St Albans Council’s Strategic Local Plan draws hundreds of comments on development

Highfield Park, St Albans

Highfield Park, St Albans - Credit: Archant

Over 300 people and organisations have responded to St Albans district council’s six-week consultation on its revised draft Strategic Local Plan, which ended on February 19.

There were mixed views on the document, including:

• Maddox Associates, on behalf of Goodman, are seeking the release of Green Belt land at Roehyde, near Hatfield, for a pharmaceutical, bioscience, engineering and logistics park, as “St Albans has identified virtually no land for net growth in employment uses”.

• One resident said the council had “not properly taken into account the plans of neighbouring Welwyn to build more than 2,400 homes along the road running between north west Hatfield and St Albans, and the proposal to build 1,410 dwellings in a rural situation (Symondshyde) between Welwyn Garden City and Sandridge”.

• She said the authority had “failed to co-operate pro-actively with Herts county council over the possibility of using the site at [Park Street] for housing rather than the Strategic Rail Freight Terminal. It has been confirmed by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis that an existing planning permission for the terminal does not preclude other planning applications being received. The council has not explored this possibility, which could make a very significant contribution to its targets for increased housing over the next 25 years.”

• An unimpressed man boldly stated: “I believe there are sufficient legal grounds to throw out the proposed plan” while another suggested that Highfield Park be taken out of the Green Belt for development.

• The council’s executive leader, Cllr Julian Daly, said there would be an initial discussion on the responses at a meeting in April.