New public consultation : St Albans District new Local Plan

Introduction

Following the formal withdrawal of its previously-proposed Local Plan, St Albans District Council (SADC) has started the process of preparing a new Local Plan. The new Local Plan will set planning policy for the next 15 years. It is mostly about land usage, what is built and where.

At the SADC Planning Policy committee meeting of 8th December 2020, it was agreed that members should consult their local Parish Council and its residents on their views and priorities for the new Local Plan. Cllr. Jamie Day is one of our district councillors and is also the SADC Planning portfolio holder.

Colney Heath Parish Council is keen that the views of our residents are taken into consideration when the plan is being prepared. This is your chance to help shape the future of Colney Heath Parish, and St Albans more widely.

Please respond to this questionnaire by Wednesday 27th January, so that the information can be considered at the 2nd February 2021 Planning Policy committee meeting.

Background

Good planning helps to create a vibrant and desirable place to live. This consultation with residents will influence how the new St Albans Local Plan will protect those things that make St Albans an attractive place to live, while supporting the sensitive development of new housing that will ensure that St Albans remains vibrant into the future…

To be lawful, a Local Plan must meet a housing requirement for building new homes, which is currently determined by a formula set by central government. Under that formula, the number of new homes required across the St Albans district is currently 913 per year, and this figure is unlikely to change significantly.

The Parish is broadly divided into two sections, the urban and rural communities. All the rural areas are in the Green Belt, which gives this area some protection from development. Most of the residents in the rural areas of Colney Heath, Sleapshyde and Smallford live within Green Belt Community envelopes, which gives a level of protection mid-way between that for full Green Belt and for urban communities.

In law, previously developed land (brown field) and undeveloped urban land should be developed first. This should be followed by some limited infilling within the community envelopes and only then, by taking areas out of the Green Belt to enable development. The Local Plan is a method by which changes to the Green Belt can be planned. Under earlier proposals, this has been used to designate large strategic sites for future development.

In the now withdrawn Local Plan, only one strategic (large scale) site was near the parish, located to the north of Oaklands College, this could change if a large strategic site were to become unavailable. Then short fall would need to be found elsewhere.

The Planning Inspectors who examined the St Albans Local Plan recommended that St Albans Council should consider smaller sites, and this could have an impact on the parish since it can potentially offer/accommodate more such smaller sites (possibly anything up to 500 homes).

As well as identifying the location of new homes, the new Local Plan can also identify the need for new infrastructure including schools, healthcare facilities, shops, and other land uses that help to sustain vibrant communities. The creation of new infrastructure can be supported by securing contributions from developers towards such investment.

Colney Heath Parish Council will collate all your responses and forward them to St Albans Council to help them create a new Local Plan that meets the needs, wishes, and desires of its residents.

Please help us understand your priorities by completing the survey now. Click HERE to access the form. Please complete and email to ourplan@colneyheathparishcouncil.gov.uk by 27th January 2021.

Local Plan Consultation January 2021

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The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group are designing their own page of this website where all documents and information will be held.  This page is under development but please ask the Clerk for any documents that you are unable to locate easily on either 01727 825314 or by emailing clerk@colneyheathparishcouncil.gov.uk or ourplan@colneyheathparishcouncil.gov.uk

Background to Neighbourhood Planning

A Neighbourhood Plan is a community-led framework for guiding the future development, regeneration and conservation of an area. A neighbourhood plan is about the use and development of land and may contain a vision, aims, planning policies, proposals for improving the area or providing new facilities, or allocation of key sites for specific kinds of development. It may deal with a wide range of social economic and environmental issues (such as housing, employment, heritage and transport) or it may focus on one or two issues only. These may be issues that are relevant to the whole neighbourhood or just to part of the neighbourhood.

A Neighbourhood Plan will be part of the statutory development plan for the area, if successful at referendum. This statutory status gives Neighbourhood Plans far more weight than some other local documents, such as parish plans, community plans and village design statements.

A Neighbourhood Plan must comply with European and national legislation and must have appropriate regard to national policy and be in general conformity with existing strategic local planning policy. It should not promote less development than that identified in the development plan for the local area (such as new housing allocations). It can allow greater growth levels. Also, it can specify policies and guidance on how new development should be designed, orientated and located. Neighbourhood Plans can be a powerful tool in shaping the development of a neighbourhood.

Once a Neighbourhood Plan has been completed, it has to be submitted to the local planning authority and then be subjected to a formal public consultation and an independent examination. This ensures that the proper legal process has been followed and that the plan meets the basic conditions, including general conformity with strategic local policy.

[reproduced with kind permission of Locality from their Neighbourhood Plans Roadmap Guide]

If you would like more information on the Neighbourhood Plan or to join the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group please contact the office on 01727 825314 or email clerk@colneyheathparishcouncil.gov.uk

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Colney Heath Neighbourhood Plan – Call for sites 2020

As part of the Colney Heath Neighbourhood Plan, it is important for us to consider the merits of making site allocations for development in the parish of Colney Heath in order to address local needs. This therefore is a call to all landowners in the parish, however large or small the area of land may be, who have an interest in promoting their land for development over a period from now until 2036, in line with St Albans Local Plan.

If you are a landowner and wish your land to be considered in the Neighbourhood Plan, we are primarily looking for sites for a mix of affordable social housing and open market residential use. However, if you have aspirations for alternative uses then we would also like to hear from you. In particular, we would welcome details of land that you may wish to see taken forward to provide wider community benefit. For example, this could be as space for children’s play areas, an allotment, or an area to be designated for purposes such as leisure facilities, or educational use. These are examples only and all ideas would be considered.

It is understood that any response represents a draft position and at this stage does not automatically bind a landowner to make any such provisions. Landowners should bear in mind that any potential land which is not put forward at this stage may not be considered for allocation during the period of the Plan i.e. 2020 – 2036. Equally sites can only be proposed for allocation if they are demonstrably deliverable and this is a matter which you may wish to address in your submission.

It is important to be clear that submitting land for consideration does not mean that it will necessarily be allocated in the Neighbourhood Plan, nor does it mean that it is more likely to gain planning permission. At this stage the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group is simply interested in considering all the possible options for development in the Parish.

Please return the site map and form to Colney Heath Neighbourhood Plan 

By e-mail to: clerk@colneyheathparishcouncil.gov.uk 

By post to:    Colney Heath Parish Council, Highfield Park Office, Hill End Lane, Hertfordshire AL4 0RA

The deadline for return is midnight Monday 19th October 2020

This form has two parts –

Part A – Site Identification. Please submit a separate form for each site you wish to promote and Part B – Contact details form

The form can be downloaded directly from this site by clicking the following link – Call for Sites Form

Please provide a map clearly identifying the extent of the site.

Please give your email address/postal address so that we can contact you to clarify site information if needed.

You are invited to put forward any sites, and the latest information/position regarding existing/known sites, that you would like the Steering Group to consider for the Neighbourhood Plan.

Although this ‘Call for Sites’ focuses primarily on sites for residential development, we are also looking for sites for other uses, such as sites for Employment, Health, Schools, Gypsy and Traveller, and ‘Other’ uses.

Unfortunately, we cannot treat any of the site information you provide as confidential, however your personal contact details will remain confidential.

Colney Heath Parish Council and the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group are aware of all the sites submitted to St Albans City & District Council in response to previous Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) surveys. These sites on the District Council’s database will be considered in drawing up the Colney Heath Neighbourhood Plan, but landowners or other interested parties must re-affirm whether or not the sites are still available for development.

Please do not submit sites that already have planning permission for development, unless a new and different proposal is likely in the future.

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NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN DOCUMENTS

November 2020 – Neighbourhood Plan update Item 75b

Parish Council response on the Sandridge Neighbourhood Plan consultation 18th September 2020

Daisy Cooper MP Letter to Hertsmere Borough Council September 2020

Herts Advertiser 17th September 2020

Joint Press Release and Background Papers September 2020

June 2020 Call for Sites report Paper 27

December 2019 Update paper submitted to Parish Council Item 90

March 2018 Update paper submitted to Parish Council Item 52c

October 2017 Paper submitted to Parish Council Item 189

Colney Heath Parish Council Summer Survey Booklet 2014

Colney Heath Primary School Survey Booklet 2014