The consultation suggests 3 alternative distribution options for where the houses might be built. These include significant Green Belt sites at:

  • Hemel Hempstead
  • Tring
  • Berkhamsted
  • Kings Langley
  • Bovingdon
  • Kings Langley
  • Markyate

We would encourage all members to read the Issues and Options document and to respond to the consultation by midnight on Wed 13th December 2017.

It is also worth making your views known to your local councillors and MP.  

Please note that although Dacorum Council is asking for comments to be submitted either on-line or by using their questionnaire, objections can also be sent by post or by email and do not need to follow the questionnaire format. However, you should make it clear which Issue/Policy/Paragraph of the Plan you are commenting on. Neither should you feel constrained by the various options put forward by the Council – at this stage, anyone can put forward any views on what the new Plan should say.

CPRE Hertfordshire is preparing to make a response. We will be challenging the housing targets and arguing that housing need does not need to be met in full where there are Green Belt constraints. If you have any particular concerns that you would like us to consider, please do email the office by Tuesday 28th November.

Please feel free to pass this email on to friends and neighbours and encourage them to respond direct to Dacorum Council.

As a charity, CPRE relies on membership subscriptions and donations to fund our work. New members are always welcome. For further information on how to join or donate, please visit the CPRE Hertfordshire website.




On 22 November the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, will announce his Autumn Budget, and is proposing release of Green Belt land for housing.

We welcome the Government’s commitment to tackling the housing crisis, but this is not the right way to do it.

You can help to steer the budget in the right direction by writing to your MP today.

Click here to contact your MP with a quick and easy online form.


If you want to support us in our planning activities, click on the MyDonate button.


For anyone who submitted comments on the North Herts Proposed Submission Local Plan consultation back in November 2016, the Examination will be the last chance to have your say on some of the massive housing development proposals which threaten the North Hertfordshire countryside and Green Belt

There may be a chance to speak  North Herts Local Plan Examination.


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