About our team

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Sara Whelan is the Hemel Place Strategy Programme Manager, she is taking forward the development and transformation of Hemel Hempstead. Sara is working closely with a range of stakeholders in developing the new Hemel Place Strategy, in particular the emerging Hemel Hempstead town Centre Strategy. Prior to this Sara was Head of Development Management for six years at Dacorum Borough Council and has held Planning and Place shaping roles at The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, London Borough of Camden and Three Rivers District Council. Sara also supports POS (Planning Officers Society) as Policy Manager which includes liaising with government on future policy directions.

Andrew Percival is the Hemel Place Board Independent Chair, he has worked in public-private partnerships across a range of sectors – as Director of VINCI UK Developments and VINCI Investments, leading the company’s involvement in the redevelopment of New Covent Garden Market, and most recently, as Managing Director Commercial for University Partnerships Programme.

Andrew served as a board member of the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership for six years, from 2012 to 2018, during which time he co-chaired the “connected counties” roll-out of super-fast broadband across Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire and also chaired the Infrastructure Board.

In 2015, Andrew was appointed Chair of Stevenage First, which was formed to spearhead the regeneration of Stevenage Town Centre. During his chairmanship, £30 million of funding was secured to advance the regeneration of the town, which resulted in a further £400 million of private sector investment being committed, making Stevenage one of the largest regeneration schemes in the east of England.

Bob Lane, OBE – Independent Chair, Hemel Place Board Bob has experience of implementing regeneration and growth projects in Merseyside and Northamptonshire and extensive knowledge of both the private and public sector. A wide ranging non-executive career has included Ebbsfleet Urban Development Corporation, the Homes and Communities Agency (now Homes England), the Port of Dover and the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation. Bob Lane is the Independent Chair of Hemel Garden Communities, becoming the Independent Chair of both boards is welcomed as the Hemel Place Board and Hemel Garden Communities Board both aim to support growth whilst transforming the lives of existing residents.

85 % Employ-ment Rate
£ 230 M Tourism Worth
21 Miles of cycle paths
154280 Residents in Dacorum


Hemel Hempstead has always been a prime business location and the focal point is Maylands Business Park, home to over 650 businesses employing over 20,000 people.


Ever since its development as a New Town, leisure and space have been part of the design DNA of Hemel Hempstead and people are still benefitting from these initiatives today.

Discovering Hemel Hempstead