Dates have been set for a public consultation on St Albans City & District Council's Local Plan.

Subject to approval by the Planning Policy and Climate Committee, a public consultation will take place from next Wednesday (July 12) until September 25.

The council's draft Local Plan features a host of new schools, country parks that equal an area "about 10 times the size of Verulamium Park" and around 15,000 new homes.

Not all residents are impressed with the suggestions, with one local campaign group claiming that the local authority's draft plan uses "out-of-date data" and "must be withdrawn".


A meeting of St Albans City & District Council's Planning Policy and Climate Committee meeting last Monday (June 26) focussed on "the green belt review, site selection matters, and providing councillors with the proper context to make confident decisions on the Local Plan".

The committee's members will decide whether to proceed with a public consultation at their next meeting, on Monday (July 10).

The leader of St Albans City & District Council, Cllr Chris White, said: "I would like to thank members of the committee for their careful consideration of the complex matters involved, and their questions, comments, and suggestions.


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"At the next meeting on Monday, July 10, officers will provide additional information having considered their feedback so far.

“At this meeting councillors will consider proposals to go forward for the Local Plan Regulation 18 consultation.

"Subject to the committee’s approval, the public consultation on the draft Local Plan will run from July 12 to September 25.

“This will be a ten-and-a-half-week period of consultation, considerably longer than the minimum period of 6 weeks.

"This is to allow both for the school summer holiday period and a programme of exhibitions and surgeries to be held across the district in early September after the school holiday period ends.

“People who live and work in the district, community groups and businesses are all encouraged to give their views. We want to hear from as many people and organisations as possible. The feedback received will help shape the final proposals."

The Liberal Democrat councillor also took time to dispel "myths" surrounding the Local Plan.

He continued: "I have noticed that there are a few myths starting to circulate about the Local Plan, and I would like to repeat what I said at Monday’s meeting to ensure people understand the facts.

“The first myth is that some people are saying we can simply ignore Government policy requiring us to allow for 15,000 houses to be built in the district over the next 17 years.

"That is not the case. 

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

"However, the ministerial response made it clear that the Government’s policy stands.

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

"We will, of course, keep the situation under review.

“The second myth circulating is the suggestion that sustainability and efforts to tackle climate change are not at the heart of our Local Plan.

"This is simply wrong. The draft Local Plan states its first objective is to address climate change and this is a thread running throughout the plan because of its importance.”