Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and The Crown Estate are jointly investing £6 million towards the redesign of Junction 8 of the M1 motorway to boost transport links and unlock the economic potential of Hemel Hempstead. The improvements form part of broader plans to transform Hemel Hempstead and the wider area to deliver new homes and high quality jobs.
The funding, which comprises a £3 million Local Growth Fund investment from Hertfordshire LEP and £3 million match funding from The Crown Estate, has kick-started detailed design work for the new road network.
The new design will improve road safety and boost connectivity between Hemel Hempstead and the highway network to benefit businesses and residents. It will also enable the creation of thousands of jobs at Hertfordshire Innovation Quarter (Herts IQ), which is building a cluster of green businesses focused on agritech, offsite manufacturing and modern construction.
The funding supports a wider transformational plan for Hemel Hempstead and the surrounding area that will introduce a range of sustainable transport measures to encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport. This work will also enable wider landscape, biodiversity and environmental enhancements.
The road improvements are key to accelerating the delivery of new employment space at Herts IQ as part of The Crown Estate’s mixed-use masterplan for 3,000 homes, jobs and amenities at East Hemel. It is also integral to the delivery of Hemel Garden Communities, an ambitious development programme that will transform Hemel Hempstead and the local area and create attractive and sustainable new neighbourhoods to the north and east of the town, the first phase of which is East Hemel.
Hemel Garden Communities seeks to deliver more than 11,000 new homes and around 10,000 new jobs by 2050, 8,000 of which will be in Herts IQ. The project is being jointly led by St Albans District Council, Dacorum Borough Council, Hertfordshire County Council, The Crown Estate and Hertfordshire LEP. Future stages will be delivered with further backing of local partners and Government support.
Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government Simon Clarke MP said: “We are determined to level up every region of the country, and ensure every area has the infrastructure and transport links needed to grow and thrive.
“This £3 million investment marks the vital first step towards transforming Junction 8 around the M1 motorway which will bring real benefits to the people of Hertfordshire and mark an important milestone as part of the ongoing regeneration of Hemel Hempstead.”
Plans for M1 Junction 8 include the replacement of the existing Breakspear Way/Green Lane roundabout, the provision of a foot/cycle bridge over Breakspear Way and a new bridge over the M1. A new road would also track through Herts IQ to the west of the M1 to open up development for employment.
The public will be given the opportunity to view and provide feedback on the plans before a formal planning application is submitted.
Adam Wood, Head of Infrastructure & Regeneration at Hertfordshire LEP commented: “We are delighted to work in partnership with The Crown Estate on the ambitious and ongoing regeneration of Hemel Hempstead, with a shared vision to ensure the town and surrounding settlements can fully realise their economic potential.
“Our £3 million investment will kick-start the first phase of transformation at M1 Junction 8. The scheme will support the provision of much-needed new homes at Hemel Garden Communities, and unlock future employment opportunities at Hertfordshire Innovation Quarter.”
Robin Vaughan, Development Manager at The Crown Estate commented: “This project is a key milestone and one which supports our ambition to work with local partners and enable growth and investment in the region. Through working with Hertfordshire LEP, we are able to lay the foundations for future development, including our plans for East Hemel which would deliver 3,000 new homes and the largest of the sites in Herts IQ.
“A redesigned road network is also key to enabling Hemel Garden Communities and we are delighted to be involved with this ambitious and transformative project. We look forward to continuing to work with Hertfordshire LEP and to bring these designs to life.”
David Williams, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council said: “We welcome this announcement of £6 million towards the detailed design work for M1 Junction 8, including a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the A414. This is an important junction, connecting Hemel Hempstead to surrounding areas. The re-designed junction is part of a wider package of measures to enable more people to travel to and from Hemel in the future, through walking, cycling and passenger transport improvements.
“With the population of Hertfordshire expected to rise by up to 175,000 by 2031, and the Hertfordshire Growth Board planning for up to 100,000 new homes and 100,000 new jobs over the same period, the junction improvements will help enable both the Hemel Garden Communities and Hertfordshire’s wider growth vision.”