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New St Albans District Council review outlines priorities to protect St Albans' Green Belt
Priorities to protect Green Belt land in St Albans district have been outlined in a review, published today.
To protect and strengthen the existing Green Belt, the first part of an independent review set out by St Albans District Council, has identified land which significantly contributes towards Green Belt.
Outlined in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), five purposes and next steps for Green Belt considerations are defined:
• To check unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas. Sprawl from built-up areas of London, Luton and Dunstable, and Stevenage is restricted by the outer northern and eastern land plus the southeast corner of the study area
•To prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another
•To safeguard the countryside from encroachment
•To preserve the setting and special character of historic towns
•To assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land
In January 2013, the district council’s cabinet decided to commission new evidence-based studies to inform the forthcoming Strategic Local Plan.
This was in response to a motion from the council on November 28, which called for an independent review of Green Belt boundaries and a Green Belt Study of all potential housing locations.
Since the first part of the independent Green Belt Review has just been made available to the council, councillors have not yet had an opportunity to consider its content. It will be discussed by the Planning Policy Committee at its meeting on October 7.
Part One of the report is a review of Green Belt boundaries, which has been completed by independent consultants working also with Dacorum and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Councils. This review does not determine whether or not land should remain in, or be excluded from, the Green Belt.
Although if it is considered that there is a need to alter Green Belt boundaries, the review is intended to provide advice on how this might be done. Therefore the review will form part of the evidence base for development of the local plan, but its content does not represent the council’s view on the future of Green Belt land in the district.
The consultants will now complete a more detailed independent study of potential housing locations in areas identified for further assessment in their first report, which the council expects to receive in December.
To view the full report click here.
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