Ended on the 18 March 2021
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Chapter 1: A Spatial Strategy for Watford

(3) What is the Local Plan and what does it do?

1.1 The Local Plan lies within the national town and country planning system. It sets out the policy framework for how land is used and guides development so that it comes forward in a way that is coordinated and planned for.

1.2 The Local Plan is a 'statutory' or legally required document that forms part of the Council's strategy to deliver sustainable development, tackle climate change and to deliver new homes, jobs and infrastructure for current and future generations. It covers the period from 2018 to 2036 and will guide new development so that it goes ahead in a coordinated manner, making the best and most appropriate use of land to meet the needs of the community.

1.3 The Watford Local Plan sits within a wider structure of planning documents. This includes national guidance set out by the government, strategic plans, neighbourhood plans, supporting strategies and background studies. The hierarchical relationship between these policy documents is set out in Table 1.1.

National Planning Policy Framework

Sets out the national guidance to which local plans must conform.

South West Herts Joint Strategic Plan

Provides a framework to deliver strategic needs across five local authority areas.

Watford Local Plan

Sets out the growth strategy for the borough and policies to guide planning decisions and protect environmental and heritage assets.

Hertfordshire Minerals and Waste Local Plans

Sets out policies on minerals and waste for new development to comply with (forms part of the Watford Local Plan).

Neighbourhood Plans

Prepared by the members of the community to address locally specific planning issues (must be in conformity with Watford Local Plan).

Local Development Documents

These include documents which form part of the Development Plan such as Supplementary Planning Documents that support the Local Plan.

Background Studies

Provides a robust evidence base to inform the Local Plan and planning decisions.

1.4 Planning policies can be supported by additional guidance to explain how a policy is to be implemented in greater detail, these are referred to as Supplementary Planning Documents. Where required, the Council will prepare and update Supplementary Planning Documents to support the Local Plan.

(1) South West Hertfordshire Joint Strategic Plan

1.5 Watford is one of five authorities in South West Hertfordshire that share administrative boundaries and issues across the wider area, such as housing, employment and infrastructure. To plan strategically for growth in the area, Watford Borough Council, in conjunction with Dacorum Borough Council, Hertsmere Borough Council, Three Rivers District Council and St. Albans City & District Council, is preparing the South West Hertfordshire Joint Strategic Plan.

1.6 The Plan will influence the end phase of the current Local Plans and the direction of travel for the next generation of Local Plans that will follow. It is not a statutory document, however, local authorities that share cross-boundary issues are encouraged by the government to prepare strategic plans as a way of maximising opportunities for growth and create greater benefits for communities.

(1) Preparation of the Local Plan and stakeholder engagement

1.7 When the Local Plan is being prepared, it goes through several stages from its inception, pulling together evidence to support decision making, through to the adoption of the Local Plan, at which point the policies can be applied to manage change in the town effectively (Table 1.2). The consultation has involved members of the public, the development industry, infrastructure organisations and other stakeholders that have an interest in the area.

Collect evidence

Issues and Options stage with public consultation

First draft Local Plan stages with public consultation

Final draft Local Plan stage with public consultation

Submission of the final draft Local Plan to the Secretary of State for examination

Examination of the final draft Local Plan by an independent Planning Inspector

Adoption of the Local Plan

Issues and Options 2018

1.8 In September - October 2018 the Council consulted on what the community thought were the key planning issues and options affecting the borough and if they should be addressed as part of the new Local Plan. Key issues that were raised were:

  • The impact of growth (including future infrastructure provision and parking);
  • Climate change and pollution;
  • Affordable housing;
  • Taller buildings and achieving good design; and
  • Improvements to sustainable travel options.

(1) First Draft Local Plan 2019

1.9 In October - November 2019 the Council consulted on the first draft Watford Local Plan. Key issues that were raised were:

  • The impact of growth (including future infrastructure provision and parking);
  • The potential impacts of proposed development sites;
  • Taller buildings and high density development; and
  • Affordable housing.

(2) Final Draft Local Plan 2021

1.10 The final draft Local Plan is the version of the Plan the Council intends to submit to the Planning Inspectorate for examination by an independent Inspector to ensure the Plan is consistent with national guidance for it to be adopted by the local authority. Any proposed changes to the final draft Local Plan are submitted alongside the Plan for the Planning Inspector to decide which are appropriate.

(2) Stakeholder engagement

1.11 During the preparation of the Local Plan, stakeholders were involved in different aspects of the work. Early consultations seeking potential sites for development included members of the public, landowners and the development industry to identify those suitable for development. Public consultations provided further avenues to engage with stakeholders and comment on the different elements of the Plan they were interested in. This included online engagement, public events, working with elected members and local organisations to raise the profile of the Local Plan and the importance of having 'your say' to help shape future growth in Watford.

1.12 At each stage of the process a Sustainability Appraisal was carried out, to assess the social, environmental and economic effects of any plans, from the outset. In doing so it helped ensure that decisions were made which contribute to achieving sustainable development in Watford.

1.13 Background studies have been undertaken to create a robust evidence base. A number of these studies have been commissioned jointly with other South West Hertfordshire authorities in recognition of the cross-boundary issues shared across the area. These have involved engagement and the sharing of information with stakeholders who have a direct interest in the Local Plan such as organisations that provide or manage infrastructure, and also engagement with people and organisations involved with the social and business community.

1.14 Working with the neighbouring authorities in South West Hertfordshire has been ongoing from early in the Plan preparation process, through the duty to cooperate. It has also been reflected in the undertaking of the Joint Strategic Plan. There has also been continued engagement with Hertfordshire County Council, the local Highways and Education Authorities, as well as a strategic approach with other organisations, such as the Hertfordshire Growth Board and the Local Enterprise Partnership.

(1) A brief portrait of Watford

1.15 In the middle of the nineteenth century Watford was a small market town in Hertfordshire with a population of around three thousand people. It saw growth from 1860 due to the introduction of the railways (various routes were developed in the years 1837 - 1925) and there was a rapid rise in the population from 1890 onwards. It was known for traditional industries including printing and brewing.

1.16 Today there are around 96,700 people (Office for National Statistics (ONS), 2019) living in approximately eight square miles. It is one of the smallest districts in England and the town has a high population density, averaging 45 people per hectare, compared to a 7 people per hectare average in Hertfordshire (ONS, Census 2011). There are approximately 39,900 homes in the borough with an average household size of 2.4 persons per dwelling.

1.17 The town has a relatively young population and a high proportion of family sized households compared to other areas in South West Hertfordshire (ONS, Census 2011). The town is ethnically diverse, with 62% of the existing population being White British, while 38% of people come from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

1.18 Watford is adjacent to north London and, as such, is facing similar growth pressures and related issues. Historical development has resulted in the built up area extending up to its boundaries and consequently much of the development taking place in the borough is located on previously developed land. Approximately 19% of the land in Watford's administrative area is designated as Green Belt. Most of this performs a community function, being designated as public open space with other areas important for wildlife habitats and biodiversity.

1.19 There are four railway stations in the borough serving the mainline, London Overground and London Underground, connecting Watford to London, while the Abbey Line with two railway stations (in Watford) connects the town with St. Albans. The M25 is located just north of the town. Watford has long been a commuter town, yet one that maintains its independence and distinctive character.

(1) Sustainable development in England: The economic, environmental and social objectives

1.20 The National Planning Policy Framework states there are three overarching objectives to achieving sustainable development; these are economic, environmental and social. They are interdependent and need to be pursued in mutually supportive ways:

  • An economic objective: to help build a strong, responsive and competitive economy, by ensuring that sufficient land of the right types is available in the right places and at the right time, to support growth, innovation and improved productivity; and by identifying and coordinating the provision of infrastructure.
  • A social objective: to support strong, vibrant and healthy communities, by ensuring that a sufficient number and range of homes can be provided to meet the needs of present and future generations; and by fostering a well-designed and safe built environment, with accessible services and open spaces that reflect current and future needs and support communities' health, social and cultural well-being.
  • An environmental objective: to contribute to protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment, including making effective use of land; helping to improve biodiversity; using natural resources prudently; minimising waste and pollution; and mitigating and adapting to climate change, including moving to a low-carbon economy.

(2) The key challenges and sustainable objectives for Watford: economy, society and environment

1.21 Watford will see a lot of change in the 18 years covered by the plan period, as it grows and makes a transition towards being a more sustainable town, actively tackling climate change, with the aim of becoming carbon neutral.

1.22 This will be achieved by promoting the three overarching objectives of the National Planning Policy Framework at a local level, thereby creating a different and better place in 2036. The Council will work with organisations including Hertfordshire County Council to help implement the objectives set out in local and strategic strategies including the Local Transport Plan, Watford Corporate Plan and the Sustainability Strategy.

1.23 The following highlights the key Economic, Social and Environmental characteristics of Watford now, and where the Council wants it to be in 2036.

(1) Watford's economy and the key challenges

  • New employment floorspace is important to support economic growth, and based on past trends, the East of England Forecast Model indicates that the number of jobs in Watford will increase by 11.4%.
  • There is limited land available in the borough to allocate new sites for industrial, storage and distribution uses with low plot ratios.
  • 136,000sqm of office and industrial floorspace is needed in Watford. A variety of sites and floorspace of different quality is needed to support different sectors and employment skills.
  • Business start-up rates are well above the national and regional average, indicating there is a demand for flexible and affordable workspace to foster new businesses.
  • The town centre contains a mix of chain and independent retailers, creating a varied mix of retail, restaurant and leisure provision that make the area a retail and leisure hub for South West Hertfordshire.
  • The town supports a variety of different sectors, 20% of jobs are in professional services and other large employers are in the retail and health care industries. Equally, there are also a number of people employed in industrial sectors, such as manufacturing, construction and wholesale.
  • In Watford and across South West Hertfordshire, there is a shortfall of land available for employment. Since 2015, changes to permitted development right changes have coincided with a loss of employment floorspace.
  • The resident workforce in Watford is generally highly skilled overall (Nomis, 2019), however, this is not met with the same level of growth in high-skilled jobs in the borough.
  • Watford developed as part of the London commuting belt in the 1850s and has retained that role, with 47% of outward commuters travelling into the London area.
  • Watford has good access to strategic transport rail routes and roads with the A41, M1 and M25 while Luton and Heathrow airports are within 20 miles.

(3) Watford's economy in 2036 - the sustainable objectives

  • The Plan will have helped attract business investment to support jobs growth, strengthening its key role in the sub regional economy.
  • The employment opportunities in the town will have increased with a highly skilled labour force and the provision of quality education facilities.
  • Employment areas will have been intensified, making more effective use of land and higher employment densities, with appropriate areas supporting a mix of complementary uses.
  • Watford town centre will have been enhanced as a place to socialise, as well as to shop, providing an enjoyable experience for people of all ages.
  • The town and wider area will have an attractive range of activities available, reinforcing Watford's appeal as a destination for leisure and recreation.
  • Redevelopment and delivery of high quality office floorspace in Clarendon Road will have brought in new investment, facilitating growth.

(1) Watford's society and the key challenges

  • Watford is one of the most densely populated non-metropolitan districts in England.
  • The town experiences some of the highest levels of in-migration in Hertfordshire, reflecting its attractiveness as a place to live.
  • Watford has the lowest level of car ownership in Hertfordshire; a lot of its congestion is caused by through traffic.
  • Rising house prices mean many people cannot afford a home of their own (the affordability ratio is 12.1 times the median average income (2019)).
  • Life expectancy is marginally below the national average with males expected to live 79 years and women 83 years (NHS Health Profile), and is lower in more deprived areas
  • Overall, Watford is ranked the 194th least deprived of 391 local authority areas in England, with no areas identified as being in the 10% most deprived parts of the country
  • Despite areas of high prosperity, poverty is an issue with Tudor Ward being the fifth highest level of deprivation in Hertfordshire (ONS, Census 2011).
  • There has been an increasing proportion of smaller one- and two-bed homes built in recent years compared to family-sized housing.
  • There is limited space available for new social infrastructure such as new schools and healthcare facilities and to improve transport systems to encourage less car reliant travel.

(1) Watford's society in 2036 - the sustainable objectives

  • New development will have met the needs of a population projected to increase to 97,080 people in 2036 (ONS, 2011 Census and 2018 based population projections).
  • The town will be characterised by mixed and balanced communities and new development that will have made a positive contribution towards this.
  • It will be a socially inclusive place for everyone, with a mix of homes for single occupancy, couples, families and older people including people with special needs.
  • There will be a high quality, safe, clean and attractive public realm that encourages people to be more active through walking and cycling, encouraging social interaction and better health.
  • Traffic congestion will be reduced and air quality improved, with priority given to public transport, shared car use, walking and cycling.

Watford's environment and the key challenges

  • The River Colne and River Gade, along with the Grand Union Canal, provide structure to much of the green infrastructure network in the borough, but in places it is poor in quality.
  • Historical patterns of development have created constraints within the built up area that limit the potential to deliver new open space of any significant size.
  • Watford has the highest number of open spaces with Green Flag status in Hertfordshire, but some areas of the town have limited access to quality open space.
  • The number of heritage assets protected in the town as nationally and locally listed buildings make an important contribution towards the character of the town.
  • The built up area is traversed by a number of strategic road corridors that results in a vehicle dominated environment with air, noise and light pollution.
  • Traffic modelling shows that congestion and associated impacts on the environment will worsen without a modal shift in the town and also in the surrounding areas.

(4) Watford's environment in 2036 - the sustainable objectives

  • The town will have a more sustainable pattern of urban development and transport, minimising the impact on the environment and reducing pollution.
  • New development will be high quality, designed to minimise impact on the environment through greater energy and resource efficiency and adapted to climate change. These adaptations and renewable energy opportunities will have been incorporated into new and existing developments.
  • The network of open spaces, parks and waterways, and the connections between them, will have been improved to support increased recreational activities.
  • Important biodiversity and wildlife habitats will have been protected and connections within the green and blue infrastructure networks improved, increasing their value for wildlife.
  • New development will also have made improvements to biodiversity and strengthened Watford's ecosystems, reversing the national trend of biodiversity decline.
  • Important heritage assets, such as locally and nationally listed buildings, historic green spaces and conservation areas will have been protected and the historic environment enhanced.

(4) Helping to make Watford a better place for everyone

1.24 The housing targets set by the Government have placed considerable development pressure to deliver new homes in the town, increasing targets three-fold since 2013. In conjunction with this growth, the Local Plan needs to support economic development and make provision for infrastructure and community facilities to come forward alongside these developments. This change will need to be managed, which is one of the key roles of the Local Plan.

1.25 New development provides opportunities to not only meet future need, but to also deliver facilities and improvements to support the existing community. To maximise these opportunities, it is important for the Local Plan to set out the key sustainability objectives that will contribute towards achieving the vision for Watford, which will be delivered through a mix of corporate strategies and other approaches, with the Local Plan making the key contribution.

1.26 The Local Plan is a roadmap of where we want to be, and when looking ahead to 2036, whilst it is difficult to predict the future, the Plan is aspirational and it seeks to lay the building blocks for a vision that is both deliverable and achievable. It will help strengthen the town's pre-eminent role in the South West Hertfordshire sub-region, in terms of being a desirable place to live, a desirable place to invest and a desirable place to visit. The overall growth strategy and sustainability objectives will help Watford with taking steps forward to deliver growth and embrace change in a positive and sustainable way.

Helping to create a better Watford in 2036: our vision

At the edge of London, and also a part of the County of Hertfordshire, Watford will embrace its role as a major urban centre that acts as a focus for employment, homes, leisure, caring for its town centre and green spaces and making the most of its excellent connections to the capital and surrounding areas.

Watford will be an exemplar town in how it embraces the challenge of sustainability and climate change, with environmentally friendly construction and design, working towards being carbon neutral.

High quality design will be showcased as part of new development, with accessible and inclusive high density, mixed use development and enhanced open spaces.

Green and blue infrastructure will be conserved and enhanced, maximising their value for biodiversity and other important ecosystem services.

The Town Centre will retain its key role as a retail destination in the sub-region, home to a mix of uses including residential, commercial, cultural and leisure, creating a vibrant place for people to socialise, live and work.

The town will have a comprehensive network of cycle and walking routes, encouraging a more active population. Public transport will also be enhanced, encouraging a move from car based travel for shorter journeys, reducing congestion and air pollution.

Watford's social, cultural, built environment and heritage assets will be protected, and where possible their settings enhanced.

Local economies will be supported by creating opportunities for local businesses to access new markets and providing a mix of employment spaces to support business growth.

The population will be healthier, with more opportunities to get active, through walking and cycling and access to high quality open spaces.

Growth will be supported by a range of high quality infrastructure delivered in a comprehensive, timely and coordinated manner, making the most efficient use of land.

In 2036, Watford will continue to be a welcoming and vibrant place and home to a wide range of communities, where people enjoy a high quality of life.

(4) Planning for growth

1.27 Many of the growth issues facing Watford are also being considered by other local authorities in South West Hertfordshire. All five authorities face different constraints making the delivery of development required over the respective plan periods challenging. In Watford, this challenge is primarily related to a shortfall of land available for development.

1.28 Watford has achieved 94% of its housing growth on brownfield land in the last ten years, reflecting the scarcity of greenfield land. Early in the stages of the Local Plan it was recognised that this trend of brownfield development would continue given the constrained nature of the borough.

Figure 1.1: Sustainability zones in Watford

1.29 The borough was assessed against a number of criteria including access to public transport, employment areas, schools and local shopping centres. This led to the identification of three sustainability zones across the borough with the centre of Watford being significantly more sustainable than the rest of the town (Figure 1.1). These areas formed the basis for calculating housing capacity of the borough as part of the Watford Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (2020).

1.30 As demonstrated by the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment, the majority of the land available for development is located in the area of highest sustainability. It is also the part of the borough that will see significant investment in the future and that will help facilitate infrastructure improvements integral to supporting the objectives of the Plan. Given its proximity to the town centre, business district and strategic transport hubs located at Watford Junction and Bushey this part of the borough has the greatest capacity to absorb new development in a way that will contribute towards achieving sustainable development.

1.31 The concentration of sites in the high sustainability zone led to the designation of three areas identified as being strategically important in the Local Plan; Watford Gateway, the Town Centre and the Colne Valley Strategic Development Areas. These are recognised as growth areas likely to experience transformative change. This area of growth encapsulating these designations is referred to as the Core Development Area, shown on the key diagram (Figure 1.2). In locations outside of these areas, while still likely to support development as areas of renewal, change will be more limited in scale and not transformative.

(2) A sustainable development strategy for Watford

1.32 Sustainable development is integral to creating good places. To achieve it, proposals should seek to find a balance of economic, environmental and social considerations in order to ensure the town's success without compromising the potential growth and use of resources in the future. For a development to be successful, these fundamental elements need to work together to benefit the scheme and the community.

1.33 The Spatial Strategy sets out the approach for development to contribute towards the Council Plan and long-term vision for Watford as an inclusive place for everyone and the aim to be a town that has embraced sustainability. As a largely urban borough, and given the findings of the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment and the trend for developing brownfield land in the last ten years this will continue. There will be a general presumption against inappropriate development in the Green Belt, so the extent of the Green Belt will be largely maintained. Other policies in the Plan support delivery of this strategy and will collectively ensure development takes place in the most appropriate way.

1.34 To successfully achieve sustainable development, a wide variety of factors need to be balanced and delivered. One of the key aspects is climate change. This responds to the Climate Change Act (2008, as amended) when the government legislated that the United Kingdom will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100% by 2050. The Local Plan makes an important contribution towards achieving this target by guiding planning decisions to ensure they embrace and prioritise these principles.

1.35 In July 2019, Watford Borough Council declared a Climate Change Emergency. Key elements of the declaration included integrating climate change into planning policy and the Local Plan having a focus on greener homes and buildings, taking into account climate impacts within Council decision making processes with the overall objective to be carbon neutral by 2030.

1.36 Addressing climate change is intrinsically linked to public health and wellbeing. Public health, physical and mental, is an important part of achieving sustainable development. Closely linked to this is the quality of homes people live in and how people feel included as part of their community. The design of buildings and the spaces around them is integral to encouraging people to be more active, have a greater sense of belonging in their community through more social interaction, and increasing the perception of a place and in turn health and wellbeing.

(1) The Spatial Strategy

1.37 The approach is to meet a significant proportion of Watford's future development needs in the Core Development Area. The residential character of the rest of the borough will largely see development that is more modest in scale.

1.38 This approach increases the number of people living in locations where there is good access to services and facilities, reducing the need to travel by car and making investment in public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure more viable and attractive by responding to demand. In turn, less reliance on private vehicles will help reduce traffic congestion, to benefit the economy and reduce air and noise pollution. This will create space to support walking, cycling and public transport and encourage people to be more active and have healthier lifestyles, while improving the quality of the built environment.

1.39 Creating sustainable neighbourhoods in this way has multiple benefits. New development can attract investment to the area as businesses cluster, creating local jobs and providing opportunities for new skills and training through apprenticeships. Employment opportunities bring workers into Watford, which, in turn, increases demand for ancillary goods and services supporting local businesses, particularly in the town centre. Delivering a mix of new homes to meet the needs of local people and those wanting to move here supports a more inclusive, equitable and balanced community. The inclusion of measures, such as improvements to the green infrastructure network, benefits people and biodiversity, while making better use of resources and helps to create high quality places and habitats.

Collaborative working

1.40 Collaborative working is an integral part of preparing development schemes that will contribute towards delivering growth to help achieve sustainable development. Early engagement with the Local Planning Authority to discuss planning proposals is encouraged to ensure that schemes will comply with strategic and local planning policies that seek to achieve economic, environmental and social objectives. Engagement is also encouraged to help ensure that development comes forward efficiently from the time of its design to when it is completed, whilst minimising the risk of unforeseen delays and costs that could adversely impact upon a proposed scheme.

(16) Strategic Policy SS1.1: Spatial Strategy

The Local Plan makes provision for 14,988 additional homes and 11,500 additional jobs between 2018 and 2036, along with other supporting infrastructure. Proposals for new development will be supported, where they demonstrate that they will contribute towards the Local Plan's economic, social and environmental objectives, cumulatively achieving sustainable development.

Growth will be focused in the Core Development Area, which has excellent access to public transport and facilities, and where development can be accommodated sustainably, creating a high quality place to live, work and visit by 2036. Heritage assets and areas of greenspace will continue to be protected.

Development will make an effective and efficient use of land. This will need to support a mix of uses-uses compatible with each other, with high quality design, and innovative technology to address climate change and reduce carbon emissions.

Proposals will contribute towards a modal shift, greener travel patterns and minimising the impact on the environment. Pedestrian and cycle travel will be prioritised.

These high standards and a positive and integrated approach to development will be expected across the whole of the borough. This will contribute towards creating attractive and inclusive neighbourhoods, supporting people to be more active, healthy and encourage greater social inclusion as part of a balanced community.

Across the borough, new infrastructure and improvements to existing infrastructure will be delivered to support development. Infrastructure proposals will be progressed collaboratively with relevant stakeholders and providers to maximise the benefits and success of any scheme.

All development will take place on brownfield, or previously developed land and only in exceptional circumstances will development on greenfield land be supported. Development in the Metropolitan Green Belt will not be supported unless it can be demonstrated that exceptional circumstances apply.

The Core Development Area

The Core Development Area is expected to support 80% of allocated development in the borough and provides opportunities for further redevelopment. Proposals in this area will be supported where they optimise the use of land in this location through mixed-use high-density development, with excellent access to services, facilities and public transport. Development should deliver positive social and environmental gains, incorporating high quality design and innovation to ensure high environmental standards are achieved.

The scale of change will be transformational in places. Collaboration between development partners and stakeholders on larger sites will be the key to unlocking the potential of the area. Ongoing and effective community engagement will also be required. Proposals should demonstrate a holistic approach to development, optimise opportunities for higher density development, create linkages to adjacent areas and ensure proper infrastructure provision.

Areas outside the Core Development Area

Outside the Core Development Area, proposals will be supported where they optimise densities to make efficient use of land and manage change with greater regard to the existing context and local character. Development should make the most of its location, such as access to public transport, cycling and walking and seek to provide off-site infrastructure to enhance them, and facilitate access to services and facilities.

High quality connections between people and destinations within the Core Development Area, wider town and locations outside of the borough will be sought.

(3) Monitoring the Local Plan

1.41 Monitoring of the Local Plan is important to determine the effectiveness of planning policies. It identifies if policies are impacting on Development Management decisions and whether they are contributing towards achieving the Council's objectives and targets. Policies in the Local Plan will be monitored to ensure they are being successfully implemented and the overall strategy is being achieved. These indicators are set out in Appendix A along with the source data to be collected to monitor the Plan. This findings will be presented in the Council's Authority Monitoring Reports.

1.42 Watford forms part of the South West Hertfordshire Housing Market Area and Economic Market Area. The Council will have an active role promoting and supporting high quality development that will benefit the community, support the economy, enhance the environment and are consistent with policies in the Local Plan. Development facilitated through the Local Plan will also contribute towards achieving strategic objectives set out in the future South West Hertfordshire Joint Strategic Plan. 

1.43 Where monitoring, particularly the updated housing trajectory that will be published in the Authority Monitoring Reports, demonstrates that there will not be sufficient progress towards meeting housing need, the Council will consider the reasons for this and whether the extent of under-performance is sufficient to trigger a partial or full review of the Local Plan.

To take part in these consultations, you will first need to register as a user by clicking on the link at the top right of this page. Once you have registered, select a document, then comments can be given by clicking on the pen icon and writing in the form that appears. For further assistance please read our help guide.
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