Councillors from St Albans City and District Council will meet next month to decide whether to support a draft Local Plan (LP) that identifies land in the St Albans District for future development.
The Council’s 58 members will vote on whether to formally publish the draft for consultation at their meeting on Wednesday, July 11.
If they decide to do so, the LP will be sent out for a six-week public consultation during the autumn.
Provided no major changes are necessary, it will be submitted for examination in March by a Planning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
The draft LP covers the year 2020 to 2036 and earmarks land for housing, commercial building and infrastructure.
It conforms to a Government proposal that 913 new homes a year – 14,608 in total – should be built during that period.
Over the last few months, the Council’s Planning Policy Committee has considered over 150 potential development sites. The Plan, if agreed, will show 11 new sites for development in the Green Belt.
Members of the Council’s Cabinet recommended the draft to Full Council at its meeting on Thursday, June 21.
Councillor Mary Maynard, Portfolio Holder for Planning, said afterwards: “We have now reached a pivotal point in the Local Plan process.
“It is now up to the Full Council to decide whether to publish the Plan for a wide consultation.
“If the Plan is rejected, there is a danger that the Secretary of State will intervene and order his officials to draw up the District’s Plan instead.
“I’m convinced we have produced a Plan that causes the least realistically-possible harm to the Green Belt and allows for the creation of much-needed new homes, many of which will be affordable. It also provides for the infrastructure, such as schools and health clinics that is required to support our communities.
“I very much hope that Full Council backs it so that the task of shaping our Local Plan remains in the hands of locally-elected representatives.”
The Council carried out consultation earlier this year as the LP was drafted.
This included 14 exhibitions, staffed by planning officers, at venues throughout the District. A booklet explaining the issues was delivered to houses and a video was produced.
Residents, businesses, neighbouring local authorities, landowners and community groups were all encouraged to provide feedback.
The papers for the Cabinet meeting, including a copy of the draft LP, are available here: http://stalbans.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=117&MId=8526