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Hertsmere Draft Local Plan 2024 – our initial analysis

24th April 2024

Hertsmere Borough Council is conducting an additional public consultation on its new Draft Local Plan. The new Local Plan affects everyone, and we encourage all local people in the borough and the surrounding area to submit a consultation response before the deadline of 29 May 2024. See below for details of how to respond.

The new Hertsmere Draft Local Plan is entitled ‘Green, sustainable growth: towards 2040’. The current consultation follows on from Hertsmere’s previous consultations over the past several years, most recently in 2021 when the then-proposed Draft Local Plan resulted in circa 18,000 responses and a huge public outcry in opposition to the massive amount of protected Green Belt land that would have been lost to development.

In response, the Council is now consulting on changes to their proposed site allocations for housing and employment space. This includes a reduction in the amount of land being proposed for release from the Green Belt, down from approximately 1000 hectares in the 2021 Draft, to approximately 600 hectares in this current Draft.

While we welcome this reduction, the release of 600 hectares (circa 1500 acres) land from the Green Belt is still a huge loss of open countryside. That is a far greater figure than that proposed in the recent Draft Local Plans for Dacorum Borough (466 hectares of Green Belt would be lost) and Three Rivers District (57 hectares of Green Belt would be lost.)

Our concerns

Our initial commentary and analysis is available to download (as amended 3 May 2024). We will also publish our full consultation response before the closing date of 29 May 2024.


At a headline level, our concerns include:

  • Very large amounts of protected Green Belt land are still proposed for allocation, circa 600 hectares, or the equivalent of approximately 862 football pitches, including the sites shown below in our image gallery;
  • Continued use of the “Standard Method” and out-of-date population and household projections – more recent data shows the Local Plan housing target could be reduced further; and
  • Insufficient consideration of opportunities for brownfield redevelopment and for bringing empty homes back into occupancy.

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.

You can read more about our views by downloading our 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 noon on Wednesday 29th May 2024, either:

  • 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