Plans revealed for 850-home community in Borehamwood

Hertsmere Borough Council has proposed a new 850-home community in Borehamwood in the borough’s draft Regulation 18 Local Plan published on Monday, 6th September.


Submitted by Bidwells and Woolf Bond Planning on behalf of The Wrotham Park Estate, the plans aim to deliver new housing for the local community, as well as a village centre near to Borehamwood, a country park, and on-site education provisions. 

Subject to formal allocation and subsequent planning permission, the 170-acre site will also be providing approximately 350 affordable homes.

It follows the announcement earlier this year that Bidwells submitted plans to build a large studio complex in Borehamwood, which aims to create thousands of jobs, contribute over £1bn to the local economy, and further strengthen the historical importance of Hertsmere as a film production centre.  

Plans for the Hertswood Studios, which will sit less than a mile away from the new housing development on Cowley Hill, have also been proposed in Hertsmere Borough Council’s draft Regulation 18 Local Plan.

The proposals for the film studio complex could see the delivery of 1 million sq ft of film studio space, including 21 stages, supporting workshops, and a hotel for visiting film stars and crew. 

Some 600,000 sq ft of college space is also being proposed — which will operate alongside Elstree Screen Arts Academy — for local young workers and those looking for a career change.

Backed by the Department for International Trade, the complex would be built adjacent to the Legal & General-backed Sky Studio development and will form part of a UK film industry cluster. 

The plans for both the residential and commercial schemes promise highly sustainable developments that incorporate energy-efficiency, renewable power, and high quality landscaping, while reducing car dependency and congestion.

The Wrotham Park Estate, the landowner that has owned both sites since the 18th century, has worked, and will continue to work, on a collaborative basis with Hertsmere Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council to secure the allocation of the land to provide for the schemes.

Subject to formal allocation at Regulation 19, review by an independent planning inspector, and adoption of the new local plan, work on the 850-home community could commence in 2024, while work on Hertswood Studios could begin by 2023.

Giles Dobson, managing partner at Bidwells’ rural division, said: “These plans for a new community and a world-leading film and TV cluster demonstrate the long-term commitment Wrotham Park has to the stewardship of the local area. 

“As historic local landowners, the estate is making an investment into the long-term economic potential of Borehamwood. 

“Unlike other cases that are far too common, the sites have not been reallocated to turn a quick profit, but instead to signal the estate’s commitment to working as a joint venture partner to provide what the local economy really needs.

“Looking ahead, we plan on working closely with Hertsmere Borough Council to deliver this scheme, consulting with the local communities who reside in the area and build on the incredibly rich film heritage of Elstree and Borehamwood.”

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