Council takes steps towards its Local Plan public consultation
St Albans City and District Council is moving forward with its Local Plan, preparing for its Regulation 18 public consultation later this summer.
The focus of the Planning Policy and Climate Committee meeting on Monday 26 June was the green belt review, site selection matters, and providing Councillors with the proper context to make confident decisions on the Local Plan.
Councillor Chris White, Chair of the Planning Policy and Climate Committee said:
I would like to thank members of the Committee for their careful consideration of the complex matters involved, and their questions, comments, and suggestions. At the next meeting on Monday 10 July officers will provide additional information having considered their feedback so far.
At this meeting Councillors will consider proposals to go forward for the Local Plan Regulation 18 consultation. Subject to the Committee’s approval, the public consultation on the draft Local Plan will run from 12 July to 25 September.
This will be a ten-and-a-half-week period of consultation, considerably longer than the minimum period of 6 weeks. This is to allow both for the school summer holiday period and a programme of exhibitions and surgeries to be held across the District in early September after the school holiday period ends.
People who live and work in the District, community groups and businesses are all encouraged to give their views. We want to hear from as many people and organisations as possible. The feedback received will help shape the final proposals.
I have noticed that there are a few myths starting to circulate about the Local Plan, and I would like to repeat what I said at Monday’s meeting to ensure people understand the facts.
The first myth is that some people are saying we can simply ignore Government policy requiring us to allow for 15,000 houses to be built in the District over the next 17 years. That is not the case.
I challenged this requirement in a letter to the Secretary of State, arguing the figure should be much lower. However, the Ministerial response made it clear that the Government’s policy stands. Specifically, the Government sets out the requirement to calculate local housing need using 2014 national household growth projections. We will, of course, keep the situation under review.
The second myth circulating is the suggestion that sustainability and efforts to tackle climate change are not at the heart of our Local Plan. This is simply wrong.
The draft Local Plan states its first objective is to address climate change and this is a thread running throughout the Plan because of its importance.
The papers for the meeting on Monday 26 June can be found here.
Media Contact: John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, 01727-819533, email@example.com.