New Local Plan

The Local Plan defines the framework for development in the district over a fifteen year period, including the policies that any development must comply with, the designation of sites between categories of use (including Green Belt) and sites for major development over that period.

The Local Plan is different from the Chorleywood Neighbourhood Plan as it covers the whole of Three Rivers, covers a wider range of policies than is possible in a Neighbourhood Plan and identifies a series of sites that will be developed over the next 15 years. Whilst the Neighbourhood Plan will be important in influencing development in the Parish, it cannot override the Local Plan and so it is vital that residents have their say on this plan.

On this page we provide the latest information about the revised plan including our analysis of the proposed sites in Chorleywood. 

Previous information has been archived and can be obtained using the buttons on the end of the page.


Update July 2024

The full results of the Regulation 18 Consultation on the new Local Plan are now available and over 90% of responses supported the adoption of the Low Growth / Green Belt Protection option. Whilst this will mean that there will be some development on Green Belt, it is limited to areas which are assessed as having a Moderate or lower importance to the Green Belt. In Chorleywood’s Green Belt, this is limited to development of the farmyard at Hill Farm which is already developed.
Based on these results, earlier this week Three Rivers District Council agreed to continue with this option in preparing the final draft of the Plan for submission to Examination. We have long argued for this and support this approach of balancing housing need with Green Belt protection. The Council will now complete all the documents required for the final plan which will go to a final (Regulation 19) consultation in September / October this year and then be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for Examination in February next year. This timetable means that there is a reasonable chance that the Local Plan will be considered under the current National Planning Policy Framework, which allows for more protection of Green Belt.

Government Betrays The Green Belt

January 2024

Despite all the fine words and media noise, after analysing the detailed changes to government policy which sets the rules for Local Plans and planning applications, it is clear that the government has not delivered on its promise to protect the Green Belt from excessive housebuilding.

We have already started meeting with MPs to make sure that they understand that the fudge provided will not do the job and that changes are needed. We will keep the pressure on Three Rivers District Council to stick with its current approach of Low Growth and Green Belt protection whilst we work to get the clarity needed in the government’s planning rules and guidance.

Click on the link below for an analysis of the key changes impacting Local Plans and Development on the Green Belt.

National Planning Policy Framework December 2023 –  Key Changes Impacting Local Plans / Development on Green Belt (PDF)

Three Rivers Council listens to CRA and protects our Green Belt whilst providing the houses needed

TRDC have just opened a Reg18 consultation on the new Local Plan, with a revised list of potential development sites, deadline 10th December. Details are at:

Lower housing numbers to meet housing need while protecting Green Belt

For years CRA has worked with Residents’ Associations across Three Rivers, asking the Council to use a lower new housing figure than the Government’s standard method, so as to better protect our precious Green Belt.

We’re delighted that the Council has revised the Plan, proposing new housing of less than half the Standard Method number. This massively reduces the amount of Green Belt that will be lost to housing. In Chorleywood, no undeveloped Green Belt is listed for development.

Concerns remain about Chorleywood’s Station car park, but TRDC requires the car park provision to be retained. We’ll fight for at least the same number of spaces, our work on the Neighbourhood Plan limits the height of any new development to 3 stories and we have ensured the new Local Plan policies protect views in and out of the surrounding Conservation Areas.

Overall, we strongly support the proposed Plan, it achieves a good balance between providing new homes for local people with protecting Green Belt.

Our analysis shows Three Rivers needs 4,500 – 5,500 new homes to provide for local people over the Plan’s 15-year life. This Plan proposes 4,852 new homes, minimising the amount of Green Belt lost whilst delivering the homes we badly need. The TRDC policies supporting the Plan will ensure many of these homes are smaller affordable homes, rather than the large houses many developers prefer.

While we don’t want to lose any our precious Green Belt, Three Rivers is 76% Green Belt with very little brownfield land that can be built on. Limiting development to brownfield sites means not providing the homes that local people need.

The final stage of TRDC adopting the new Local Plan is a Public Inquiry, where a Government Inspector reviews and challenges the Plan to ensure it is fit for purpose. The Inspector can add sites back into the Plan if they feel it is required – something other nearby councils have experienced recently.

As this Plan proposes less than half of the number of new homes given by the standard method, it is likely that the low housing figure and the removal of Green Belt sites listed in the 2021 version of the Plan will be challenged by the Inspector.

Clear support from local residents in this Reg18 consultation carries weight with the Inspector, making it more likely the Inspector will approve it. Please respond to the consultation and say “Yes” to questions 1 and 3, whilst raising any concerns you have with individual sites in the later questions.

Remember – the deadline is 10th December

How to respond to the consultation

The Council’s preferred method for residents to respond is through their online portal at:

Using the portal will make it easier and faster for the Council to summarise the responses to the consultation and should help the overall Local Plan process move forward more swiftly. This is a very desirable outcome as getting a new Local Plan in place quickly will help block speculative planning applications for large scale developments like Green Street.

The portal asks three initial questions about the overall Plan and then moves on to asking questions about individual sites. The Chorleywood sites start on page 8 of the survey.

In the portal the numbering of question is not fixed, so you will find that the question numbers in the portal will not necessarily tie up to those given in the supporting documentation. Do not worry about this – it is just a quirk in the way the portal software works and questions answered through the portal will be correctly applied to the sites.

If you cannot use the portal you can email your reply to

Alternatively, residents can reply by post to:

Planning Policy
Three Rivers District Council
Three Rivers House

Please note, if you are replying by email or letter, the council will only consider comments by respondents who provide their name and address.

Analysis of Sites

Click on the ⊕ to expand for each site below:

CFS16 – Land at Chorleywood Station (station car park and adjoining land)

We are aware that many residents are concerned about this site but the reality is that, as a brownfield site, unless a statutory authority such as the Environment Agency or Hertfordshire Highways objects, it is practically impossible to get this site removed from the Plan under the current planning rules.

Even if it were possible to convince the Council to remove the site, bearing in mind the number of new homes proposed in the Plan is less than that required by the Government standard method, we expect that, at the Examination stage, the Government Inspector would simply add the site back into the plan without any of the conditions we have got the Council to include. For example, CRA convinced the Council to include a condition requiring that commuter parking be safeguarded and the current pedestrian access across the site be maintained. These conditions would probably be lost if a Government Inspector puts the site back in.

Over recent years, the CRA has worked tirelessly to get policies included in the Local Development Plan that will limit the harm of many of the potential sites around Parish. With regard to the Station carpark this includes that;

  • there is a policy in the Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) that will limit any development to a maximum of three storeys,
  • both the NDP and draft Local Plan policies contain rules that prevent / limit development that will adversely affect the setting or views in or out of Conservation Areas (key as the car park is sandwiched between two Conservation Areas).

With the conditions now in the draft Local Plan and the policies limiting the scale and impact of development, it is possible that TFL may either withdraw the site or scale back to just build something smaller – maybe limited to the northern end of the site (beyond the car park).

We are aware of concern that the site will impinge on Chorleywood Common. We can confirm that the site does not include any of the Common, which is owned and ferociously protected by Chorleywood Parish Council and further protected by a trust deed, DEFRA regulations and an Act of Parliament.

We understand residents’ concerns over this potential development – residents should register their concerns in response to the Consultation. These might result in further conditions being applied.

In summary, we do not think there is any realistic possibility of getting the site removed from the Plan – unless Hertfordshire Highways can be convinced to support our concerns over the vehicular access to the site.

We believe that the best way to deal with this site is to register concerns and then use the Local Plan conditions and policies to limit or reduce any development at planning application stage.

If the site is included in the final plan, based on the information provided by TFL, it is expected no planning application would be submitted for at least 10 years.

Please note that any impacts of construction to neighbouring properties would be prevented by Building Control Officers from HCC, including reviewing proposed construction techniques before construction commences.

A full analysis of the site can be found here.

CFS18c – Hill Farm, Stag Lane

Following extensive lobbying by CRA supported by concerns raised by Hertfordshire County Council about the limits of Stag Lane to accept additional traffic, the scale of this site has been significantly reduced so that it is now limited to the existing already-developed farmyard.

A full analysis of the site can be found here.

Smaller Sites (less than 20 dwellings)

There are six other sites in Chorleywood in the Plan’s proposed list, all of which are smaller sites accommodating less than 20 new dwellings. All of the sites are on already-developed, brownfield land and none have obvious limitations to prevent some level of development on the site.

A full analysis of the sites can be found here.


Click on the buttons to the right to see earlier information about the creation of the New Local Plan starting in 2018.