New Local Plan another step closer after public hearing
The government's Planning Inspector has now finished his latest public hearing, which took place on 12-13 February and forms part of his independent examination of our submitted Local Plan.
Cllr Paul Spooner, Leader of the Council, says: "Our new Local Plan is about providing much-needed local homes, sustainable places to live and work, supported by vital infrastructure within a great environment. We await the Planning Inspector's final report, but I am extremely pleased that from the points made during his verbal conclusion at the end of today's hearing, he is indicating that overall he considers that our Local Plan is sound.
"We proposed before and during the hearing that the reduction in homes, based on the latest ONS household figures, means that it's possible to meet our housing need, without having to allocate any of the four new green belt sites. These were included in the last main modifications consultation and it was good to hear the Inspector's reference to the sound evidence and figures we presented to support their removal. We have always stuck to our 'brownfield first' policy and no more new sites would significantly help us meet our overall aim to protect our borough's green belt.
"It's been a long process to make sure we balance the needs of everyone across the borough and we received thousands of comments during the wide-ranging engagement at each stage. We agree with the Inspector's interim comments that the overall consultation needs have been satisfied by the enormous amount of debate and consultation about the plan. We also think that there is no need to consult any further following the extensive opportunities already given for feedback, which we have passed to the Inspector. We look forward to receiving his final report and moving another step closer to adopting our new Local Plan as soon as possible."
You can find out more about our new Local Plan, including the hearing on 12 and 13 February on our website.
Published on Wednesday 13 February.