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The Issue: East of England Plan>2031

The East of England Regional Assembly are asking the public to give their views on the East of England Plan>2031. The plan proposes to build thousands of new homes in the East of England.

The East of England Plan>2031 includes four scenarios of housing and job development in the next two decades. For each scenario, the East of England Regional Assembly have noted the possible effects on the region, such as sustainability, carbon emissions, pollution, and housing prices.

Why? The East of England is expecting a massive rise in population in the next twenty years.

The East of England's current population is 5.7 million, but it is expected to rise to almost 7 million in 2031. For the region to cope with the increased population, local authorities must ensure that there is adequate number of homes and employment opportunities.

The four scenarios suggest that 11,000 - 15,300 additional homes in East Hertfordshire from 2011- 2031 are needed. That's 550 - 770 homes to be built every year until 2031.

Green belt land in East Herts will be required to fulfil the proposals.

Scenario 1

The Facts: This scenario is an extension of the current East of England plan (2001-2021). It plans to develop growth in large towns and cities in the region.

It proposes:

  • 13,200 new homes between 2011 - 2031 in East Herts
  • 660 new homes per year in East Herts


  • Increasing homes in existing towns and cities will avoid changing the character/landscape of the region.


  • Building additional homes in current town/cities may result in greenfield land on the outskirts being used.

Scenario 2

The Facts: This scenario is based on distributing new homes in large developments (20,000+) in town/cities that could manage extensive growth. Independent consultants' research recommends developing the following towns/cities:

  • Cambridge
  • Norwich
  • Chelmsford
  • Colchester

 It proposes:

  • 13,200 new homes between 2011 - 2031 in East Herts
  • 660 new homes per year in East Herts


  • Contributes the least to road congestion and traffic.
  • Building homes in existing towns will have the least effect on biodiversity.


  • Building in large towns with existing air quality problems will lead to increased pollution.

Scenario 3

The Facts: Unlike scenarios 1 and 2 which were based on the ability of an area to cope with an influx of new homes, scenario 3 proposes that homes should be built in areas where economic growth is likely to occur. This scenario is likely to have a huge impact on Hertfordshire; it identifies the county as having the potential to create hundreds of jobs and recommends the largest number of new homes.

It proposes:

  • 15,300 new homes between 2011 - 2031 in East Herts
  • 770 new homes per year in East Herts


  • Additional homes near London could help to lower house prices.
  • Provides the shortest commute to London for residents of the new homes.


  • Requires substantial investment in public transport for commuters, could lead to overcrowding and congestion.

Scenario 4

The Facts: This scenario is based on government projections on future lifestyle choices and takes on board current trends, such as people living in single occupied homes. This proposal also draws heavily on migration and immigration predictions.

It focuses the vast majority of new homes in Hertfordshire, Essex and Norfolk and in rural areas.

It proposes:

  • 11,000 new homes between 2011 - 2031 in East Herts
  • 550 new homes per year in East Herts 


  • Building homes in rural areas could boost the rural economy.


  • May result in the largest amount of greenfield land being used, the scenario has considerable focus on building in rural areas.
  • Developing rural areas will greatly increase the need for transport, especially by car, and this will amplify carbon emissions.
  • This plan proposes to develop both Breckland District (Norfolk) and Forest Heath (Suffolk) and is likely to damage the heathland in the area.


Get Involved

Read and comment on the East of England >2031 Public Consultation

Attend the public consultation meeting for East of England Plan next Wednesday evening in Stevenage

Write to your local representatives expressing your views and opinions on the proposals.

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