Sara Whelan

Assistant Director, Planning, Dacorum Borough Council

Sara Whelan is the Assistant Director of Planning at Dacorum Borough Council. She has worked in Local Planning Authorities for 20 years, including starting her career at Three Rivers District Council. At the London Borough of Camden she worked in a variety of senior and principal planning officer roles in DM and place shaping. Before moving to the Royal Borough of Kingston to manage the Strategic Planning Team. She then joined Dacorum Borough Council as the Head of DM and was seconded to the Hemel Place Strategy, Programme manager role before taking up her current Assistant Director position in August 2023.

She has delivered a Hemel Hempstead Town Centre Vision and set up the Hemel Place Board in 2022 to engage partners and help deliver the vision. Attracting inward investment has been a key part of her work and she has increased the profile of Hemel Hempstead through the UKREiiF events used to promote The Hemel Story and visuals used by partners. Her current role sees her steering through Dacorum Borough Council’s new Local Plan which sets an ambitious future for Dacorum, including proposals for 11,000 homes and 10,000 jobs as part of the Hemel Garden Communities programme.