We are in the consultation phase for the new Local Development Framework for St Albans - what used to be called the Structure Plan when I was small. Sites for supermarkets? Where could a new school go? Do we have to build on the Green Belt? The final document produced from this process will help define the answers.
There have been a number of local meetings to give residents the opportunity to hear straight from the horse's mouth - or Chris Brazier and Robert Donald to give them their proper names. The one in the Homewood Road church hall in Marshalswick was particularly well attended, so was the meeting organised by the Sopwell Residents' Association in the Marlborough Pavilion. Tonight I am going to the meeting for Colney Heath which is happening at the Charles Morris Hall in Tyttenhanger Green. The Liberal Democrats also organised a "pasta and politics" evening (see photo above) where Cllr Melvyn Teare and Peter Trevelyan of the Civic Society talked about the complementary work being done to create a "City Vision" for the centre of St Albans.
Do we move the City Museum? Where might a cinema go? Chould the chaotic and unsightly Drovers Way area be redeveloped to provide a new network of shopping streets? What happens to St Peters Street? You can see a detailed exhibition of the City Vision work in one of the Maltings shop units opposite Costa Coffee until 26th September. The council's website has all the documentation on the Local Development Framework - see it here. It's really important that local residents comment - either by downloading the questionnaire and filling it in, or by completing the survey on-line. The more involvement can be demonstrated, the more robust the plan will be when it comes to final approval by the Inspector. And if the plan clearly shows for example that London Road is not the right place for a giant Tesco superstore and that this has been endorsed by local residents, that will enormously strengthen the council's hand.