Milestone reached in shaping SW Herts’ future

NewsUpdated: 19 December 2023Planning

The South West Herts Joint Strategic Plan (SW Herts JSP) has reached an important milestone, with all the partner authorities endorsing a long-term vision and set of principles to help shape the future of the area.

The Joint Strategic Plan, which is being developed by St Albans City and District Council, Dacorum Borough Council, Hertsmere Borough Council, Three Rivers District Council and Watford Borough Council and supported by Hertfordshire County Council, will address the key issues and opportunities for our area until 2050, including climate change and the transition to zero carbon.

Feedback on a draft vision was sought through consultation on the South West Hertfordshire 2050 - Realising Our Potential document in autumn 2022. As a result, a number of changes have been made to the draft vision and principles, to ensure they include sufficient reference to matters such as health and the protection of water resources, air quality and historic heritage. This updated vision, will provide the strategic direction for the more detailed content of the plan as it progresses.

Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Lead Member for Planning Policy and Economic Development at Three Rivers District Council, said: “By working together with our friends at our partner councils we aim to ensure we can deliver the infrastructure, housing, transport links, services and facilities people expect. This is all about planning for the future – taking into account possible future shocks and trends. Reaching this milestone and securing a clear framework to guide our future work shows what can be achieved when we work together –I am excited for the next steps in this journey.”

Chair of the SW Herts Member Group and Leader of St Albans City and District Council, Cllr Chris White said: “South West Hertfordshire is a wonderful place to live, work and visit – and we want to make sure it stays that way while thinking about the future too. The five local authorities which make up the area, supported by Hertfordshire County Council, have been working on a vision and set of principles that will help guide how the area grows and changes to 2050.

"At this stage, we don’t know yet where growth should go, but we know we want it to happen sustainably, and we want the key pieces of infrastructure in place to support that growth. Agreeing a clear framework to guide future work on this plan is a fantastic example of cross-boundary working and something that we should be rightly proud of.”

The councils in South West Hertfordshire are among a very small number of councils in the UK who are grasping the opportunity to work together in this way to support the future success and prosperity of their area. By harnessing their commitment  to the longer-term future of their combined  area, they are paving the way to achieving even more, opening up greater opportunities such as more Government funding for better infrastructure.

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.

The vision document, a full Consultation Report and updated Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report, which helps ensure the JSP takes account of relevant social, economic and environmental considerations are available at