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Planning update – green homes coming to Yorkshire and Borehamwood

Leading housebuilder Harron Homes Yorkshire has submitted planning application to Barnsley Metropolitan Council for 236 new homes.

The proposals will regenerate a disused brownfield site, which has stood empty for 50 years, and bring significant enhancements to the existing ecological features of the site including Dob Sike.

The scheme will deliver a mix of two, three and four-bedroom homes – all with electric car charging points – and will feature green open spaces with picnic benches, a Trim Trail, a play area, footpaths, wildlife habitats, woodland and 12.5 hectares of wildflower areas.


The Dob Sike waterway is a historic area of high ecological value which is home to ancient trees, water voles and other wildlife. It will be restored and maintained by Harron and incorporated into the new development. The scheme will also feature an area of Birch Oak woodland that in previous plans for the site was lost.

Tony Lee, managing director of Harron Homes Yorkshire, adds: “We are delighted to have submitted a planning application for this new development. We are hopeful that our plans will rejuvenate this derelict site while maintaining the rich variety of wildlife which calls this site home, and bring much-needed homes to the Barnsley area.”

Hertsmere's new draft Local Plan proposes sustainable 850-home community

Plans for a brand-new 850-home community in Borehamwood have been proposed by the council in the borough’s draft Regulation 18 Local Plan.

Submitted by property consultancy Bidwells and planning consultancy Woolf Bond Planning on behalf of The Wrotham Park Estate, the plans promise to provide much-needed housing for the local community, as well as a new village centre near to Borehamwood, a country park and onsite education provisions.

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

The news follows March’s announcement that Bidwells has also submitted plans to build the UK’s largest studio complex in Borehamwood that promises to create thousands of jobs, contribute over a billion pounds to the local economy and further strengthen the historical importance of Hertsmere as a major film production centre. 

Plans for the “state-of-the-art” 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 Wrotham Park Estate, a historic landowner that has owned both sites since the 18th century, has worked, and will continue to work with the council to secure the allocation of the land to provide for these high quality, energy-efficient and sustainably located residential and commercial development to address the acute need for housing and to secure the area’s long-term economic potential by helping to attract and retain talent.

Meanwhile, 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. 600,000 sq ft of college space is also being proposed – which will operate alongside Elstree Screen Arts Academy – providing local young workers and those looking for a career change with the opportunity to be part of two of the UK’s fastest-growing industries: film and television.

Oxford Economics predicts the 90-acre scheme will contribute £1.17 billion to the local economy every year, while providing investors with a huge opportunity to tap into Britain’s rapidly growing film, TV and creative industries – which contribute more to the UK economy each year than the automotive, aerospace, life sciences and oil and gas industries combined, according to the British Film Commission.

Sustainability will be at the heart of both the residential and commercial schemes, with the plans promising highly sustainable developments that incorporate energy efficiency, renewable power and high-quality landscaping while reducing car dependency and congestion.

The Wrotham Park Estate is committed to leaving a legacy for future generations and will continue to be involved in both developments as they progress to delivery.

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

Giles Dobson, managing partner of Bidwells’ rural division, says: “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.”

He adds: “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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