Local Plan


The Local Plan has been many years in the making - here's a summary of the key milestones in its development.

  • Consultation on Main Modifications Schedule, Policies Maps and Supporting Documents in January/February.

  • Consideration and publication of responses by Inspector (to be confirmed).

  • Planning Inspector accepts WHBC request to progress Local Plan with a housing supply to meet a ten-year requirement, subject to an early review once adopted.
  • Outstanding draft Main Modifications sent to Inspector for assessment and modification.
  • Set of Main Modifications necessary to make the Local Plan sound received from Inspector, approved by Members in December.
  • Stage 9 hearing sessions on additional sites, windfall and Objectively Assessed Need in February and March.

  • Members' letter to Secretary of State seeking confirmation on opportunity for further discussion on Objectively Assessed Need and potential future changes to national planning policy.


  • Stage 7 and Stage 8 hearing sessions on Symondshyde and Birchall Green Suburb and village and town sites.

  • Consultation on Proposed Changes to Submitted Draft Local Plan 2016 Site Allocations (extended due to COVID-19).

  • Consultation on additional sites.
  • Stage 6 hearing sessions on strategic matters (including housing need and employment) in December.
  • Examination hearing sessions continue on Birchall Garden Suburb, Topic policies Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City and the Green Belt.
  • The council's Cabinet approves a recommendation to send the Draft Local Plan to the government's planning inspectorate.
  • The council publishes the Draft Local Plan, allocating sites for 12,000 new homes. Over 3,000 representations are received.
  • Where should development happen? Local people make over 6,000 comments in response to the Local Plan Consultation Document outlining development site options.
  • Events are held to explain new sites that came forward as part of the previous consultation.


  • A detailed transport study is completed to test the traffic implications of future development.
  • An independent report is released, stating 12,500 is the required number of new homes in Welwyn Hatfield until 2031.


  • A local Green Belt Review takes place, looking at its contribution to retaining openness and the character of the countryside.


  • The council consults on a strategy to concentrate growth around Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City, receiving over 3,000 comments.


  • How Many New Homes? Residents are asked for views on five alternative housing targets. All but one would require land to be released from the Green Belt.


  • The Issues and Option Consultation begins to more fully establish the main social, economic and environmental issues affecting Welwyn Hatfield. The consultation receives over 6,700 comments.
  • A series of neighbourhood workshops are held with community representatives to develop localised, area-specific ambitions.
  • The first of three economy needs studies completes.


2007 - 2008
  • Pre-Issues and Options Consultation launches, with an aim of identifying the key issues a borough blueprint for growth needs to address.