The City and District of St Albans has issued a ‘call for sites’ to inform the update of their new Local Plan for the area. Submissions are invited for all land uses including residential, employment, retail and also land that could be suitable for biodiversity improvement or to provide Green Belt compensatory land. Site promotions must be submitted to the Council by 8th March 2021 to be considered for allocation.
St Albans has a high housing number to meet and the review of the Local Plan must allocate enough sites to meet housing needs for the next 15-20 years. A timetable for the review of the Local Plan has also been published; an early consultation is likely to take place at the beginning of 2022, with the Plan progressing to adoption by the end of 2023.
The Council has the unwelcome distinction of having the most out of date Plan in the country. Having failed in their duty to cooperate with their neighbours, St Albans had to withdraw their emerging Local Plan at the Examination stage late last year. This also means that they have not been making housing allocations and are therefore failing to meet demand.
This is a key opportunity to get sites in front of the Council right at the beginning of the local plan review process. Additionally, given the Council’s poor housing delivery and lack of up to date planning policies, there may be scope to pursue planning applications at this time.
Bell Cornwell planners have excellent knowledge of the St Albans area and we would be delighted to advise you further on the most appropriate way forward for your sites on a case by case basis.