Hertfordshire Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2023

01.11.23 2 MINUTE READ

Image of herts autumn

Two steps forward in some areas and three steps back in others.

Notwithstanding the enactment of the LURA, political uncertainty and the pending planning reforms are influencing how parts of Hertfordshire are approaching their Local Plan evidence base, particularly in the South-West where we are seeing emerging Regulation 18 plans move away from their housing requirements in favour of the protection of the Green Belt.

We are seeing this in Three Rivers and Dacorum, which is causing much debate, because this approach is premature, but could become a reality of plan-making in the not too distant future. A perfect example of the extent of confusion and uncertainty that the Government’s reforms are currently causing to plan-making.

Nevertheless, a huge congratulations to Welwyn Hatfield for finally getting over the line with their adopted plan, no mean feat given the history of the Examination or the current political landscape. Albeit, they now appear to have some local legal challenges to defend

However, we do now have 6 of the 10 Local Authorities with up-to-date Local Plans, albeit many of these are coming into their review periods, which will provide opportunities for future growth, subject to the implications/status of the pending planning reforms following the accent of the LURB. It remains to be seen though whether these reviews like many across the country will occur on time until the tabled planning reforms are written in stone.

Five Year Land Supply


Hertsmere, Three Rivers, St Albans and Dacorum all currently have shortfalls in housing delivery below a 5-year supply. However, opportunities are limited by the existing protection afforded to the Green Belt Authorities under Paragraph 11, Footnote 7 of the NPPF. What is interesting is that within their emerging draft Local Plans, some of these authorities are actively seeking to reduce their housing requirement to limit the perceived impact upon the Green Belt, as they monitor the potential pending planning reforms.

For detail on emerging Local Plan position in Hertfordshire please click on the map below.

Our Planning team


Mike Jones

Partner, Planning

Mike is a Chartered Town Planner with 19+ years’ experience and knowledge across an array of sectors.

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