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Local Plan for St Albans District remains on schedule

Publication date:

A blueprint for St Albans District’s future growth is on schedule with a public consultation to be held this autumn.

St Albans City and District Council is producing a Local Plan (LP) which identifies land suitable for infrastructure, commercial and housing development as well as new green spaces.

A progress report on the LP was given to a meeting of the Council’s Planning Policy and Climate Committee on Tuesday 25 June.

Councillors were informed that the draft LP is being amended following a major public consultation last year.

The amended draft may include some new sites that have been suggested as suitable for development. It may also exclude some sites that were put forward but have been deemed less suitable on further examination.

This revised draft will be published in October and then undergo a two-month consultation when residents, businesses, community groups and other organisations can give their views.

All feedback will once again be considered and it will then have to undergo an examination by a Government-appointed Planning Inspector before it can be adopted.

The draft LP will allow for the building of 15,000 new homes in the years to 2041, a figure that meets the current Government requirement.

Councillor Paul De Kort, the Council Leader and Committee Chair, said after the meeting:

There is a lot of speculation that this housing figure might be reduced after the General Election and we should pause the LP process until that is clarified.

However, the expert advice we have is that it is in our best interests to continue to proceed at pace according to the current rules. 

The Government has been watching our attempts to produce a new LP very closely, threatening to intervene if we do not make swift progress.

It is far better if locally-elected representatives decide on the details of our LP rather than Whitehall which will not have a feel for the area. It is also vital that we establish an effective defence against piecemeal development proposals which do not meet the needs of our local communities.

The LP is an evolving document and should the housing requirement change, we can make appropriate revisions.

The delivery of more social housing and a commitment to address the housing and climate crisis is at the heart of the LP. New developments will be required to be sustainable and to support the delivery of substantial new homes for social rent. 

Other priorities are the delivery of more social housing, jobs, schools, GP surgeries, public transport, cycle paths, play areas and parks.

The LP is also designed to grow the local economy, providing thousands of high-quality jobs, and promote equality, inclusion and fairness.

Media contact: John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer: 01727- 819533;