Hertsmere Borough Council has agreed on a new framework to help shape the future of the borough up to 2040.

At a full council meeting last night (Wednesday, November 22) councillors approved a report that sets out the path to show how land in the borough will be used - in the form of a Local Development Scheme for the Local Plan.

Once it has been considered by an independent inspector at a public examination, the plan will become a blueprint for the way in which land in Hertsmere is utilised and developed for the next 15 years and more.

The new draft Local Plan needs to be submitted to Government by June 2025, with adoption of the final version of the new Local Plan, covering up until 2040, expected by the end of 2026.

"The approval of this comprehensive report marks an important milestone as we chart our progress," said Cllr Nik Oakley, portfolio holder for planning, infrastructure and transport at Hertsmere Borough Council.

"The new partnership administration having worked closely with our Planning Policy team to meet a commitment to present a new framework for the borough’s previously 'set aside' Local Plan.

"This framework is among our fundamental commitments. The Local Development Scheme has committed to a public consultation in spring next year to get our residents’ and businesses’ views on key policies and sites for housing and employment for possible inclusion in the final version of our new Local Plan."

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Almost 18,000 responses were received by the council during a public consultation held by the previous administration back in 2021.

"Our residents’ feedback then showed clear concern over the amount of land proposed for removal from the Green Belt and allocated for housing and employment development," Cllr Oakley added.

"We’re committed to ensuring that the new Local Plan focuses on protecting those areas when setting targets for housing and employment land.

"As a borough which strongly recognises and values our film and television heritage, we’ve also commissioned a study to consider if we should be providing more land on which studios can expand to ensure that Hertsmere remains an influential location for an industry which is synonymous with the area."