About our proposals


Bulbourne Cross aims to provide the homes – including affordable homes – that Berkhamsted needs in the right place, as well as creating the sport-led legacy of a healthy, carbon zero lifestyle for future generations. That’s why Thakeham and the Berkhamsted Sports Ground Charitable Association (BSGCA) have created our vision for the eastern side of Berkhamsted.


Our proposals, which were submitted as an alternative to suggested allocations in the Dacorum draft Local Plan, aim to create a comprehensive vision for growth in Berkhamsted. The draft Local Plan was consulted upon by Dacorum Borough Council between December 2020 and February 2021. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to support our vision and contribute to the debate.


Your comments have helped shape an updated vision, which includes significantly more green space, enhanced high quality sports facilities and an updated masterplan. As part of our response to Dacorum Borough Council’s consultation on the draft Local Plan, we submitted a range of updated plans and additional information. Read our statement of community consultation.



  • Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire
  • c.800 new homes
  • £ 40% affordable

Creating world class sports facilities for Berkhamsted

The Berkhamsted Sports Ground Charitable Association (BSGCA) for some years, has been looking to provide a multi-sport, multi-club centre and a network of new pitches and facilities for teams in dire need of additional pitches that would better support the whole community.

We believe that together we can create a better place for development in Berkhamsted. One that supports our values, new homes, sport and healthy living together.

Our proposals


Our updated masterplan reflects comments we’ve received as part of the consultation, increasing the amount of publicly accessible green space between Berkhamsted and Bourne End, to reflect its position in the landscape and create a permanent green gap between Berkhamsted and Bourne End.


The updated proposals have sought to increase the amount of green space, moving development land closer to the edges of Berkhamsted. We’ve increased the space available for sport and recreation by reducing the number of homes suggested for the site.



The proposals offer a connection to the adjacent Bk01 draft allocation (for 800 homes) on the west, connecting it directly to the A41 and the London Road, reducing pressure on Shooters Way and nearby residential streets – shown in dark green. We’ve also designed our link road as an alternative way for residents of Berkhamsted on the eastern side to access the A41 without needed to drive through Bourne End – opening up the potential for traffic calming to further reduce through traffic in the village.


Up to 1,000 new homes (shown in light brown) will be provided alongside a new neighbourhood centre, delivered early on, with a community café and community co-working facilities which reflect modern living. A community-owned village shop will be delivered in partnership with the Plunkett Foundation. A Primary School is shown in blue, and contributions will be made towards providing a new Secondary School within Berkhamsted. The new sports pitches and clubhouse are shown on the southern green area, with the access onto the A41 at the southern-most point.

A 7.8 hectare (19 acre) country park for new and existing residents.

A new primary school and neighbourhood centre for new and existing residents.

12.8 hectares (29.6 acres) of sports club facilities – a 32% increase.

28 hectares (69 acres) residential development and associated infrastructure.

35.5 hectares (87.7 acres) of additional green open space and new allotments – a 77% increase.

Direct access to A41 for this and neighbouring 800 home draft allocation site Bk01.

Sustainable homes, strong communities

We deliver sustainable, infrastructure-led communities and is an industry leader on biodiversity and the environment.

Efficient new homes

We lead the housebuilding industry in our approach to sustainability, saving residents money on bills while working hard to preserve the environment. All new homes will be net zero carbon in lifetime use, significantly reducing energy bills for consumers, while also tackling embodied carbon.

We use Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels alongside Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP), which can both heat and cool the new homes. Our homes are designed to Passivhaus’ Space Heating standard, adopting a meticulous approach to design and construction methods to ensure minimal heat loss.

Further, we are developing solutions with major energy providers, to consider if homes can have guaranteed zero energy bills for a set period of time.



Boosting biodiversity

The construction of new homes presents a unique opportunity to integrate biodiversity-enhancing features that not only contribute to local ecosystems but also foster a harmonious relationship between humans and wildlife. As such, our carefully designed scheme will provide at least a 10% biodiversity net gain (BNG).

We’ll help nature flourish through carefully designed initiatives, considerate planting and other habitat features. This includes:

  • Hedgehog highways, in fences providing freedom to roam gardens and natural foraging.
  • Swift bricks, built directly into the walls to provide much-needed nesting spaces.
  • Bat boxes, fitted to trees to help local ecosystems by controlling insect populations.

We have a great track record in bringing these initiatives to life, with our planning applications calculating on average 13.58% biodiversity net gain. At our Martingales development in Bookham, the Surrey Wildlife Trust’s ecology consultancy carried out an assessment predicting an impressive 41.38% biodiversity net gain.



Our Eddie & Ellie education outreach

We work with local primary schools through our well established ‘Eddie & Ellie the Ecologists’ initiative.

Born out of a genuine passion to equip local children with the knowledge and enjoyment of the nature and ecology around them, we carefully developed the fully funded programme in consultation with educational specialists to create a lasting impact.

Thanks to Eddie & Ellie, CIRIA awarded us the best Community Engagement Project as part of the Big Biodiversity Challenge awards



Sustainable travel

All homes will have a fast electric vehicle charging point, but we also provide incentives for cycle ownership amongst our residents and the potential for electric car clubs, enabling residents to have easy access to a car without owning one.

The plans include new walking and cycling routes.

Frequently asked questions


Q. What’s next?

A. Dacorum Borough Council is considering comments made by a range of consultees, including residents, following the consultation on the first draft of the Local Plan (known as Regulation 18). Once these have been considered, a further, more final draft will be published later in 2021 known as a Regulation 19. It is this almost final version of the Local Plan which will then be reviewed by a Planning Inspector before adoption. Thakeham and the BSGCA have committed to continuing to promote the site through the Local Plan process, seeking adoption as a preferred site for development.

Q. Was your proposal in Dacorum’s Local Plan which was consulted upon from December 2020 to February 2021? Have they expressed a view on the proposals?

A. Bulbourne Cross was not within the Regulation 18 draft Local Plan which went out for consultation earlier in 2021. Although Thakeham and the BSGCA submitted information about our proposals beforehand, Dacorum Borough Council identified a series of 8 other sites on the southern and western edges of the town, with a total of 2,200 homes across Berkhamsted. We are promoting Bulbourne Cross as an alternative way of providing some of these 2,200 homes and have submitted further information in response to the council’s consultation, on which we await feedback.

Q. Is this proposal a replacement or addition to the other sites?

A. Our proposals are an alternative to some of the sites identified in the Regulation 18 draft Local Plan. We believe our proposals deliver greater community benefits alongside 1,000 of the required new homes.

Q. What is the BSGCA’s view on the other sites? Could they not offer sports facilities? 

A. The alternative sites are a series of smaller land parcels predominantly on the western edge of Berkhamsted, which would struggle to deliver these sports facilities in a cohesive way and at the scale needed. This leads to piecemeal facilities, which aren’t properly used or maintained. This proposal keeps them together and allows the creation of a genuine sporting hub.

Q. How will you convince the council to allow development on the Green Belt, which will merge Berkhamsted with Bourne End?

A. Most land (including the identified sites on the southern and western edges of town) around Berkhamsted is Green Belt. In order to avoid impacting the more sensitive areas of the site, we have located the sports facilities, country park and pitches to provide a permanent green buffer between Berkhamsted and Bourne End. We have also sought to ensure development is within the least sensitive areas of the site. This means that green spaces are located and provided in perpetuity to keep the identities of Bourne End and Berkhamsted separate.

Q. Is the neighbouring site east and west of Swing Gate Lane part of this wider vision? 

A. The proposed allocation east and west of Swing Gate Lane complements ours, so we would envisage their site being developed. We would work collaboratively with them on delivering joined up facilities and services as well as providing a direct access onto the A41, avoiding unnecessary trips through the town.


Q. The site falls within Hemel Hempstead’s postcode, will people from Berkhamsted be able to use the sports facilities?

A. Our current plan for sports facilities is for them to be for Berkhamsted sports clubs, many of which are in need of additional facilities. We will be gifting the sports grounds to the BSGCA, as well as providing support. The BSGCA is a charity whose mission is to enhance the wellbeing of the people in Berkhamsted, so will work on their behalf.

Q. Is it true the new football ground will be funded by selling the existing pitch at Broadwater? 

A. Probably yes as part of an investigation of all potential funding options, but we also expect significant contributions from National Sporting Association grants. Broadwater doesn’t have sufficient space to be developed long term, and therefore does not allow Berkhamsted FC to rise more than one step through the football league, making its sale a sensible use of the charity’s assets. We are keen to work with Berkhamsted FC on these proposals to support their future ambitions. If Berkhamsted FC do not wish to locate to the new stadium, the site itself could be reconfigured to accommodate another user or another sport.

Q. Have Thakeham Homes put in an offer to buy the Broadwater Stadium site?

A. No

Q. Why are the sports pitches on the eastern side rather than the Berkhamsted side of the proposal?

A. The pitches are located in order to maintain green space between Berkhamsted and Bourne End, so the two settlements retain their individual identities, and a permanent green gap can be retained in perpetuity, respecting areas of the site that are particularly sensitive in landscape terms.

Q. Where is the parking for the sports facilities? 

A. Car parking is provided close to the main sports complex, with 400 car park spaces for users of the pitches as well as visiting supporters. There will also be pedestrian and cycle links through from the new development and Berkhamsted – linking it into the town through a series of dedicated routes.

Q. Will the other clubs in the BSGCA stay at their existing facilities? 

A. Yes, the hockey, bowls, tennis and cricket clubs will remain in their current locations but given that some of the new pitches will be multi use they may wish to use some of the new facilities alongside their existing facilities.

Q. Do the sports facilities count as infrastructure in your infrastructure first approach? 

A. Yes, physical infrastructure i.e. community facilities, buildings, roads and paths will be built early on in the development, and we are keen to work with the BSGCA to unlock the much needed new sports facilities as early as possible.

Q. Who will manage the sports pitches?

A. It would be a not-for-profit organisation, possibly the BSGCA or a new sports trust. This would cover the costs of running the site.

Q. Could local schools hire the sports space?

A. It is a community site, some clubs will have particular use of pitches but there will be availability for the wider community.

Q. Is there any provision for netball?

A. There is no specific provision at this stage, but the multi-use all weather pitches could be used for netball and be marked out for other sports. If we are included in the Local Plan, we will investigate what demand there is for other specific sports and ensure they are accommodated where we can.

Q. Has there been any consideration for what facilities will be in the sports centre?

A. At the moment, the new indoor sports centre will predominantly be used as a gymnasium, designed and specified according to the British Gymnastics Association’s guidelines. We will look at this in greater detail further along in the process. There are many interesting opportunities for the facilities, and we are keen to enable as many sports and users as possible.

Community facilities

Q. How many forms will the primary school have? 

A. It will be a 2 or 3 form entry school, depending on the requirements from the County Council, existing capacity and provision on neighbouring sites.

Q. Are you building schools and other public facilities or just providing the land?

A. We envisage building the schools and some community / retail facilities ourselves as we want to build a real community. We’ll work with Hertfordshire and Dacorum councils to ensure they are delivered early in the programme.

Q. Will you provide a new secondary school?

A. The draft Local Plan currently proposes land for a new school at the western side of Berkhamsted. We are open to either providing the school through direct provision at Bulbourne Cross or through financial contributions if the western location is preferred.

Q. What medical facilities will be provided?

A. There will be space in the new neighbourhood centre for medical services, such as a GP surgery / dentist, should this be required. We will also make financial contributions towards providing medical facilities as part of broader developer contributions to services such as education, libraries, highways and bus services amongst others.

Q. Who will own the country park? 

A. We suggest this should be run by a community trust or the council.


Q. How could you reduce traffic in Berkhamsted? 

A. The sites proposed for western Berkhamsted are reliant on existing roads which are unsuitable for significant increases in traffic Our site proposes a direct link to the A41, and vehicles from the neighbouring land east and west of Swing Gate Lane (currently allocated in the draft Local Plan for 800 homes) can make use of this too, reducing the impact on existing roads of through traffic.

Q. How will you get direct access onto the A41?

A. We will use the slip road by the McDonalds. This will link through to Berkhamsted as well as to the suggested allocation of land east and west of Swing Gate Lane.

New homes and sustainable development

Q. How many affordable homes will there be? 

A. We have committed to delivering 40% affordable homes which will be managed by a housing association for rent or shared ownership. This means around 400 new affordable homes. These will be identical in quality and style to private homes.

Q.  Will the properties be leasehold or freehold? Who will manage the roads and open spaces?

A. The private homes will be freehold. The roads and open spaces would either be transferred to the local council, or to a resident-led management company. Thakeham never sell management rights to any organisation and would only ever gift them to either the Local Authority or a resident-led trust.

Q. Who owns the land currently?

A. The land is privately owned, but Thakeham have an option agreement on the site, giving them full control to promote the site and – should it become allocated – the exclusive option to purchase it.

Q. When would work commence if you get approval?

A. The Local Plan is expected to go to the Secretary of State in late 2021 once Dacorum BC has completed its own consultations, this would then be formally adopted by the Council in late 2022. If included in the Local Plan, we would look to submit a planning application during 2023. This would be a hybrid application, setting the principles for the whole site, together with more details on sports facilities and homes. Should the application be successful, first completions could be by the end of 2024. We will seek to bring forward the sports pitches early on in the development.

It would take around 6 years for all the homes to be completed.

Q. Have you taken into account flood risk and drainage?

A We have flooding and drainage experts as part of the project team and this information will form part of our representations to the Local Plan. This detail will be made publicly available and assessed by the Council and Statutory Bodies such as the Environment Agency.  We will be aiming to ensure that we minimise impact on local watercourses by using on site drainage to capture and hold water during periods of heavy rain, releasing slowing into the watercourse at or below the rates a green field would.

Q. What will be an indicative starting price for the affordable housing?  How many properties will be at this indicative price?

A. We do not have a final selling price as this time. Thakeham are however committed to delivering 40% affordable housing on the site in line with Dacorum Borough Council’s policy, and this housing could include social rent (through a Registered Housing Provider), affordable rent (which may be capped), shared ownership, low-cost market housing (20% discount), and rent to buy in line with national policy.

Q. What commitments do you make to the welfare and property of the people affected on the outskirts of existing housing?

A. Thakeham have an ‘infrastructure-led’ approach, ensuring key infrastructure is delivered early on in the development to ensure the impact on existing residents is mitigated. Further we work closely with local communities on construction management to further mitigate impacts on local communities.

Bulbourne Cross

Land south of London Road

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    About us

    We are a Sussex-based developer employing over 250 people and several hundred additional local subcontractors throughout the south of England. We deliver sustainable, infrastructure-led communities and is an industry leader on biodiversity and the environment.

    In 2022, we were confirmed as the ‘Best Construction & Engineering Company to Work For’ in the UK and have been recognised for our work with young people and veterans. Very recently, we were recognised in the prestigious ‘Best Places to Work 2023’ guide by The Sunday Times.

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