Draft Local Plan withdrawn
A draft Local Plan (LP) that identified land for development in St Albans District has been withdrawn.
St Albans City and District Council will now start afresh on a new LP that will focus more on climate change and sustainability.
A decision to withdraw the draft was made by the Council’s Cabinet at its meeting on Thursday 19 November.
It followed issues raised by Government-appointed Planning Inspectors about some of the content and the way it was prepared.
An LP earmarks land for future housing and commercial building as well as the infrastructure to support new developments.
The Council is committed to producing another draft for the years to 2036 to help provide new housing and grow the local economy.
There will be extensive consultations with neighbouring Councils, landowners, developers, residents and other groups.
The draft that emerges will then have to be approved by Full Council and submitted to the Government for an examination before it is adopted.
A timetable for work on the new draft will be given to a meeting of the Council’s Planning Policy Committee next month.
Councillor Jamie Day, Portfolio Holder for Planning, said:
We felt we had little choice but to withdraw the draft given the disappointing response of the Planning Inspectors.
By starting anew, we have an opportunity to better address issues which have become ever more pressing since the withdrawn draft was composed.
These include the need to recognise the impact of climate change and the need to ensure any new developments will meet strong sustainability standards.
We also have to bear in mind that the Government has proposed major changes to the planning system and that may alter the whole Local Plan system.
However, that is some way off, so we will carry on with the challenge of creating a new LP under the current rules and look to see if we can gain some cross-party support for this difficult but highly important endeavour.
Councillor Jamie Day, Portfolio Holder for Planning for St Albans City and District Council: firstname.lastname@example.org.