St Albans Local Plan examination dates announced

St Albans district Cllr Jamie Day. Picture: Pete Stevens

St Albans district Cllr Jamie Day. Picture: Pete Stevens - Credit: Pete Stevens

The dates when inspectors will be examining the St Albans Local Plan have been announced.

A week of public hearings with inspectors Louise Crosby and Elaine Worthington will be opened on October 14 to decide if the Local Plan meets all legal and procedural requirements.

It has been developed by St Albans district council (SADC) to identify land that could be used for new developments, including 11 sites on the Green Belt and much in Redbourn ward.

Nearly 15,000 new homes are expected to be built around the district between 2020 and 2036.

The document was submitted to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government in March.

SADC planning portfolio holder, Cllr Jamie Day, said: "I am delighted we have now progressed with the Local Plan to the initial examination hearings stage.

"Producing a Local Plan is one of the most important tasks this council undertakes, and I am sure there will be a lot of interest from the public in the inspectors' work."

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Dates for the hearings may change and the schedule will only be available six weeks before it starts.

Any individuals or organisations who took part in the consultations can speak at the hearings if they request to do so.

The hearings will take place every weekday from October 14 to 25, at the SADC Chamber in the Civic Centre, St Peter's Street.

As part of the Local Plan process, SADC has created an Infrastructure Delivery Plan. This is an assessment of the roads, walking and cycling paths, public transport, schools, health clinics and open spaces that will accompany large developments.

SADC also asked independent consultants TRL to carry out a Sustainability Appraisal of all the policies in the Local Plan.

This is to judge if there will be any significant positive or negative impact on environmental, social and economic sustainability.

One of the development sites sits on the same land that is earmarked for a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange in Park Street.

An earlier version of the Local Plan, the Strategic Local Plan, was rejected in 2016 when it reached this stage, for failing to cooperate extensively enough with neighbouring authorities.