What is your vision for the future of our city?

St Peter's Street, St Albans city centre.

St Peter's Street, St Albans city centre. - Credit: Archant

St Albans residents and businesses are being asked to get involved in the creation of a legally recognised 'St Albans Vision for the future'.

A joint venture is being formed between the St Albans BID, the Civic Society, residents and businesses of the city, which will become a neighbourhood forum.

They will then create a neighbourhood plan - the vision for the city centre - which can be enforced by the local planning authority.

President of the St Albans Civic Society Tim Boatswain said: “With all the changes that have happened to the high street because of new shopping habits, the coronavirus pandemic and the easing of planning controls, it is crucial we have a vision of what our city centre should look like in the future.

"Otherwise, the danger is, there will be arbitrary and poor quality development that will blight St Albans for the next generation. I am delighted to be chairing a BID steering group to establish a neighbourhood forum which will, through wide consultation, seek to create a plan for the city centre that reflects the values and wishes of the people of St Albans.”

Portfolio holder for business and a BID board director Cllr Mandy McNeil said: “Pre COVID-19, the Civic Society - which champions our heritage city, together with businesses, workers and residents frustrated by no cohesive vision since 2009 - were lobbying for a representative vision for our city, which gave them a voice and had teeth.

"I was delighted when my colleagues tasked me to help move this forward. SADC partnered with the BID and Tim Boatswain for the first vision conference last June.

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"The best people to make a plan for our city are those who live and work here. It’s an inclusive process, I encourage everyone who is passionate about our city to get involved as this is a powerful tool for our community to shape our amazing city.”

Mike Nuttall, of Must Wines in George Street, said: “In these uncertain times it is even more important for local businesses, societies, residents and local government to work effectively together. This is a terrific platform for us all to create something even more special about wonderful St Albans.”

If you are interested in becoming a member of St Albans City Centre Forum, or finding out more, contact stalbansvision@gmail.com