Local Plan hearings finish - more opportunities to shape our borough's future

Cllr Paul Spooner, Leader of the Council, says: "Across our whole borough, people need places to live and thrive, with a great environment, transport and other vital infrastructure to support them. The government's Planning Inspector has now finished the public hearings, which form part of his independent examination of our new Local Plan. Our plan aims to provide a framework for the future, whilst balancing critical and changing needs, and we have responded to a series of questions on a variety of topics throughout the process.

The Inspector found our plan to be substantially sound on all key tests, but, as with other public hearings, the Inspector has recommended that we need to make some changes to the plan. This also means that we will need to ask for feedback about a number of major modifications. One of the updates is to provide more homes in the first five years of the plan."

The next step is for the Council to review the Planning Inspector's interim recommendations and publish an updated version of the Local Plan we submitted in December 2017. We will then consult with the public on the main modifications and will only ask for comments about the proposed changes to the plan. This will last for six weeks and will most likely start in September.

Cllr Spooner continues: "Our Local Plan isn't just about housing numbers. Getting the right balance of sustainable places, jobs and growth that create opportunities for all our communities is essential. We also remain committed to fundamental principles, such as our 'brownfield first' policy of proposing sites with past development. We will let everyone know when and how they can get involved in the next consultation to help shape our borough's future."

Published on Friday 6 July.