Climate change and sustainability to underpin draft of new Local Plan

Liberal Democrat-led St Albans district council is to forge ahead with the drafting of a new Local Plan that addresses issues such as climate change and sustainability.

The council’s executive cabinet agreed to withdraw the flawed plan drawn up under the previous Conservative administration at its meeting on 19 November.

The Local Plan earmarks land for future housing and commercial building as well as the infrastructure to support new developments.

New housing and growing economy
The council has now committed to producing another draft for the years to 2036 to help provide new housing and grow the local economy. Neighbouring councils, landowners, developers, residents and other groups will be extensively consulted.

The draft that emerges will then have to be approved by the full council and submitted to the Government for examination before being adopted.

Chris White, leader of St Albans council, said:
“Liberal Democrats are taking this opportunity to update what was already an out-of-date plan.

“We’ll be drafting the plan to make greater allowance for the climate emergency, including higher energy standards, green industries, electric vehicle charging and, of course, genuinely affordable housing.”

Jamie Day, the Lib-Dem portfolio holder for planning, said:
“We also have to bear in mind that the Government has proposed major changes to the planning system and that may alter the whole Local Plan system.

“However, that is some way off, so we will carry on with the challenge of creating a new Local Plan under the current rules and look to see if we can gain some cross-party support for this difficult but highly important endeavour.”

A timetable for work on the new draft will be given to a meeting of the council’s planning policy committee in December.

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