St Albans Local Plan to be submitted to the Secretary of State

Cllr Maynard with the draft Local Plan. Picture: SADC

Cllr Maynard with the draft Local Plan. Picture: SADC - Credit: Archant

The controversial blueprint for St Albans’ future development has been approved for submission to the government.

St Albans district council (SADC) have approved its draft Local Plan, outlining where 15,000 new houses and related infrastructure will be built in the district before 2036.

Much of the land sacrificed to development is classified as Green Belt and near the boundary with Dacorum Borough Council.

A meeting of the SADC cabinet on Thursday, March 21 has now agreed to send it to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire.

He will appoint an examiner, who is likely to hold a public hearing later this year to decide if the Local Plan is legal and therefore “sound”. If it passes this stage, it will need to be adopted by SADC before it comes into force.

A previous document, the Strategic Local Plan, was thrown out of High Court in 2017 after problems with neighbouring boroughs meant the document was “unsound”.

SADC leader Cllr Alec Campbell said: “The production of a Local Plan is one of the most challenging and complex tasks that a council has to undertake.

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“I’m delighted that we have reached this milestone, overcoming the many obstacles in our way, and will now submit the draft to the Secretary of State.

“I very much valued the cross-party co-operation and support in completing the plan.”

SADC has also made an ever-evolving Infrastructure Delivery Plan to assess the major facilities needed for new developments, including roads, walking and cycling paths, public transport, schools, health clinics and recreational open spaces.

Portfolio holder for planning, Cllr Mary Maynard, said it is a “huge moment”: “It’s important for people to realise that we are also addressing in detail the infrastructure needs that will come with new housing or commercial developments.”

She described the Infrastructure Delivery Plan, which includes 14 new primaries and three secondaries, as “a fluid document that will constantly be assessed and updated in the years to come as it becomes clearer exactly what is needed”.

To view the Local Plan, visit