Work progressing on 1,000 home Redbourn development despite rejection from St Albans Local Plan

PUBLISHED: 12:00 31 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:00 31 October 2018

The land proposed for development.

The land proposed for development.

Archant

A charitable trust is pushing forward with its proposal to build 1,000 homes by Redbourn despite the plans being omitted from St Albans Local Plan.

The development site proposed by Rothamsted Research and Lawes Agricultural Trust. Picture: Google MapsThe development site proposed by Rothamsted Research and Lawes Agricultural Trust. Picture: Google Maps

Lawes Agricultural Trust (LAT) and Rothamsted Research first proposed the site as part of the St Albans district council (SADC) Local Plan call for sites, but it was rejected - despite being called “exemplary” by planning portfolio holder Cllr Mary Maynard.

The land lies to the north east of Redbourn on fields known as Black Horse, Bylands, Meadow, Osier and Ver.

Regardless, LAT are continuing to develop the proposal and has asked SADC to reconsider.

LAT says its own technical evaluations are keeping pace with official SADC assessments to make a potential late swap-in as quick and smooth as possible.

The development site proposed by Rothamsted Research and Lawes Agricultural Trust. Picture: Google MapsThe development site proposed by Rothamsted Research and Lawes Agricultural Trust. Picture: Google Maps

The development would include a two-form entry primary school, a pedestrian link for sections of the Nickey Line, and a 70 vehicle car park by Redbourn High Street.

Forty per cent of the homes would be affordable, and seventy per cent of those would be social rented. Half of the 44.1ha land would be designated as a public River Valley Countryside Park.

Chief executive of LAT, Peter Oxley, said it wants to be part of a sustainable future for Redbourn: “As a local charitable trust, we do not face the same pressures as other developers to satisfy shareholders or investors. This means that we can take the time to deliver a high-quality place for new and existing residents.

“We have a clear vision for the whole site and how it can complement Redbourn. To put it simply, this is not just about building homes.”

A map of the development site proposed by Rothamsted Research and Lawes Agricultural Trust. Picture: SADCA map of the development site proposed by Rothamsted Research and Lawes Agricultural Trust. Picture: SADC

See the proposals on November 12 from 11.30am to 4pm and November 13 from 4.30pm to 8.00pm at Redbourn Village Hall.

Director and chief executive of Rothamsted Research, Achim Dobermann, said income from this development would help Rothamsted Research to fund its experiments.

Cllr Maynard said: “The councillors agreed on our methodology [in the call for sites] and then officers ran every site through that methodology to establish which sites would be chosen to achieve the housing and employment numbers that we are required to. Sites wouldn’t be swapped by us now, a change wouldn’t be anything we would initiate. It would be something which comes from discussions with the inspector. I have no more comment on any one site.”

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