Fears sun could be setting on St Albans Green Belt

Is the sun setting on St Albans' Green Belt?

Is the sun setting on St Albans' Green Belt? This site, on 11 acres of arable land dividing Park Street from St Stephen's, is threatened by 95 homes. - Credit: Paul King

A proposed Green Belt housing scheme on land just outside of St Albans has received a fresh push by developers.

Plans have been submitted for 95 homes on 11 acres of arable land dividing Park Street from St Stephen's. Situated south of the old M10 roundabout - opposite the BP garage - the land has long since been regarded as an important separator of the two communities.

Although a decision by St Albans district council (SADC) is pending, M Scott Properties have submitted fresh documents to attempt to address the numerous and widespread concerns from both residents and statutory authorities, leading to an extension for comments and objections.

Paul King, who established pressure group Greenbelt to fight such developments, said: “This land has never been on the council’s list of sites for development, due to its value in meeting the objectives of the Green Belt and avoiding the coalescence of communities. If this application is successful it will drive a coach and horses through the Local Plan and see the sun set across, not just this, but other similar Green Belt spaces around St Albans.”

Similar applications have been made elsewhere in the district, including Chiswell Green and northern St Albans, with campaign groups Keep Chiswell Green and CLASH fighting similar battles against development.

Paul added: “The developers and land owners are in it to make money, and have little care for the community and the environment that will be left behind. We are reliant on the resoluteness of the planning department to uphold the local plan, albeit quite dated, along with the local politicians. It is very disappointing that our local MP has refused to support our campaign and very much hope that the district councillors will be more in touch with the community’s views.”

Watling Street resident Chris Martin said: “One day we will come to a point when we realise that we have gone too far in destroying our green spaces, we may have already reached that point but do not yet realise it. The Green Belt will never be reclaimed and more housing doesn’t just house more people, it encourages more people to be housed, and so the decline continues.”

Anyone concerned about the development can email Paul on greenbelt@gmx.com, search Facebook for Greenbelt St Albans, and also object by July 4 via SADC's planning portal, searching for planning application 5/2022/0267.