The government have been told that the housing targets it has set for Watford are “unachievable”.

Watford Borough Council says it has formally warned the government about the impact of tripling its housing numbers, given that the town is the second smallest authority in size in England, outside of London.

Councils up and down the country have been told to find places for suitable development, amid a “housing need” and this is being done though a local plan.

In Watford, the local plan is in its early stages. The town has been set a target of around 750 homes a year for a period of ten to 15 years.

Although Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor understands the need for housing, he says central government, which in recent months has piled pressure on councils to meet targets, needs to be aware that the numbers are “unrealistic”.

He said: This week, we’ve made it clear to the government that what they’ve proposed for Watford is just not realistic. Watford is only eight square miles. Although we understand the need for new homes, it we cannot triple the rate at which we build new homes.

“My job as Mayor is to try and make sure that the decisions about the future of our town are made here in Watford. We know that saying ‘no’ to new homes is not an option but we need to make sure we get the right sort of homes in the right places. That includes building more council houses for those families in our town who need them the most. I’m working to improve our public transport and infrastructure too.

“It is also vital that we have a fair and realistic housing target from central government.”

The council made its comments in a response to a consultation by the Planning Policy – part of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

There are a number of ongoing developments in Watford such as Riverwell and hundreds of homes given the go ahead in Sydney Road.

The council backed Watford Junction masterplan which will see around 3,000 homes built, including current proposals to develop The Range and TK Maxx in St Albans Road, is likely to be included within the local plan.