Herts Ad Comment: Why we must not bury our heads in the sand over St Albans Local Plan
PUBLISHED: 18:00 10 January 2018
Let’s get one thing clear from the outset, thousands of new homes have to be built across the district and insisting otherwise is futile.
The council’s new Local Plan has been designed to identify those sites which SADC believes will have the minimum impact on the Green Belt, while still hitting the Government’s target for new homes.
Without doubt, there are going to be a lot of people unhappy with the eight sites already earmarked for development, and just wait until landowners come forward with additional locations to add to this mix...
Unfortunately, decades of house building inactivity has led to a massive shortfall in properties, especially affordable homes and social housing, which SADC needs to rectify over the next 20 years. What we now need to do is ensure these 15,000 new homes are in the best locations, and accompanied by the necessary infrastructure. We certainly aren’t in a position to kick up a stink and insist they shouldn’t be built - that ship has long since sailed.
NIMBYism will unquestionably be rife throughout this whole consultation process, as residents realise the implications of thousands of new homes on their doorsteps, but at the end of the day these developments have to be built somewhere, and there will always be people unhappy at the final decision.
Have your say on the plans
St Albans district council (SADC) has printed 60,000 postal surveys asking where new homes should be built, what sort of houses are needed, and how business growth should be supported.
There is also a five minute video, 14 exhibitions in community halls, and a call to landowners for possible sites.
The district we know will be forever changed over the next 20 years, as these new properties dramatically transform certain sections of the community, but if managed correctly this doesn’t have to be to our detriment.
New housing developments could result in the end of the much-loathed rail freight scheme, allow for a new football stadium, ensure our children and their children are able to live in the communities where they grew up, and bring about much-needed improvements in infrastructure.
Preserving the status quo is no longer an option, but being involved in the process of change is, and we would urge everyone who cares about how the district is going to develop in the decades to come to have their say during the consultation process.