Marshalswick South Focus Team

Councillors, Rod Perks and Allan Witherick working with Andrew Duff MEP and Melvyn Teare for you Learn more

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CLASH – North East of Harpenden Road

by awitherick on 6 February, 2011

In response to a petition presented to St Albans City & District Council by CLASH:

Council motion in response to CLASH petition
That Council thanks the local community action group, CLASH, for their petition opposing the allocation of land, east of
Harpenden Road, as a strategic housing allocation by St Albans City and Distinct Council.
Council requests the Planning Policy Advisory Panel gives due consideration to the issues raised by the Petition, that this site should not be released from the Green Belt for development, when it reviews the results from the Core Strategy public consultation.
Proposed by Liberal Democrat Councillors Melvyn Teare and seconded by Chris Brazier

The following is the speech made by Councillor Melvyn Teare:
Madam Mayor.
I wish to move the motion

I am the Liberal Democrat councillor for Marshalswick South and residents in my ward have been following the development of the Local Development Framework and Core Strategy documents in some detail for the last six months. I wish to thank the local campaign group CLASH and their fellow residents for their petition this evening. Their petition asks Council to stop the land to the East of Harpenden Road being allocated as a strategic housing location in the Core Strategy.
They highlighted four key reasons why this green belt site should not be released for development.

  1. It is not educational land. It is private agricultural land.
  2. Development on this land will destroy the Green Belt
  3. There is insufficient infrastructure.
  4. The local community does not want this development to take place

Madam Mayor
We live in a time of immense change – significant to this debate is the Localism Bill which will introduce a new right for communities to shape their local areas. Neighbourhood plans will enable local communities to permit development – in full or in outline – without the need for planning applications.
The current planning system is too centralised and bureaucratic. This complexity makes it inaccessible to many communities. The Bill will give neighbourhoods and local areas the opportunity to control their own futures. I welcome the changes the Localism Bill offers. In the meantime we as local councillors have to do everything in our powers to listen to and assist our community develop in the way our communities want to.

Madam Mayor
I welcome the opportunity the 1,000 plus signature petition gives for this council to be able to debate this important local issue. However if CLASH wish to demand a debate on the County Council issues associated with this area they would need to gather 10,000 signatures in order to be heard at County Hall. That is unreasonable.

Madam Mayor
In conclusion I ask that Council requests the Planning Policy Advisory Panel gives due consideration to the issues raised by the Petition, that this site should not be released from the Green Belt for development, when it reviews the results from the Core Strategy public consultation.
Thank you Madam Mayor

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