Plans for a joint strategic plan (JSP), which could help deliver development and infrastructure across a number of authorities in South West Hertfordshire, have taken another step.

At its full council meeting on February 28, Hertsmere borough councillors committed to working towards the new plan which will be undertaken alongside four neighbouring authorities.

These are Watford Borough Council, Three Rivers District Council, St Albans District Council, and Dacorum Borough Council.

The JSP will aim to ensure that housing growth, jobs, and infrastructure such as transport, schools, and health, are properly co-ordinated and delivered.

Local authorities are under pressure from the government to build thousands of new homes. Each council are in the process of preparing a Local Plan which identifies locations which could be used for housing development.

The JSP is being supported by Hertfordshire County Council. Issues such as roads and transport which is dealt with by the county council will be included within the JSP.

Cllr Dr Harvey Cohen, portfolio holder for planning and localism at Hertsmere Borough Council, said: "Neighbouring authorities are increasingly being encouraged to work together to provide the homes, jobs and infrastructure where people to want to live.

"At the council meeting we agreed a Memorandum of Understanding which sets out how cooperation between the five local authorities in South West Hertfordshire and Hertfordshire County Council will be managed.

"For Hertsmere, the benefits of working with our neighbouring authorities are significant and manifold; it will bring increased funding opportunities; put us in a better negotiating position with the government and other authorities; and mean that we can manage the delivery of infrastructure more effectively."

Each council will still be responsible for preparing its own Local Plan, but the JSP will be the first critical stage in local planning work across South West Hertfordshire.

Councils are "confident" the JSP allows them to be in a stronger position to deliver sustainable growth and access infrastructure funding opportunities.

St Albans, Three Rivers, Watford, and Dacorum will decide whether to follow Hertsmere's lead when councillors meet in meetings this month.

A new JSP would need to be agreed individually by all authorities for it to go ahead.