A public inquiry will hear two planning cases for "hundreds of homes" near Chiswell Green.

The inquiry began yesterday (Monday, April 17) and will last around eight days.

The Cala Homes and Polo Fields plans would see dwellings constructed on Green Belt land bordering the village.

St Albans City and District Council has previously refused planning permission for the cases, but both decisions have been appealed.


A number of local residents, including the 'Keep Chiswell Green' action group and the Conservative parliamentary spokesperson for St Albans, all spoke during the first day of the inquiry.

The Conservative Party's Clare De Silva said: “Over the past ten months I have spoken to thousands of constituents across St Albans, and in particular in Chiswell Green.

"Despite trekking down almost every road surrounding the sites we are discussing today, I have not met a single person in favour of these developments.

"Even to the untrained eye, it is abundantly clear from the sheer number of posters and boards in almost every window of every house, that these developments are neither wanted, nor appropriate for the area.

"The concerned residents that I have met are reasonable, environmentally aware and passionate about the area they live in.


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"They are keen to ensure that the next generation in St Albans have good homes to live in, but they are acutely aware that these proposals will not meet this need.

"The houses suggested in this case will not be affordable for local people in need of homes (even the so-called affordable ones) and they will not ease the housing pressure.

"In fact, they will add to it by encouraging people from more urban areas to move to St Albans and add even more strain to our infrastructure.

"The land in question is firmly part of the Green Belt.

"Providing a unique environment for flora and fauna and forming a beautiful and natural barrier between one settlement and the next.

"Local people have impressed upon me the value of this land in terms of quality of life and the importance of maintaining the biodiversity offered by green belt land.

"Once this is gone, it’s gone forever.

"Most concerningly however, is the precedent that allowing these plans to go through will set, opening the door to future developments which will inevitably destroy the character of Chiswell Green and St Albans as they gradually merge into the greater London area.”