Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council is about to consult on a new Local Plan. This Local Plan will cover the period 2013 – 2032. It starts by identifying a number of challenges the borough will face over the coming years and aims to respond by setting out a vision and policies to address that. Identifying sites to accommodate housing is an important part of this process, but it involves far more – determining where employment will be located, the provision of schools, leisure facilities, landscape and vital infrastructure, such as transport and healthcare provision.MORE
A Planning Framework for the Borough
2013 – 2032
The Council is required to allocate sites for around 12,500 houses in this period, and is preparing a Plan to meet this objectively assessed need. St Albans, East Hertfordshire, Hertsmere and North Hertfordshire are all required to meet their own similar targets. Hertfordshire has obviously shouldered the weight of huge development throughout the twentieth century: Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield are themselves both examples of this, alongside Letchworth Garden City and the New Towns of Hemel Hempstead and Stevenage. Yet as population continues to grow, partly as a result of people living longer and partly given Hertfordshire’s proximity to London, pressure for growth and development will continue.
We cannot control the continuing appeal of the area nor the broad demographic changes. Population is increasing, more of us live on our own or in smaller household sizes, we are living longer and many still migrate to the South East, to be close to the capital. Much of this is progress to be welcomed, but changing demographics do place greater pressure on housing: the older among us tend not to downsize even when we want to, either because of a lack of good quality smaller housing, or because it’s not located in the right places.
As a long term landowner with a tradition of conservation and estate management, Gascoyne Cecil Estates has been considering its own responses to population growth and housing demand for a number of years. We have sponsored and hosted a number of events examining many of the issues surrounding modern development including broader challenges such as transport and community infrastructure.