Reactions to the New Town

Derek Townsend remembers the impact that the New Town development had

Contributed by The Dacorum Heritage Trust Ltd


All I know is the people who did born and lived in Hemel Hempstead were penalised by not being allocated a council house. We put our name down in 1956 but we were not entitled one, its GLC and London people only housing them for the jobs that were in industrial areas. So I do know that for a fact.

All I remember really because of the age I was, at that time I was only 11 years old, was I  did not really know what was happening. I was 11 years old, “what is a ‘New Town’? What did it mean, the ‘New Town’? A change? Are we going to get new factories? Yes you are. Are you going to get a New Town Hall? Are they going to build a new Town Hall?” But that’s all I knew.

This page was added on 26/05/2015.

Comments about this page

  • “New Town” properties belonged to the Hemel Hempstead Development Corporation (later the New Towns Commission) and were nothing to do with Hemel Hempstead Borough Council which had its own housing waiting list. HHDC (“New Town”) properties were allocated to people moving from the Greater London Council area to obtain employment. The two waiting lists were eventually merged a few years ago when New Towns Commission properties were handed over to the Borough Council. It was galling for ‘locals’ to see these houses being built but not being able to be allocated to them but they were being built to alleviate the housing crisis in London.

    By John Newberry (11/05/2016)

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