St Albans Suicidal Approach – and I get a Mention

From a correspondent

I thought you might be interested to discover the latest development. This link

http://www.stalbans.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/87188

is to last night’s Cabinet “webcast” at which you got a mention from Councillor Leach (1 hour 39 minutes in), in regards to “soundness”. As I’ve read your blog for some time, I believe the Council Leader’s subsequent description of you as a “cheerleader for development” and as being “gung ho for development” were wholly inaccurate – and I note Councillor Leach attempted to put him right.

Sadly, it seems the advice you gave regarding the evidence base for setting an annual housing target has been ignored and the Council appears convinced that their Strategic Local Plan will be found sound.

Do you expect the lack of a credible Local Plan will be (should be?) one of the criteria Mr Pickles uses to apply “special measures”?

How anyone who reads this blog – and especially it defence of the Green Belt – could describe me as a “cheerleader for development” I don’t know.  I have always tried to be scrupulously fair to pro and anti development forces, which is what planning is about.  Of course some people dont want to plan and see development control as a NIMTO tool.  Thank you to Cllr Leach.

Lack of a local plan will not I think be a criteria as an LPA without will have to follow the NPPF and if they dont they will lose appeals and be in special measures.  This will make make very little difference to the Yorks and St Alban’s of this world however as the presumption against development in Green Belts means schemes will be refused on appeal however out of date the plan is.

The real test of course is whether St Albans will ignore the response to consultation and their second advisory inspectors visit.