Views on the future of South West Hertfordshire are being invited, as a draft vision for the area which aspires to accelerate ‘positive change’ is now open for public consultation.

The ‘South West Hertfordshire 2050 – Realising Our Potential’ document shows a draft vision and objectives for the area until 2050 and marks the first formal plan-making stage for the South West Herts Joint Strategic Plan, which is being drawn up by St Albans City and District Council, Dacorum Borough Council, Hertsmere Borough Council, Three Rivers District Council and Watford Borough Council, supported by Hertfordshire County Council.

The document covers all aspects of life in South West Hertfordshire and considers how to tackle the big issues and opportunities that lie ahead for the area, including the challenges of climate change. Responses to this consultation will help shape the more detailed content of the plan as it progresses.

Stephen Boulton, Hertfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for growth, infrastructure and planning, said: “It is fantastic to see the progress being made with the Joint Strategic Plan, and we would like as many people as possible to respond as part of the public consultation, as we aim to build an exciting, sustainable future for all of Hertfordshire. At the County Council, our vision is to create a cleaner, greener and healthier county.

“If you live in South West Hertfordshire, this is an important opportunity to tell your councils what you think about living in your area, what you value most and what you would like to see improved. We hope that it will encourage even more engagement to help shape our plans with the needs of future generations in mind.

“We want Hertfordshire to be home to well-designed and vibrant communities, where everyone can live, learn, and work locally, and working with our partners will help us to deliver the right infrastructure to support this vision.”

Chris White, chair of the SW Herts member group and leader of St Albans City and District Council, said: “South West Hertfordshire is a wonderful place to live, work and visit – but we need to think about the future.

“The five local authorities which make up the area, supported by Hertfordshire County Council, have been working on a plan which will address key issues and opportunities for our area until 2050, such as climate change and the transition to zero carbon.

“This document marks the first step towards delivering that plan, and we want to hear from you on the particular issues that matter to you. Every comment matters to us.

“At this stage, we don’t know yet where growth should go, but we know we want it to happen sustainably, and we want the key pieces of infrastructure in place to support that growth.

“Tell us how you think our area can realise its full potential – your views will help shape the future of South West Hertfordshire.”

The document has been developed following a poll in early 2020, which generated more than 14,500 comments, a series of workshops, and an online engagement exercise in which participants were asked what type of future they would like to see.

Residents and businesses are being asked to give their views on a Sustainability Appraisal Scoping report, which will considerations on the environmental, social and economic effects of the joint strategic plan.

SW Herts is one of only a small number of councils in the UK working together in this way.

The full document is available to view here.

The consultation closes at 5.00pm on Friday November 4.

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