Approximately seventy years ago the post-war government promised to help victims of the London blitz by building “New Towns”. The New Towns programme, with its three phases between 1946 and 1970, was the most ambitious town building programme ever undertaken in the United Kingdom. Alongside legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the New Towns Act 1946 led to the delivery of 32 New Towns across the UK, one of these is Hemel Hempstead now home to approximately 100,000 people.
Hemel Hempstead was designated a New Town on 4 February 1947. The original masterplan was
influenced by Geoffrey Jellicoe’s vision of a town in a park with generous open spaces in and around the town centre
and the residential neighbourhoods. This was modified by the Development Corporation, but Jellicoe’s vision for the town centre was largely retained, including his unique designs for modern water gardens.