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Hertsmere Draft Local Plan 2024 – our final submittal

22nd May 2024

We have now submitted our final response to Hertsmere Borough Council’s ‘Additional Public Consultation – 2024’, in which we express our concerns. We urge everyone in the borough – and those in the surrounding areas who will be impacted – to submit a consultation response before the deadline of 12 Noon on 29 May 2024. See below for details of how to make your own submittal.

We have now made our final submittal to Hertsmere Borough’s latest consultation on its Draft Local Plan.


Some positive changes…

On the one hand, we welcome some of the changes from the previous Draft Local Plan, including –

  • acknowledgement of local residents’ concerns for and commitment to the Green Belt and local green spaces throughout the borough;
  • reduction in the amount of land proposed for release from the Green Belt; and
  • apparent recognition that the National Planning Policy Framework provides for local authorities to take genuine constraints such as the Green Belt into account when setting housing targets, and that the Standard Method-derived housing target is not mandatory.

But significant concerns remain…

However, we continue to have significant concerns. At a headline level, these include –

  • proposed removal from the Green Belt of up to 600 hectares (~ 1500 acres), which is a huge amount of countryside that would lose this protective designation;
  • continued use of out-of-date housing projections – more recent data shows that the housing target could be further reduced thereby protecting more of Hertsmere’s precious Green Belt countryside; and
  • Insufficient consideration of opportunities for brownfield redevelopment, for bringing empty homes back into occupancy, and for increased housing density in urban areas – all of which would mean less of Hertsmere’s countryside would be needed for development.

Bowmans Cross

We are also deeply concerned about the impact on local communities from proposed development, particularly the large proposed Bowmans Cross ‘new town’ near Colney Heath and London Colney in St Albans District. For this new town, the Draft Local Plan proposes 5,000 dwellings on 469 hectares of land currently situated in the Green Belt.

The Council’s own evidence base shows that the site makes a strong contribution to the Green Belt, and scores low in the Council’s Transport Assessment, being isolated from any means of public transport. Based on ONS data averages, the proposed new town would mean an additional 12,000 people and 7,000 cars in this location, adding to the already-highly congested local road network.

The proposed development would destroy the landscape including that shown in the image above, and there are also significant questions regarding infrastructure deliverability.

What you can do

For more information about the new Hertsmere Draft Local Plan, including frequently asked questions and an interactive map of proposed sites for housing and employment see the Council website.

To help frame your consultation response, you can use our final submittal for guidance, and you may also wish to review our earlier published initial commentary and site impact analysis.

We hope that all local people and communities throughout the borough and in neighbouring areas will respond to the consultation and have your say about the proposals. It’s imperative that the Council understands local residents’ views, so your comments are important.

How to respond

Comments on the new Hertsmere Draft Local Plan ‘Green, sustainable growth: towards 2040’ must be submitted before 12 Noon on Wednesday 29th May 2024, either:

  • By email to:
  • By post to: Planning Policy, Hertsmere Borough Council, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Herts WD6 1WA
  • By using the new consultation and engagement hub intended for the general public and local organisations  There are 12 tabs to choose from, each covering a section of the consultation document including individual site allocations – click ‘Participate Now’ to start your response. The hub only allows for text responses. No login is required but you will need to provide your name, address, postcode and email address.
  • For anyone needing to upload additional documents or technical submissions, the Council requests submissions via   Login is required. Aimed primarily at statutory consultees, developers, landowners and their representatives.

Before you leave this page…

We are CPRE Hertfordshire, the countryside charity. We work on behalf of everyone across Hertfordshire to protect and promote the beautiful countryside, for now and for the future. Our charity relies entirely on memberships and fundraising. Please help the countryside and become a CPRE member today – it’s easy and quick to join online. Or make a recurring or one-off donation – any amount is most welcomed.

beautiful green fields, cropland and woodland with storm clouds overhead
Storm clouds over the Green Belt - a portion of the land proposed for 5000 dwellings at 'Bowmans Cross' Ian Stewart