St Albans Council's Local Plan "will fail" according to a group of local campaigners.

'CLASH' (Campaign by Locals Against Sewell Housing) claims that the local authority's draft plan uses "out-of-date data" and "must be withdrawn".

Details of St Albans City & District Council's draft Local Plan were revealed last Monday (June 19).

A host of new schools, country parks that equal "about 10 times the size of Verulamium Park" and around 15,000 new homes have all been included.


CLASH argue that the council does not need to find land for 15,000 new homes in the area, as "government targets are not mandatory".

The campaign group also argue that "the cost of lost Green Belt is disproportionate".

Lastly, CLASH have requested that the council withdraw the document, and "deliver a Local Plan building on the aims already stated in the New Local Plan process, those of protecting Green Belt, not using the standard method, delivering a comprehensive Brownfield first strategy and prioritising the declared climate emergency".


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In response, the leader of St Albans City & District Council, Cllr Chris White, said: "People who live and work in the district, community groups including CLASH and businesses will all be encouraged to give their views when the first Local Plan consultation begins next month.

“We want to hear from as many people and organisations as possible and the feedback we receive will help shape our final proposals.

“There are, though, a number of myths that are circulating which CLASH and everyone else should be aware of.

“It is wrong to suggest that we should ignore Government policy requiring us to allow for 15,000 houses to be built in the district over the next 17 years.

Herts Advertiser: The leader of St Albans City & District Council, Cllr Chris White.The leader of St Albans City & District Council, Cllr Chris White. (Image: Chris White)

“I challenged this requirement in a letter to the Secretary of State, arguing the figure should be much lower.

“However, the Ministerial response was quite clear that the Government’s policy stood.

“Specifically, the Government sets out the requirement to calculate local housing need using 2014 national household growth projections.

“That we have used the Government figures is set out in a report to the Committee – as is the fact that we have challenged the Government on these figures and that we will keep the situation under review.

“The suggestion that sustainability and efforts to tackle climate change are not at the heart of our Local Plan is also simply erroneous as is clear in the Committee reports.

“The draft Local Plan states its first objective is climate change and that it is addressed as a thread running throughout the Local Plan because of its importance. 

"Indeed, chapter two is called the Climate Emergency and wholly addresses that issue.”