As the engagement period for comments on our draft Local Plan reaches its half-way point, we have given a commitment that the final plan will reflect any formal changes to government policy when announced.
More than one thousand comments and views have been submitted so far and there is still another month to respond.
Residents, businesses and other interested parties have submitted, in total, 1,267 responses to our public engagement on its draft plan by email, consultation portal and online survey since it launched last month and another 200 people have registered with the council's consultation portal.
The draft plan sets out how the borough could grow over the next 15 years and beyond, by providing homes for the next generation as well as the infrastructure and jobs needed to support this growth. Further information can be found at www.hertsmerelocalplan.com
Portfolio Holder for Planning, Cllr Dr Harvey Cohen, added: "Obviously we're delighted with the number of responses we've received so far and we want to keep them coming.
“There have been some suggestions that there should be a halt or pausing of the process due to possible government changes to housing number requirements. Obviously once we are formally notified by the government on these requirements they will be reflected in our final Local Plan appropriately. The Local Plan is a detailed document which takes years to prepare and the government has also made it clear that it expects local planning authorities to continue to work on getting their Local Plans adopted. Indeed, this additional stage of engagement that we are currently undertaking enables us to respond to any national policy changes before committing to a final plan.
"We don't want to inhibit our ability to hear what local residents have to say now about how they would like our borough to grow and those views will be reviewed and considered as we move towards publishing our final plan next year.
"We want to hear from you through any of the established channels, so visit our website today and help us shape how the plan moves forward and how the borough grows over the next 15 years and beyond."
Deputy Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council and Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Cllr Caroline Clapper, added: "This public engagement has surpassed a number of milestones already. Our social media posts have achieved a reach of more than 170,000 so far, more than ever before, and we're well on the way to exceeding the number of comments we received for our last engagement exercise in 2018.
"We know there is strong feeling out there for our wonderful borough but just ask that everyone respects each other and shows respect to our staff and councillors, so that people feel able to give their opinion in a safe, open and friendly environment and helping to make the engagement process as inclusive as possible.
"There is another month to go before our engagement closes and we want to hear from as many people as possible, so please keep your comments coming."
Responses can be provided by completing an online survey under the Have Your Say tab on the plan's bespoke website www.hertsmerelocalplan.com, submitting comments via the consultation portal also available on the website, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to Local Plan Consultation, Hertsmere Borough Council, Elstree Way, Borehamwood WD6 9SR.
Members of the public have until Monday 6 December to submit their comments.
Newsletters about the draft plan have been delivered to homes and are available in key locations in the borough, including leisure centres, libraries, post offices and parish council offices.
Hard copies of the plan, response forms and pre-paid envelopes are also available at libraries and parish and town council offices.
There will be a further opportunity to comment on the final plan next year, before it is submitted to the Secretary of State for formal examination.
Posted on Tuesday 9th November 2021