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CLASH: St Albans action group launch legal challenge against council over green belt development

 Published on: 11th February 2022   |   By: Holly Bullen   |   Category: Uncategorized

A group fighting a housing development which threatens green belt land to the north of St Albans has lodged a legal challenge against the council.

The group, CLASH (Campaign by Locals Against Sewell Housing), has repeatedly fought the plans proposing to build 150 dwellings off Harpenden Road, which were approved last year.

Now the group have submitted an open letter to St Albans City & District Council (SADC), outlining their five grounds to challenge the development and calling for them to take wider action to prevent green belt development.

In the open letters, campaigners said: “This legal challenge is the latest step in our campaign to put a stop to plans that will harm local wildlife and biodiversity, causing huge issues through overwhelming local services and infrastructure, increasing traffic congestion and worsening air pollution in North St Albans.

“Our campaign has reached a critical point after St Albans District Council performed an almighty U-turn last year, approving the building of 150 homes on Green Belt land close to the much-loved Heartwood Forest.”

Speaking to StAlbansNews, Gee Smedley discussed the group’s wider action to protect green belt land across Hertfordshire.

She said: “What we as CLASH want to do on top of what we are doing here is work with other groups locally.

“There are solutions we can explore together as a community to make sure we protect all of the spaces in our green belt.

“The green belt off Harpenden Road has been protected for the best part of 70 years so there’s no reason for it not to continue to be protected.”

SADC declined to comment, as they understand legal proceedings are underway.

CLASH has also launched a crowdfunding page to help raise £50,000 to pay for the legal challenge. You can donate here.

You can sign a petition against the development here.

Campaigners also recorded a video highlighting the area they want to protect, which can be viewed here.

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