Hemel Garden Communities

What is Hemel Garden Communities?

Hemel Garden Communities (HGC) is an ambitious development programme that will transform Hemel Hempstead and create attractive and sustainable new neighbourhoods and communities to the north and east of Hemel Hempstead, through the delivery of more than 11,000 new homes and 10,000 new jobs by 2050.

We're working in partnership with St Albans City and District Council, Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and The Crown Estate to deliver the HGC programme, which will provide a variety of benefits to Hemel Hempstead. These include new high-quality homes, of which 40 per cent will be affordable. New neighbourhoods will be set around vibrant local centres, green spaces and play areas, all easily accessed on foot. Sustainable travel such as walking, cycling and public transport will be given priority as we target a greener, healthier environment, which includes open spaces as well as new country and district parks.

HGC will create 10,000 new jobs. Many of these will be in Hertfordshire Innovation Quarter, a new business park with a range of facilities including flexible office and industrial spaces, and a variety of amenities to serve the local community.

The creation of sustainable transport choices and links between Maylands, the town centre and Hemel Hempstead train station, plus wider connections to both St Albans City and St Albans Abbey train stations, will achieve connected and sustainable communities. 

The Charter

The Hemel Garden Communities Charter provides an insight into the key vision principles of the development, our aspirations for high-quality, innovative design, and the key studies and plans, infrastructure improvements and the wider benefits planned for the town.

The key themes are:

  1. Place and Design: HGC will respond to the pressing issues of social inclusion and climate change, provide economic opportunities, and take advantage of new and emerging technologies.
  2. Engagement: HGC will be developed through a partnership of existing and new communities, public agencies and the private sector.
  3. Delivery: The timely delivery of homes and supporting infrastructure will build communities, support a high-quality, sustainable and inclusive place.

For more information, please see the  Hemel Garden Communities Charter (PDF 7MB)

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More information

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  • About us

    The new development area is divided roughly equally between the administrative areas of Dacorum Borough Council and St Albans City and District Council (the local planning authorities). The Crown Estate is the majority landowner. The existing town of Hemel Hempstead lies within the Borough of Dacorum.

    The ‘principal partners’ for the delivery of Hemel Garden Communities are ourselves, St Albans City and District Council, Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

    The HGC proposal has been recognised by Government, which awarded Hemel Hempstead ‘Garden Town’ status and a grant in 2019 to help build on Hemel Hempstead's New Town legacy through developing garden communities of the future. Following this, the principal partners have been taking part in the Government’s Garden Communities programme, which provides support from Homes England and enables the partners to share ideas with and learn from other garden communities being planned across the UK.

    The HGC Delivery Board was formed by the principal partners in 2019. The Board is supported by the HGC Stakeholder Steering Group, which includes the principal partners and The Crown Estate, and Hemel Garden Communities Programme Team formed by the three authorities. These groups are responsible for working in detail to deliver HGC and report to the Board.

    Involving everyone in our local communities is a priority at every stage of the development of HGC. We want to share and discuss the HGC programme with you, get your views and enable you to shape the plans. Nobody knows our communities and local area better than you, and we would like to hear your thoughts and ideas.

    We will be publishing further information on ways to get involved as the programme progresses. Once developed there will also be opportunities for you to play important roles in the new areas, such as helping to manage parks, allotments and other community facilities.

  • HGC timeline

    2018

    • Hemel Garden Communities Stakeholder Steering Group formed.
    • The Hemel Garden Communities Charter produced.
    • The Transformational Garden Community bid for funding for HGC submitted to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

    2019

    • Garden Community funding bid is successful, and Hemel Hempstead is awarded a grant and ‘Garden Town’ status by Government.
    • HGC Delivery Board, Stakeholder Steering Group and Programme Team formed.
    • Hemel Hempstead and Hemel Garden Communities Vision Workshop held in early October with key partners, stakeholders and Councillors to help move towards a shared vision for HGC.
    • In December, HGC Phase 1 masterplan, known as East Hemel, reviewed by St Albans Design Review Panel to provide an independent evaluation of the development proposal.  

    2020

    • Hemel Garden Communities Phase 1 application, known as East Hemel, is expected to be submitted this year by The Crown Estate.
    • The partners are finalising an Engagement Strategy, which sets out specific aims, principles and commitments for engagement with our communities, stakeholders and Councillors throughout the planning and development of HGC.
    • A Sustainable Transport Strategy, in line with Hertfordshire County Council’s Local Transport Plan (LTP4), is being developed, covering Hemel Hempstead and the areas of planned growth in Dacorum, as well as surrounding growth in nearby districts.
    • A Spatial Vision for Hemel Garden Communities is being developed, to set out how Hemel Hempstead will look and feel when the new development is complete. This will help to guide more detailed master planning work going forward. We will be seeking the involvement of our local communities, stakeholders and Councillors to help shape this vision.
    • Hemel Garden Communities Infrastructure Delivery Plan will be produced to identify critical key infrastructure needed for Hemel Garden Communities and the wider area.
  • Planning process

    During the planning applications process, the principal partners for the delivery of Hemel Garden Communities will ensure the highest quality development will be achieved, using the following tools:

    • Local Plans, which set out planning policies and locations guiding future development and infrastructure, environmental protection and enhancement. The land for Hemel Garden Communities new development will be allocated through the new Dacorum Borough Council and St Albans City and District Council Local Plans.
    • Infrastructure Delivery Plan, which will set out key infrastructure needed for Hemel Garden Communities, Hemel Hempstead and the wider area.
    • Sustainable Transport Strategy, which will set out a clear plan to ensure that growth of Hemel Hempstead is accommodated sustainably, and ensure that HGC maximises opportunities for sustainable transport.
    • Dacorum Community Review Panel and St Albans Design Review Panel, which will review Hemel Garden Communities proposals to provide independent perspectives to promote high-quality development, informed by local knowledge and design expertise.
    • Design Codes approved by the principal partners and to be followed by all developers, to secure and deliver consistent high-quality designs across the development phases.
    • Planning Obligations to secure additional community benefits from HGC development and mitigate any negative impacts. 
  • Additional resources

    You can find out more about Garden Communities on the Town and Country Planning Association website and in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government prospectus.

    Further information on Local Plans can be found on the Dacorum Borough Council and St Albans City and District Council websites. More details on Hemel Garden Communities Phase 1 can be found on the East Hemel and Hertfordshire Innovation Quarter website.

Contact us

This page will be updated regularly with information on progress, news and upcoming opportunities to get involved and learn more about the HGC programme.

If you would like to be kept up to date and opt in to our mailing list, please email hemelgardencommunities@dacorum.gov.uk.

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