Local Plan Examination dates
Dates for the initial examination hearing for St Albans City and District Council’s Local Plan have been announced.
Inspectors Louise Crosby and Elaine Worthington are due to open the hearing on the week starting Monday 14 October. It will run every week day until Friday 25 October.
The hearings are an important part of the Local Plan (LP) process and will be open to the public.
They will be held at the Council Chamber in the Civic Centre, St Peter’s Street, and will be webcast live on the Council’s website.
The Inspectors are due to decide if the LP is “sound” in that it meets all legal and procedural requirements. To do so, they will look at the key issues involved and the way it was prepared.
Individuals and organisations who submitted representations during the consultation stage are entitled to speak if they have requested to do so.
The dates are subject to change with more details about the content of the hearings, including the schedule and topics, being made available at least six weeks before the start.
An LP identifies land that could be used for future housing, commercial and infrastructure development as well as environmental protection.
The draft was drawn up by the Council after extensive consultation with residents, community groups, businesses and neighbouring local authorities.
It was published last year and submitted in March to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government who appointed the Inspectors.
Councillor Jamie Day, Portfolio Holder for Planning, said:
I am delighted we have now progressed with the Local Plan to the initial examination hearings stage.
Producing a Local Plan is one of the most important tasks this Council undertakes, and I am sure there will be a lot of interest from the public in the Inspectors’ work.
The draft LP covers the years 2020 to 2036 and conforms to a Government standard that 913 new homes a year – 14,608 in total – should be built during that period.
Eleven sites in the Green Belt to provide some of the new homes and employment centres have been put forward.
As part of the Local Plan process, the Council has also set out an Infrastructure Delivery Plan. This is an assessment of the major facilities that will be required to support new developments including roads, walking and cycling paths, public transport, schools, health clinics and open spaces.
In addition, the Council asked independent consultants TRL to carry out a Sustainability Appraisal of all the policies in the new LP.
This assesses whether the LP is likely to have any significant impact - positive or negative - on environmental, social and economic sustainability. This may allow for improvements to be made.
For more information about the LP, see: www.stalbans.gov.uk/planning/Planningpolicy/.
Councillor Jamie Day,
Portfolio Holder for Planning for St Albans City and District Council
Principal Communications Officer,
St Albans City and District Council