Housing land supply – a focus on Hertfordshire

Since 26th March 2013, every local authority has been required to ensure that their development plans conform to the policies of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Where a development plan does not conform, the NPPF will take precedence. This is particularly pertinent in Hertfordshire where several of the local authorities are struggling to develop and update their development plans, as summarised below:

  • As of 1st April 2013 Stevenage, North Herts and East Herts Councils are all unable to demonstrate a 5-year supply, which means there is a desperate need for new additional sites to come forward in these locations to meet their respective housing needs.
  • Welwyn Hatfield, Broxbourne and St Albans Councils have all claimed to have a 5-year land supply but have adopted unorthodox methodologies which imply the opposite.
  • Dacorum have not made a 5-year supply assessment which also implies that they cannot meet this national requirement.
  • With the exception of Hertsmere, all other Hertfordshire local authorities are unable to demonstrate having an up-to-date development plan in accordance with the NPPF.

This could provide an excellent opportunity for a number of landowners and developers to promote and submit speculative planning applications across Hertfordshire where their sites are in sustainable locations.

If you have a development site in Hertfordshire, please contact one of our planners on 01245 201226 who would be happy to provide advice and guidance on securing a favourable planning decision. Alternatively please submit your site details to All enquiries will be handled in strict confidence.