On Saturday 14th July we held a Neighbourhood Plan Design Day – Designing the new edge of the village together Design Day #1 at the Methodist Church.  The Day was facilitated by Angela Koch of ImaginePlaces Ltd and Robert Sakula of Ash Sakula Architects and hosted by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.   Over 35 people attended throughout the day with the majority attending the whole day.   As Angela said it was a ‘productive, educational and fun’ day and she thanked us for ‘all the great ideas, debate and collaborative building and planting work’.   All those who came along had the opportunity to visit a possible development site (the Aecom preferred site shown in our Draft Plan), then using scale maps worked together to come up with a design for a small development encompassing what the group thought should be built including a good mix of types of homes (as you have indicated you want) and a new Shenley Village Centre with a Community café and other community facilities.  The end design was really interesting.   A big thank you to everyone who took part.


The Housing & Development Survey last year told us what development you think is needed for the village – Affordable homes to buy and rent for first time buyers and young families and suitable smaller properties in order for older people to downsize.  We also need sheltered accommodation and better community facilities.

No one is suggesting a major development in the village but we have to accept that there will be some here and we feel that limited development to provide what is needed will help to defend us against the thousands of homes the local planning authority would like to see.   By building what we need we can put the village in a stronger place to resist further development.  We are supported in this view by reports written on our behalf by Aecom which are available to read in the Neighbourhood Plan section of the Village website.  The reports have been paid for by Central Government funding and they show that Shenley does not have a great need for more housing and they highlight that Shenley Parish is all in the Green Belt.  A total of 220 homes is the number they suggest is needed over the next 15 years not the 500 + that Hertsmere is suggesting plus let’s not forget the proposed 4,000-6,000 home Garden Village which could end up being on our doorstep with part of it being in the Parish.

The preferred site indicated in our Draft Plan has been shown for the major planning reason that ultimately it will connect the older and newer parts of the village.  There is a thought that the school could be moved onto the site.  Another idea is that it would be the ideal site for a new Shenley Community Centre/Parish office providing a community café and community meeting facilities.  At the Design Day everyone was very enthusiastic about the Community Centre idea and it was placed in a prime position overlooking the large pond!

As we hope you are now aware our Shenley Plan 1st Draft was launched officially at Shenley Fete on 1st July and we are now in the Regulation 14 Consultation period which runs until 15th September.   Over the next 6 weeks we need everyone to read the draft Shenley Plan.  This can be done by going the village website www.shenleyvillage.org/neighbourhood-plan.   If the length of the Plan puts you off there is a short version too that could be read which is also on the Website.  Hard copies of the Plan – Full version and Short version – plus copies of the Survey are available at The Hub and The Post office. Copies of the Plan can be borrowed from the Hub and Post Office.  You can also look at copies of the full plan at The Orchard Tea Rooms, Gingerbread Dental Centre and Gateway Surgery.  Please do read it as we need your feedback.


So far 35 people have read the Plan and completed the Survey.  We need a much bigger response.  We urge you to read the full Plan or if you do not have time please look at the Short Version.   Do speak to either Rosemary or myself if you have any queries.  Please complete the Survey!  To help protect the Village from over development we need your support.   Having a Plan in place really will afford us the protection we need.  Quite frankly it is vital.  Without it the Local Authority will authorise larger development in Shenley Parish and it is unlikely to be where we want it to be.   With a Plan and a Neighbourhood Development Order (NDO) we will have the means to stop them.

Proposed change to the Village Envelope Boundary (Village Settlement boundary) & an NDO- Neighbourhood Development Order .  

If the new National Planning Policy framework – NPPF – is adopted this summer we can choose, by having an NDO referendum, to allow a small development in the village where we want it but at the same time keep the development land and surrounding land in the Green belt.   As mentioned before the Aecom Housing Needs Assessment says we only need 220 new homes for our needs over the next 15 years.  We want to keep the housing numbers as low as possible. Having an NDO will allow us to choose where the homes we need will be built whilst at the same time keeping the land in the Green Belt and protecting it from further development.  This very important for the development of our village.  If we do this there will be no need for Hertsmere to look at any further Green Belt release in our Parish. Porters Park was taken out of the Green Belt and is now  classified as being an ‘urban development’.   We want to avoid the same thing happening again.  The more ‘urban’ we are considered to be the more at risk the village is. This is why it is so important for you to support us.

The Site proposed for our NDO development has no existing footpaths running through it.  The land is privately owned.  The idea would be that any development on the land would include the mix of the homes we need (described above).  It would be a rural not an urban development.  There would be no need or wish to build right up to the Spinney.  Important trees would be protected.  It would enable the older part of the village to meet the newer part and allow for good and safe walking/cycling routes between the different key parts of the village. There are also features in the land, ponds etc. that can be opened up for community use.

If we do not support the above proposal, Hertsmere are looking to take land out of the Green Belt in the village to support their housing numbers and land not being in the Green Belt would mean that it will be treated as any other urban site so that development could be very dense in order to achieve the large numbers that Hertsmere is looking for.  Virtually the whole of Shenley Parish has been put forward in the ‘Call for Sites’ process.  Hertsmere could favour any of the sites.  We hope that you support the Shenley Plan and a Shenley Neighbourhood Development Order if we are able to proceed with one.   You have a simple choice, give us a real say by selecting the options proposed which can really benefit the village by giving us a small rural development or say no and allow Hertsmere to decide where we have 500 or more homes in what is sure to be a denser urban development which will put us at much greater risk in the future.  Let’s stay a village!  We don’t want to be on the route to become a town.

If we get a positive response from you we aim to get the Plan finished by October. There are a few processes to follow after that but hopefully we will be in a position to have the Plan and NDO Referendums next Spring.  We will do our best to make this happen.  The sooner we have a Plan in place the better because of the legal protection it will afford usNeighbourhood Plans really do have ‘teeth’.  Let’s use them!

On behalf of the Steering Group

Nicky Beaton (Chair) and Rosemary Gilligan (Vice Chair)