SW Herts’ Vision Proceeds to Next Stage

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Anyone with an interest in the future of South West Hertfordshire is being urged to register to be notified when they can have a say, as a draft vision for the area moves towards public consultation.

Members from Dacorum Borough Council’s Cabinet agreed at their meeting on 12 July that the South West Hertfordshire 2050 – Realising Our Potential document, which includes a draft long-term vision and objectives for the area, should move towards public consultation. Approval to go to consultation has now been received from all five other local authorities involved in the plan. They are: Hertsmere Borough Council, St Albans City and District Council, Three Rivers District Council and Watford Borough Council.

The South West Hertfordshire 2050 – Realising our Potential document marks the first formal plan-making stage for the South West Herts Joint Strategic Plan (SW Herts JSP). It has been developed following a poll in early 2020, which generated more than 14,500 comments, a series of workshops, and an online engagement exercise, in which participants were asked what type of future they would like to see.

A public consultation will be held on the draft vision this summer. Responses to this consultation will help shape the more detailed content of the plan as it progresses.

Cllr Alan Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Infrastructure, said: ‘To help shape the future of the South West Hertfordshire area, it is really important that we hear about the issues that are important to Dacorum residents.  The feedback we receive will help us maximise the opportunity to obtain the infrastructure crucial to future development, without surrendering our ability to control the future development of the Dacorum part of the area.’

Chair of the SW Herts Member Group and Leader of St Albans City and District Council, Cllr Chris White said: ‘Since the first highly successful online poll held just over two years ago, we’ve been working with key stakeholders and a group of 18 to 25 year olds, to set out our vision for the future of the area.

‘Residents will get a chance to tell us what they think about this part of Hertfordshire at present and the key issues they feel that our new Joint Strategic Plan should address.

‘Your views will be vital in shaping the plan, which will serve as a blueprint for the area until 2050.

‘I would urge you to visit the South West Herts website and register your interest to respond, so we can let you know when we want to hear from you.’

SW Herts is one of only a small number of councils in the UK working together in this way. By considering the longer-term future of a bigger area as whole, the opportunities for the future such as more Government funding for infrastructure improvements are greater.

The SW Herts JSP will not replace Local Plans. Dacorum, Hertsmere, St Albans City & District, Three Rivers and Watford are still required to have in place their own up-to-date plans.

Further details, including how to register to get involved, are available at www.swhertsplan.com.