Have your say on Dacorum’s future: Revised Draft Local Plan consultation open

A six-week-long consultation for our Revised Draft Local Plan is currently open. Help to decide the direction for Dacorum for more than the next decade by having your say.

The consultation launched on 30 October and is open until 11.59pm on Monday 11 December. Your comments will play a big part in determining how Dacorum looks until 2040.

The consultation is taking place online through our new interactive engagement platform, Let’s Talk Dacorum, in person at local events, and by post.

If you are a resident of Dacorum, have a business based in the borough, or are a regular visitor to one of our towns and villages, please give us your views on our Revised Strategy for Growth, which will strongly influence the creation of the new Dacorum Local Plan 2024-2040.

Our borough is already a great place to live for people of all ages, and a proven perfect location for national and international business. This consultation is about you, and about making sure that Dacorum continues to become an even better place to live and grow up, as well as thriving as a hub for business and industry.

This is our latest consultation as we develop and prepare the new draft Dacorum Local Plan, and so far…

  • We held an extensive consultation in 2017, and subsequently went through a detailed evidence-gathering process;
  • We presented our Draft Local Plan, the Emerging Strategy for Growth, for a consultation in 2020 – and listened carefully to all of your responses.

Thanks again to everyone who shared their views in those years – your contributions have already helped to shape the future of your borough. The Local Plan will lay out the strategy for delivering new homes, jobs and investment across the borough. It will plan for important infrastructure such as schools, transport and health facilities, and will also set our approach to protecting and providing parks and green spaces, and the way in which we respond to the challenges of climate change. It will also provide the policies to be considered when decisions are made on planning applications.

The ongoing consultation is a vital and fundamental next step in determining the amount and location of new development in Dacorum over the next 16 years within our new Local Plan, which plays a pivotal role in setting out our approach to:

  • Identifying where and when development should take place
  • Delivering a step change in housing growth
  • Supporting the local economy, employment and retail
  • Constantly adapting to, and mitigating the effects of a changing climate
  • Promoting high-quality design of development
  • Conserving and enhancing the historic and natural environment
  • Enabling the delivery of critical infrastructure.

Once the consultation period has ended, we will closely consider all of your feedback and then prepare a summary Consultation Report for spring 2024 before a pre-submission version of the Local Plan is published in October 2024, in time for formal submission by mid 2025.

Cllr Sheron Wilkie, our Portfolio Holder for Place, said: “Firstly, thank you to everyone that has taken the time to give us their views so far as part of this consultation. Every comment we receive is valuable as it provides clear insight into what people who live and work in Dacorum, and those who visit our borough, really think and how we can further improve it in the future.

“We would like as many of our residents and businesses as possible to have their say, as all the comments we receive will help to shape the borough’s plans for many years to come and ensure that Dacorum can continue to thrive as a wonderful place to live, work and visit.”

A reminder as to how your feedback in previous consultations has already led to changes in our Revised Strategy for Growth…

You said: The housing target should be lower.

So we have consulted on a proposed reduction to the overall housing target, from the Government target of 1,017 to around 900 new homes a year.

You said: The proposed level of homes across the borough was disproportionate for our smaller towns and villages.

So we have reduced the number of homes proposed at Berkhamsted, Tring, and our villages, and focused on transforming Dacorum’s largest and most sustainable town, Hemel Hempstead, by delivering new growth and infrastructure via the Hemel Garden Communities programme.

You said: We need to maximise housing on brownfield sites.

So we have set out new opportunities to regenerate Hemel Hempstead’s town centre and other urban areas.

You said: We need to reduce the amount of Green Belt being lost for development.

So we are proposing the removal of 12 sites previously shown for housing in the Green Belt.