Local Plan to be submitted to Secretary of State

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News release: 22 March 2019
A Local Plan identifying land for future development in St Albans District is to be submitted to the Government for examination.

The draft was drawn up by St Albans City and District Council after extensive consultation with residents, community groups, businesses and neighbouring local authorities.

A meeting of the Council’s Cabinet on Thursday 21 March agreed to send it to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire.

He will now appoint an examiner who is likely to hold a public hearing later this year to decide if the Local Plan can be considered “sound” by meeting all legal requirements. 

If the Local Plan passes this stage, it will need to be adopted by the Council before it comes into force. 

The draft pinpoints areas suitable for new housing, commercial building and infrastructure from 2020 to 2036.

It 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. 

These include roads, walking and cycling paths, public transport, schools, health clinics and open spaces for recreation.

The Infrastructure Delivery Plan is a ‘live’ document that will change over time as more information emerges about the potential developments. It was also part of two public consultations last year alongside the Local Plan.

Councillor Alec Campbell, the Council’s Leader, said: “The production of a Local Plan is one of the most challenging and complex tasks that a Council has to undertake.

“I’m delighted that we have reached this milestone, overcoming the many obstacles in our way, and will now submit the draft to the Secretary of State.

“I very much valued the cross-party co-operation and support in completing the plan.

“We have worked hard to ensure this Local Plan, which meets the Government’s own proposed housing target for our area, will be judged to be sound and will come into force. This included listening to and working with neighbouring authorities and Hertfordshire County Council to meet our duty to cooperate obligations.”

Councillor Mary Maynard, Portfolio Holder for Planning, said: “The Local Plan shapes the future of the District for some decades to come, so this is a huge moment for us all.

“It’s important for people to realise that we are also addressing in detail the infrastructure needs that will come with new housing or commercial developments.

“Besides the Local Plan, we have an Infrastructure Delivery Plan to ensure that new developments are fully supported by all the physical and social facilities that they need such as roads, schools and green spaces.

“That delivery plan already contains provision for 14 new primary schools and three new secondary ones.  It is a fluid document that will constantly be assessed and updated in the years to come as it becomes clearer exactly what is needed.”

To view the Local Plan and find out more about it, please see: https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/planning/thelocalplan.aspx.

Councillor contacts:
Cllr Alec Campbell, Leader of St Albans City and District Council. Tel: 07793 550200; email: cllr.a.campbell@stalbans.gov.uk
Cllr Mary Maynard, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Building Control, St Albans City and District Council. Tel: 01582 620801. Email: cllr.m.maynard@stalbans.gov.uk

Media contact: 
John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City and District Council. Tel: 01727 296130