Core Strategy

The Council is pleased to announce that the Core Strategy was adopted at the Full Council meeting on 17 October 2011 and now forms part of the Development Plan for the area. The Core Strategy sets out in broad terms how we will plan for, and deal with, future development in Three Rivers. It contains important policies to help address the pressing need for affordable housing and sufficient services such as schooling in the area as well as promoting more sustainable development in general.

Re-introduction of parts (a) and (e) of Core Strategy Policy CP4: Affordable Housing on 4 September 2017

Due to changes in Government guidance concerning the provision of affordable housing, since May 2016 the Council has only required affordable housing on sites of 10 dwellings or more or where development has a minimum combined gross floor area of over 1,000 sqm. The Government’s guidance meant that the Council were not applying parts (a) and (e) of Core Strategy Policy CP4, which require affordable housing provision on sites with a lower threshold i.e. with a net gain of one or more dwelling.

However, due to the District’s close proximity to London, Three Rivers continues to be situated within a very high house price area. According to data published by the Office for National Statistics, in the third quarter of 2016, the lowest quartile house price in Three Rivers in 2016 (the cheapest properties in the District) was £325,000.00. This makes Three Rivers the seventh most expensive local authority area in England and Wales outside of London, out of a total of 350 local authority areas.  Affordability of housing remains a critical issue in Three Rivers and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

The contribution made towards affordable housing provision by smaller sites, prior to May 2016 was significant. Between the adoption of the Core Strategy in October 2011 and May 2016, the Council received small site affordable housing contributions totalling £1.5million. Utilising these contributions, development is currently underway which will deliver 21 units of affordable housing in the District, with the remainder being utilised as a contribution towards the delivery of a further 17 affordable dwellings within the District.

The Council considers that whilst we must take into account the content of Government guidance as a material consideration in any planning decision, current evidence concludes that there is a continued pressing need for new additional affordable housing in Three Rivers. Sites falling below the 10 unit and 1,000 sqm threshold should continue to make a valuable contribution towards increasing the number of affordable units in the District.

In the light of the evidence, the Council will fully re-apply parts (a) and (e) of Core Strategy Policy CP4 when determining all relevant planning applications from 4 SEPTEMBER 2017, and as such, sites delivering one or more dwellings will be required to contribute to affordable housing provision.

Examination in Public

The Core Strategy was submitted to the Government for Examination to determine its 'soundness'.  The Examination into the Core Strategy was formally closed on receipt of the Inspector's Final Report  on 16 September 2011. The Inspector's binding report and further details of the adoption procedure can be viewed on the Examination Page.

The Submission documents can be downloaded below:

Previous consultations

Changes to the Core Strategy Proposed Submission

The Council published its Local Development Framework: Changes to the Core Strategy Proposed Submission on the 29 October 2010. These changes were not considered to alter the overall strategy for the District but were considered necessary to ensure that the Core Strategy is the most appropriate for the area.

Although we are not accepting any further comments, the Changes to the Proposed Submission Core Strategy documents can be downloaded below:

Core Strategy Proposed Submission

The Council published its Local Development Framework: Proposed Submission Core Strategy for consultation between the 11 June 2010 and 23 July 2010 prior to its submission to the Secretary of State.

The Proposed Submission Core Strategy set out the basic principles and spatial framework for delivering development and change needed to realise the vision for the District up to 2026. The Proposed Submission Core Strategy does not contain detailed housing or other site allocations. These will be covered in a separate Site Allocations Development Plan Document and will be subject to further public consultation.

The policy approaches set out within the Proposed Submission Core Strategy were developed through a series of consultations and a comprehensive and wide ranging evidence base.

Although we are not accepting any further comments, the Proposed Submission Core Strategy documents can be downloaded below.

Previous consultation on the Core Strategy has been carried out in 2006, 2007 and 2009. Information on these consultations can be viewed below.

Core Strategy Further Preferred Options Consultation

The Council undertook public consultation on possible future housing sites across the District between 9 November 2009 and 15 January 2010. These were put forward in response to meeting the Government's targets for housebuilding over the next 15 years. There was a large response with almost 1900 questionnaires, letters and e mails being returned. The headline results can be downloaded below which give a simple indication of support/objection in relation to each of the sites we consulted on.

The more detailed comments received are also available in the following document.
The Council notes the levels of public support and opposition in relation to each of the sites put forward. A special Member Working Party will now be reconvened to consider all the responses carefully and make recommendations to the Council as to which sites should be taken forward. It is important to note that no decisions have yet been made and there are still further stages in the planning process to go through before any sites are finalised. This may involve further public consultation at a later date should this be necessary.

Although we are not accepting any further comments the Core Strategy Further Preferred Options document and Draft Sustainability Appraisal can be downloaded below.

Core Strategy Further Preferred Options Full Document

Draft Sustainability Appraisal

Previous Consultations

The Council prepared an Issues and Options document and consulted on this during 2006 and again in 2007. Whilst consultation on this document has now ended, the documents and the report of the public consultation can be downloaded below.

Keeping informed

If you would like to be kept informed of progress on the Core Strategy or any part of the LDF, and you are not already on our database, please let us have your details:

E mail:
Telephone: 01923 727106
In writing: Development Plans Service, Three Rivers District Council, Northway, Rickmansworth WD3 1RL.

Core Strategy