Local Plan to the fore!
Over the coming months we will be asking for your help in finalising our new Local Plan.
Our prime location and excellent connectivity means that we have high growth pressures. Our population is also changing; we have a growing number of elderly people with their associated needs plus an increase in younger families. We need more homes and in particular, homes that you and your families can afford to buy and to rent. We also need to protect and enhance what you love about where you live. This is where the Local Plan comes to the fore.
The Local Plan will set out how the borough will develop over the next 20 plus years. It will outline the strategy for ensuring the growth that we need is delivered in the right place, and is of the right character and quality. It also ensures that growth is delivered with the supporting roads, schools and services, such as health, as well as leisure and community facilities.
Producing a Local Plan is a priority for us for a number of reasons. The government is clear that local authorities are expected to have up-to-date plans in place to guide development within their area to plan for the infrastructure, homes and jobs that our residents need.
Having an up-to-date plan in place also means that we retain control over where development should be located rather than it being delivered in an ad hoc way as a result of speculative development, sometimes without sufficient benefit to local communities.
We started on the new Local Plan back in 2017 when we asked local residents, businesses, developers and other parties about their aspirations for the borough. This has given us a direction to travel.
We have also engaged a number of independent experts to produce evidence studies. These look at issues such as population, housing, flooding, climate change and the Green Belt. We’ve also considered existing, potential and new transport infrastructure eg roads, pathways and cycle tracks, so that growth and infrastructure go hand–in-hand.
This autumn we’ll be sharing our findings with you and how we can potentially address the growth we require.
As part of the initial Local Plan work, we asked the community, residents and landowners if you have a potential development site you would like considered as part of the Local Plan. The ‘call for sites’ remains open and over time we have collected many representations of potential sites that help meet the needs of the Borough. We will be presenting to you the details of each site that has come forward as part of the call for sites in the Local plan consultation this autumn, allowing you the opportunity to help the borough shape its preferred approach going forward.
For the Local Plan to work for everyone, we need as much input from all sections of the community as possible. Please keep an eye out for the activity which we will be highlighting in all our communications over the rest of the year.