Public Inquiry – Tuesday 25th April


A summary of today’s events:

The day started with a heartfelt presentation from a local resident which was very well received by local residents who felt that he had expressed exactly how many of them feel. He finished by saying that we must find that the proposals do not justify losing this Green Belt.
This was followed by more of Paul Gray, talking about Green Belt openness. He argued that the impact of the new development would be negligible, as it would all be hidden behind hedges. The SADC barrister, Andrew, did an excellent job in getting him to understand that the impact would be significant from many locations and perspectives.
Matt Stevens, Transport Witness, was a cross examined by Shirani. Shirani got him to confirm that the polo development would be predominantly car based even if they managed to get people to reduce their car use, and that this applied to Cala and Polo.
Steve Fidgett, Planning Balance Witness, repeated a lot of what had been said before, lack of up to date local plan, St Albans has a housing crisis, Chiswell Green is ideal for sustainable development, etc. He said the Polo site would be hidden behind hedges. He talked of affordability and claimed a 10% net gain in biodiversity.
There was a long debate on the degree of harm to the openness of the site – Moderate? Substantial? Very Substantial? Andrew argued very substantial harm both to the Green Belt and to the openness of the site.
On affordability, there were examples given of what might happen when first owners want to sell on. They should sell on at he same discount they got. How this would be enforced in practice was a concern. Shirani raised concerns that residents in the Polo development would end up trapped there, unable to sell because they couldn’t afford to move back into the housing market.
After a break, the Inspector went through various conditions and updated them. He also made some comments on the proposed visit itinerary.
The Inquiry then closed until the closing statements at 9.30 am on May 9th.
The site visit will take place on May 10th.
The meeting planned for Wednesday 26th April has been cancelled.
The link for the recording of today’s webcast is:
The link to the webcast for May 9th is:
Scheduled start time is 9:30am.
Every day the Inquiry will be live-streamed so will be available to view online at:
Further Inquiry details and documents are available on the SADC website at:

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