President's Message - February 2021

Posted: 10th February 2021, 1:24pm

St Albans Council is embarking once again on preparing a new Local Plan that will affect what can be built, and where, up to 2038 in the District. Businesses need to get involved in this process to ensure the adoption of a strategy for development within the District that reflects and meets the aspirations of its communities.
What do we want to see, to ensure the best environment in which to survive, thrive and develop? As part of our wider consideration of the future for the District, the Chamber is holding a webinar on Wednesday 24 February, to discuss proposals for a “City Centre Vision” for St Albans. The event is being led by James Hampton of New Makers Bureau and Professor Tim Boatswain of the Civic Society, followed by a Q&A with St Albans BID.

A shift in retail habits and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are proving challenging. Our city and town centres will undoubtedly be different in the future. How do we want them to be? Transportation, connectivity, property costs are all critical issues. And with further easing of planning controls is there a real danger of St Albans City Centre losing its vital services, employment and community opportunities, with businesses being ousted in favour of more residential units?

This is just one vital area where we need to make business views heard, to ensure they help inform the preparation of, and ultimately the proposals within, the Local Plan and its supporting documents.  Do join us on Wednesday 24

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Best wishes 
Alastair Woodgate

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