Herts Ad Comment: SADC to blame for new village

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Herts Ad comment... - Credit: Archant

Given the lack of joined-up thinking between St Albans district council and neighbouring authorities, it comes as little surprise that Welwyn and Hatfield council is pushing ahead with its district plan with no regard for the impact here.

After all, there was every opportunity for council leader Julian Daly to extend the olive branch over recent months, especially given SADC’s crushing rebuke over its own draft Local Plan, but instead it seems he would rather spend your money in fighting a legal challenge.

How difficult would it have been for there to have been meaningful, respectful and reflective discussions between Welwyn Hatfield and St Albans over plans to build a staggering 1,130 homes on Green Belt land in Symonshyde?

There could at the very least have been a degree of compromise, whereas now local residents are faced with the grim future of watching their unspoilt countrywide be developed beyond all recognition.

This newspaper has been pushing for better links between St Albans district council and its neighbouring authorities since last autumn, but our pleas continually fall on deaf ears.

Now we are beginning to reap the bitter harvest we have sowed, the first steps towards the coalescence of St Albans and Hatfield, and a complete transformation of the lifestyles of those people who live on the doorstep of this development.

The blame for this lies squarely with the ruling administration of St Albans district council for pursuing a tunnel-visioned and insular strategic plan which basically stuck two fingers up at Dacorum, Welwyn Hatfield and Hertsmere.

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So now that same gesture is being reflected back, one has to wonder whether the realisation of what they have done is finally hitting home in the corridors of the Civic Centre?

Unfortunately as this year there will be no district council elections, the residents of Sandridge and Wheathampstead have no opportunity to give a bloody nose to those councillors responsible for this mess.

Instead they are left with the possibility of seeing their communities devastated by this development, and at the end of the day they only have SADC to blame.