New Local Plan - FAQs

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What is the purpose of this consultation?

Your Council is writing a new Local Plan. It will show what can be built, and where, up to 2036. Further information can be found by watching a short video at

This stage of the plan process is referred to as a Regulation 19 Consultation. This is because Regulation 19 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) Regulations 2012 requires the publication of a Local Plan for comment from local communities and other stakeholders before it is submitted to the Secretary of State for public examination by an appointed Planning Inspector. The Inspector will determine during the course of the examination whether the Local Plan is sound and if it complies with all legal requirements.

If the Inspector finds the Local Plan sound, it can be adopted. Once adopted, the Local Plan will replace the 1994 District Local Plan Review.

When is the consultation?

The Council is consulting on the Publication Draft Local Plan from Tuesday 4 September 2018 to Wednesday 17 October 2018.

The deadline for submitting comments is Wednesday 17 October 2018 at 5pm.

Where can I view the documents?

The draft Local Plan and supporting documents can be viewed here or by clicking on the ‘Have Your Say’ image at

Copies of the consultation booklet and the draft Sustainability Appraisal Note can be viewed at a number of deposit points around the District. These are:

  • St Albans District Council offices
  • Harpenden Town Council offices
  • Colney Heath Parish Council offices
  • London Colney Parish Council offices
  • Redbourn Parish Council offices
  • St Stephen Parish Council offices
  • Sandridge Parish Council offices
  • Wheathampstead Parish Council offices
  • St Albans Library
  • Harpenden Library
  • London Colney Library
  • Marshalswick Library
  • Redbourn Library
  • Wheathampstead Library
  • Leverstock Green Library

Please check the opening hours before you visit.

How can I comment?

There is a special web consultation portal on the Council’s website - where you can give your views. Everyone is invited to contribute.

At this stage of the Local Plan Process, you will need to comment on specific policies and/or paragraphs of the Local Plan using the representation form provided. Please use a separate form for each policy or paragraph you are commenting on.

The Council must ask you if you think the Local Plan meets the “tests of soundness” set out in paragraph 35 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). These are as follows:

a) Positively prepared – providing a strategy which, as a minimum, seeks to meet the area’s objectively assessed needs; and is informed by agreements with other authorities, so that unmet need from neighbouring areas is accommodated where it is practical to do so and is consistent with achieving sustainable development; 

b) Justified – an appropriate strategy, taking into account the reasonable alternatives, and based on proportionate evidence; 

c) Effective – deliverable over the plan period, and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic matters that have been dealt with rather than deferred, as evidenced by the statement of common ground; and 

d) Consistent with national policy – enabling the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in this Framework.

Information on how to complete the representation form can be viewed here.

If you submit a representation, please let us know if you wish to be notified of any of the following stages:

a.when the Strategic Local Plan is submitted for independent examination 

b.when the Inspector’s Report is published

c.when the Strategic Local Plan is adopted.

Why should I use the consultation portal?

The best way for you to make comments is by using the online consultation system, “Objective”, which can be accessed via

Making comments online:

  • Is easy – the online consultation is relatively straightforward and easy to use

  • Saves time – you can view or download documents / comment online anytime, anywhere

  • Keeps you informed – you can keep track of how your comments are processed

  • Is environmentally friendly – the electronic system saves paper

  • Provides access to live feedback – you can view and search comments made by others

Is the Council at liberty to decide all elements of its Local Plan?

St Albans City and District Council is required to have a Local Plan. The Council does not, however, have free rein to decide its Local Plan. It must comply with the law and Government policy, in particular the related National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG). A Local Plan must also comply with planning case law and be based on proportionate and justifiable evidence. While still largely effective, the current Local Plan dates from 1994 and is one of the oldest in England. The law and national policy is clear that achieving what people want, and resisting what they do not, requires a new Local Plan.

What happens next?

At the close of the publication period, all valid representations will be considered by the Council and submitted for independent public examination at the next stage of the Local Plan process.

To view St Albans City & District Council’s full privacy notices please visit