Posted: Tuesday 21st August 2018
Hertfordshire County Council is taking a lead role in responding to the challenge of anticipated growth across the county over the next fifteen years; an extra 100,000 homes and 100,000 jobs. A reshuffle of the Council’s Cabinet places greater emphasis on meeting the challenges of growth and the delivery of infrastructure and we have also invested in a dedicated growth and infrastructure unit to provide the capacity and expertise across the county.
We must ensure that the growth works for everyone and that any new development is co-ordinated and properly thought through with infrastructure to support the growth and in particular those areas where we have direct responsibility, such as schools and roads. We want Hertfordshire to be made up of economically, socially and environmentally sustainable communities, where people want to live and work and we have a critical role to play in the shaping of the county and setting out key principles for what good sustainable growth looks like. We need a good mix of housing development that people can afford and we want to see developments that are designed to help people stay healthy and to make sustainable transport choices.
We recognise the need to be influencing the wider regional agenda; reflecting the importance to Hertfordshire of the key strategic radial transport corridors from London and the important east-west routes that serve the county and link us to neighbouring economic areas.
We currently estimate that we need up to £5bn of investment to deliver the infrastructure Hertfordshire needs and contributions from government, transport organisations, developers and businesses are integral to our plans. We are pleased that the government is taking forward our Housing Infrastructure Fund bids for over £200m to help us build the infrastructure needed to support new homes in Harlow and Gilston Garden Town, Brookfield and Baldock; this decision feels like a real vote of confidence for our ambitions. We look forward to working with Homes England and our colleagues in district and borough councils to develop final business cases for the schemes and securing the funding so we can move these projects forward.
We expect to see a 20% increase in traffic on Hertfordshire’s roads over the next 15 years. Currently driving remains the only realistic choice for a lot of journeys, but we need to get people out of their cars if we want to keep the county moving and our economy thriving. We’re looking at smarter options such as prioritising cycling and walking, and using new technologies; we will continue to invest in key road schemes to improve our road network.
Our Local Transport Plan can be found on our website
This year has seen the launch of our new property company Herts Living Ltd, which will enable us to play our part in providing new homes for Hertfordshire. Herts Living Ltd and Morgan Sindall Group have formed a joint venture Property Development Partnership, to build 500 homes over the next 15 years on 12 sites that we own, but that we no longer need or use. The 50:50 partnership, formally known as Chalkdene Developments, will provide homes and jobs across the county through a series of housing-led developments on the council’s surplus land.
This is a really innovative and important project; allowing us to generate new income streams and new opportunities to support the statutory services we deliver for residents such as creating more assisted living accommodation, responding to the needs of our growing, ageing population. The development partnership also has the potential to deliver schemes under the Government’s One Public Estate initiative and on behalf of other public sector authorities in addition to Hertfordshire County Council.