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 Cassiobury Park Hub © Knox Bhavan Architects for Watford Council 

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Watford is a growing economic hub home to a number of national and international head offices. Its location within the M25 but outside Greater London, means that Watford is experiencing development pressures similar to those encountered in outer London boroughs. These include proposals to increase residential densities with new developments on brownfield sites. With a density of only 8 square miles, Watford is one of the smallest boroughs in the UK and land for development is limited. 

The challenge of accommodating development of an urban character in a market town context makes it particularly important that development improves the existing townscape. This should include protecting historic character and delivering on Watford’s ambitious sustainability commitments, while improving quality of life for the town’s diverse population.

Watford High Street © Dave Parker

Watford Borough Council's Place Shaping Panel has been formed to strengthen the resources available to the council in supporting high quality design for developments in the borough. The Place Shaping Panel will play an important role in holding development applications to the high sustainability standards needed to deliver on Watford's proactive climate policies.


The Watford Place Shaping Panel is chaired by Professor Peter Bishop, an adviser on city planning and design, based in London.

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St Mary's Church, Watford © Dave Parker 


Watford panel members

Peter Bishop (chair)

Irfan Alam

Anna Bardos

Thomas Bryans

Marie Burns

David Hart

Rachel Hearn

Rachel Hoolahan

Bevan Jones

Janet Jones

Michael Popper

Jessica Reynolds

Tahera Rouf

Nicola Rutt

Rosie Sargen

Linda Thiel

Andrew Thornhill

Alex Wraight


Terms of reference

Annual report

Cassiobury Park Hub © Knox Bhavan Architects for Watford Council 

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Cassiobury Park © Dom Crossley, Flickr

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