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Supporting Studies (Local Plan evidence base)

Last Modified November 21, 2018

Government guidance requires the policies in Local Plans be based upon sound evidence. Here you can find out about the studies we have undertaken to meet this requirement.

This page contains the following sections:

Evidence base for the New Local Plan

Evidence Base for the New Local Plan

We are currently working on a new Local Plan for the borough, which includes gathering a substantial amount of new and updated evidence. New documents will be added to this section as they become available.

South West Hertfordshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)

When the Core Strategy was adopted in 2013 we undertook to review housing and employment development needs within three years to help inform future plan-making. The council jointly with Dacorum, Three Rivers and Watford Council's commissioned consultants in 2015 to prepare two interlinked studies, the SHMA (produced by GL Hearn) and the Economic Study (Regeneris, assisted by GL Hearn).

The purpose of the SHMA is to assess future development needs for housing (both market and affordable) across the relevant housing market area (HMA). Based on the evidence, the South West Hertfordshire HMA is defined as covering the four commissioning authorities, plus St Albans District.

The SHMA considers housing need arising over the 2013 to 2036 period, to inform local plans. It considers the need for different types of housing and the housing needs of different groups within local communities.

SHMA documents

South West Herts SHMA Main Report (PDF)

South West Herts SHMA Executive Summary (PDF)

South West Herts SHMA Appendices (PDF)

Workshop Report (PDF) (relates to both the SHMA and Economic Study)

South West Hertfordshire Economic Study

The Economic Study provides comprehensive economic baseline and growth scenarios for South West Hertfordshire. The study identifies the scale and characteristics of employment growth that the functional economic market area (FEMA) might plan for over the 2013-2036 period, and the requirements for employment land and floorspace that this entails. In light of the evidence, the SW Hertfordshire FEMA covers the same area as the HMA defined in the SHMA i.e. the commissioning authorities and St Albans.

The Economic Study provides a high level review of some existing employment areas and potential future sites. It also considers whether there is likely to be sufficient land supply to meet the needs of the South West Hertfordshire economy.

Because it is so important to understand the future need for homes and jobs, the studies have been subject to extensive consultation with technical stakeholders. This has included a workshop, for which a separate report has been published.

The SHMA does not set housing targets, nor does the Economic Study set targets for job growth or floorspace increase. Both studies provide important inputs into the setting of these targets.  However, the actual targets will be set by each local authority in future local plans. When setting these targets, the authorities will take account of the SHMA and Economic Study and a range of other factors.  These factors will include the supply of land for new development, the Green Belt, local infrastructure capacity and environmental constraints. These factors may limit the amount of development which can be accommodated sustainably.

The targets included in local plans may also be affected by the outcome of discussions under the Duty to Co-operate between the commissioning authorities and neighbouring and nearby authorities.

Economic Study documents

South West Herts Economic Study (PDF)

Workshop Report (PDF) (relates to both the SHMA and Economic Study)

Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA)

SA Scoping Report (Sept 2017)

HRA Scoping Report (Sept 2017)

SA Sites Report DRAFT (Oct 2018) (pdf 2.56mb)

Green Belt Assessment - Stage 1 and DRAFT Stage 2

The Stage 1 and draft Stage 2 Green Belt reports have been produced by Arup, consultants who were commissioned to produce an independent assessment of all Green Belt land across Hertsmere to identify how it meets national Green Belt purposes. These Green Belt purposes are set out by national Government in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and are as follows:

  • to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built up areas;
  • to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another;
  • to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment;
  • to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns; and
  • to assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land


Arup's report does not make any recommendation for further building in Hertsmere, above what is already planned in the Council's existing Core Strategy adopted in 2013.

Green Belt Assessment Stage 1 (2016)

Hertsmere Green Belt Assessment Report

Hertsmere Green Belt Assessment Annex Report

Green Belt Assessment Stage 2 DRAFT (2018)

Hertsmere Green Belt Assessment stage 2 DRAFT Report (PDF 38.56MB)

Hertsmere Green Belt Assessment stage 2 DRAFT Annex Report (PDF 146.30MB)

Hertsmere Green Belt Assessment stage 2 DRAFT Appendix B Maps - HELAA, Garden Village and Further Sites considered (PDF 13.26MB)

Hertsmere Green Belt Assessment stage 2 DRAFT Appendix C Maps - Sub-areas and Garden Village site (PDF 8.66MB)

Hertsmere Green Belt Assessment stage 2 DRAFT Appendix D Maps - Settlement level Purpose 1 Score maps (PDF 17.04MB)

Hertsmere Green Belt Assessment stage 2 DRAFT Appendix E Maps - Settlement level Purpose 2 Score maps (PDF 18.95MB)

Hertsmere Green Belt Assessment stage 2 DRAFT Appendix F Maps - Settlement level Purpose 3 Score maps (PDF 18.46MB)

Hertsmere Green Belt Assessment stage 2 DRAFT Appendix G Maps - Settlement level Purpose 4 Score maps (PDF 18.40MB)

Hertsmere Green Belt Assessment stage 2 DRAFT Appendix H Maps - Recommendation maps (PDF 18.56MB)

Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) DRAFT (2018)

The draft Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) is a technical study prepared to inform the Council’s new Local Plan. The assessment and identification of sites has no status in formally allocating land for future development and will not be treated as a material consideration in any future decision that the Council makes on individual planning applications.  This report has been published as a draft to provide an opportunity for interested parties to respond to the report before it is finalised.  Any responses to the report should be sent to by 20 December 2018.

HELAA DRAFT Report 2018 (PDF 6.45Mb)

HELAA Site Maps Borehamwood & Elstree (PDF 27.76Mb)

HELAA Site Maps Bushey (PDF 21.03Mb)

HELAA Site Maps Elstree village PDF (5.69Mb)

HELAA Site Maps Potters Bar (PDF 22.70Mb)

HELAA Site Maps Radlett and nearby villages (PDF 13.17Mb)

HELAA Site Maps Shenley (PDF 10.27Mb)

HELAA Site Maps South Mimms (PDF 7.19Mb)

HELAA Site Maps Other Locations (PDF 6.13Mb)

Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Study (2017)

Hertsmere Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Study, September 2017

Infrastructure Delivery Plan

Stage 1: Baseline Study 2018 (2.6MB)

COMET transport model for Hertsmere (2018)

The COMET model for Hertsmere has been produced by AECOM,consultants who where commisioned to produce an independent asessment by Hertfordshire County Council (HCC), of the impact on transport routes and services from a range of Local Plan allocation scenarios within Hertsmere up to 2036.

COMET transport model Hertsmere Local Plan (11,778kb)

Settlement Hierarchy and Accessibility Mapping Analysis (2018)

Settlement Hierarchy and Accessibility Mapping Analysis - Technichal study (4.5MB)

High Level Transport Assessment (2018)

High Level Transport Assessment - Technical Study (906KB)

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (2018)

A level 1 SFRA has been produced. The SFRA comprises the following documents:

SFRA Level 1 Report

Figure 01 Study Area

Figure 02 Topography

Figure 03 Superficial Geology

Figure 04 Bedrock Geology

Figure 05.0 Flooding from Rivers

Figure 05.1 Flooding from Rivers

Figure 05.2 Flooding from Rivers

Figure 05.3 Flooding from Rivers

Figure 05.4 Flooding from Rivers

Figure 06.1 Modelled Fluvial Flood Risk

Figure 06.2 Modelled Fluvial Flood Risk

Figure 06.3 Modelled Fluvial Flood Risk

Figure 06.4 Modelled Fluvial Flood Risk

Figure 07.1 Modelled Climate Change Outlines

Figure 07.2 Modelled 1_1000 year Outlines

Figure 08 Flood Response Measure

Figure 09 Historic Records

Figure 10.0 Flooding from Surface Water

Figure 10.1 Flooding from Surface Water

Figure 10.2 Flooding from Surface Water

Figure 10.3 Flooding from Surface Water

Figure 10.4 Flooding from Surface Water

Figure 11 Susceptibility to Ground Water Flooding

Figure 12 Sewer Flooding

Figure 13 Artificial Sources

Figure 14 SuDS Suitability

Figure 15 Modelled Rivers





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