Local elections – Thursday 2nd May

[From St Albans District Council] On 2 May, Police and Crime Commissioner and district council elections are taking place in the district.

SADC is keen to raise awareness of these elections (especially the relevant registration / absent vote deadlines and voter ID requirements).

Please also note that there is no change to current polling station locations for residents in St Michael parish area.

Hertfordshire Health Walks

[External from Herts County Council]
Free, friendly and safe Health Walks.

First time? Register as a new walker online. It’s easy, free and will save you time on the day. We also offer Taster walks.

Health walk timetables We have a range of walks to suit all abilities and backgrounds.

Walk grades Every walk on our timetables has a grade. Find out what they mean.

Advice for walkers Keeping you safe, what to expect and our code of conduct.

Hertfordshire Essex Rapid Transit (HERT)

External update from Herts County Council (HCC)

The HERT forms part of the County Council’s A414 corridor strategy – a package of proposals designed to improve travel between the east and west of the county and reduce car dependency. As part of this, the HERT is aligned with Hertfordshire’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) schemes, as well as the proposals for the Watford to Croxley Link (W2CL).

The HERT will deliver a step-change in the passenger transport network through an accessible, reliable and affordable east-west transit system which connects people easily to where they live, work and visit. The HERT will support economic growth, improve the environment and positively impact our existing and new communities. It will also connect with north-south rail lines to create new sustainable journey options across the whole of Hertfordshire, west Essex and beyond.

You can find more information on the scheme and the results of the public engagement are now available to the public on the HCC website here

A project of this scale will take a number of years to develop and requires substantial investment from local and central government, together with private sector partners. As well as making the case for the scheme to feature in the county’s Local Transport Plans, HCC is producing a prospectus for the HERT which will be used in our conversations with potential funding partners, including the Department for Transport. 

HCC remains committed to the HERT’s ambitious vision to deliver a step-change in the passenger transport network. The feedback gathered during the public engagement period suggests this is a vision shared by many for its potential to improve the lives of current and future generations.

We will be consulting the public at each stage of the project’s development, with ongoing engagement with local communities, civic groups, businesses and other key stakeholder organisations throughout the duration of the scheme.

Please email us at HERT@hertfordshire.gov.uk if you have any questions or require any further information.

Parliamentary constituency boundary review 2023

By 1 July 2023: Final report and recommendations

After analysing all the responses to the third consultation, we (i.e. the Boundary Commission for England) has submitted its final report and recommendations. This is the end of our involvement in the process.
To see the final report, please follow this link to the Boundary Commission’s website and enter your postcode.

Late 2023: Recommendations will be made into law

Within four months of the last of the four Commissions submitting their report, the UK Government must prepare the Order that would bring all their recommendations into law. Following recent changes, this Order no longer needs the approval of Parliament: it is sent directly to the Privy Council. If the Privy Council approves, the new constituencies are used at the next General election following that (not at any interim by-elections).

[External] St Albans District Council’s New Draft Local Plan

The Council is developing a new Draft Local Plan, which is like a blueprint for future development. It establishes the Council’s long-term planning strategy for delivering and managing growth and infrastructure, for environmental and heritage protection and enhancement, up to 2041.

This is an emerging Draft Plan, and people who live and work in the District, community groups and businesses are all encouraged to give their views. We want to hear from as many people and organisations as possible. The feedback received will help shape the final proposals.

Government guidance requires that Local Plans should set out an overall strategy for the pattern, scale and design quality of places, and make sufficient provision for housing (including affordable housing), infrastructure, community facilities and conservation and enhancement of the natural, built and historic environment.

Draft Local Plan 2041 Regulation 18 Consultation will be available for you to comment on between the following dates:

Start Date: 12/07/23 10:03 AM to End Date: 25/09/23 5:00 PM

The best way to respond is by using the online consultation system which can be found through links on the Councils website at: https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/new-local-plan

You can send a response by Email to:
planning.policy@stalbans.gov.uk 

or by post to:
Spatial Planning Team, St Albans Council Offices, St Peters Street, St Albans, AL1 3JE.

If you have any queries about this Regulation 18 consultation stage, you can contact us using the details above.

At the close of the consultation period, all comments will be considered by the Council and used to inform the next stage of the Local Plan process.

Yours sincerely,

Spatial Planning Team, St Albans City and District Council

Parish Council comments on local planning applications

Parish councils are statutory consultees and have no powers to approve or reject planning applications, they can only comment (or not) on applications.

From time to time the Parish Council may wish to make a comment about a planning application submitted to St Albans District Council (SADC).

When considering whether to comment, St Michael Parish Council may reflect on local feeling during the deliberation process. If a comment is approved, the Clerk will then submit it on behalf of the Parish Council, for publication through SADC’s planning portal, where it becomes part of the public record for that planning application.

Outside of Parish Council Meetings, our Councillors will frequently spend their own time to inform themselves of local concerns and opinions. They may fairly be said to be seeking information in their role as Parish Councillor, but they must remain objective and if they should express any views or opinions, for or against, they have to be clear that they are doing so in a personal capacity. They must not imply that their comments are, or are likely to be taken as, representing those of the Parish Council as a body. Parish Councillors do of course have a right, as any private individual would, to submit comments in their own name to SADC .

Whether there is support for or against any planning proposal, St Michael Parish Council urges members of the public to send their own written letters or e-mails direct to SADC as well – which are considered to be much more effective in an individual’s own words rather than a circular type or template.

It must also be made clear that any comment made in response to a planning application can only be based on planning matters. Conjecture and hearsay for example can never be taken into consideration. The specific points that can and cannot be included are set out in SADC’s helpful guidance on their website, at Home/Planning and building control/How to comment on a planning application