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St Albans Council not listening on Local Plan Green Belt threat

Thursday, 12 March 2015 11:17

Green Belt SW of Redbourn Green Belt SW of Redbourn David Mitchell

Countryside campaigners CPRE Hertfordshire are concerned that St Albans Council intends to ignore criticisms of its disastrous attempt to impose flawed Housing Targets, with consequential development in the Green Belt.

The Council has badly misinterpreted National Planning Policy in setting the Plan’s Housing Target of nearly 9,000 new houses by 2031.  The Council is not listening judging from Council Leader Julian Daly’s response that ‘the extent of the opposition was to be expected’, rather than ‘we understand what the objectors are saying and are considering what changes may be needed to the draft Plan’!  

CPRE Herts. Hon. Director, Kevin FitzGerald says:
‘The Council is unnecessarily threatening the District’s precious Green Belt with proposals that conflict with national policy.  This is despite a series of Government policy statements and Planning Guidance updates over the last year or so that a Green Belt District like St Albans is able to set lower targets.  The Council is putting at risk the efforts of generations of their predecessors to protect the Green Belt that has helped retain the character of St Albans, Harpenden and the district’s villages for over half a century.’

Kevin continues:
‘I repeat what I said in November when the Local Plan came out for consultation, local politicians have been drawn into statements that the Council has no choice on the scale of future house building in St Albans, or whether there are alternatives to ‘greenfield’ development, but this is not true.’ 

Kevin concludes:
‘It is vital that the Council re-considers its Housing Targets now in the light of national policy, before it is too late for the threatened communities across the District.’
CPRE Herts response to the Local Plan consultation is on its website

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