Wyre Forest District Council has today (Thursday 1 November) launched its pre-submission consultation on the Local Plan 2016-2036.
Residents, local businesses and stakeholders are being asked to have their say before the Local Plan is submitted to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate to be examined.
The Local Plan outlines how the district council is planning for this generation and the next. It covers topics such as how many new houses are required and where they will go, where new employment area should be and what additional services, such as transport and schools, will be needed to support development up until 2036.
The council’s Cabinet approved the Local Plan Pre-Submission Publication documentation for public consultation at its meeting on Tuesday 30 October.
The main way the council is planning to deliver housing growth is with a new village at Lea Castle and an extension of Kidderminster to the east of the town. Both sites would be sustainable and it is proposed that they would have their own primary school, other local facilities, road improvements and a much-needed element of affordable housing.
Unlike previous consultations, the council is required to ask specific questions which will give people an opportunity to comment on whether they think the Local Plan is legally compliant and ‘sound’. Respondents will need to consider how the Local Plan has been prepared, whether its aims are achievable and whether the plan is based on a robust evidence base.
Councillor Ian Hardiman, Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet member for Housing, Health and Wellbeing said:
“It is important that residents get involved with this consultation because it is their last chance to have a say before we submit the Local Plan to the Planning Inspectorate to be examined.
When we consulted on our Preferred Options in July 2017 we had more than 5,000 comments. The feedback highlighted residents endorsed the aims of the Local Plan to use brownfield sites, limit the impact on the countryside, plan for homes to get people on the housing ladder, plan for local jobs and services and make sure the roads and transport systems can cope. Many of the comments were about housing. This pre-submission publication does not include previous proposals for a new major housing development adjacent to Spennells in Kidderminster and a number of other sites across the district are not being progressed further.”
“We are in the position that there are not enough brownfield sites available to meet the housing needs. 5,520 new homes need to be built between 2016-2036 according to the Government’s calculations. This means that we have no option but to include sites in the Green Belt, but we are determined that not one more house will be built on the Green Belt than is necessary.”
Councillor Marcus Hart, Leader of Wyre Forest District Council said:
“This is an important stage in the production of our Local Plan. We have been developing it with residents’ input. We listened carefully to the feedback last year and our revised plan takes that into account in many areas, now we need people to have their say again. As well as making the Plan available online it can be viewed at our customer service centre, Wyre Forest House and the libraries. The team has also organised eight drop-in session at various locations across the district, so there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.”
The Local Plan and details on how to comment are available from www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/localplanreview . The Local Plan can be viewed at the libraries in Kidderminster, Stourport and Bewdley. Comments must be submitted using the council’s official form. This can be completed online or the form can be downloaded and emailed to LPR@wyreforestdc.gov.uk. Anyone without internet access can view the plan and pick up a comment form from the council’s customer service centre at Kidderminster Town Hall or Wyre Forest House.
People can also visit any of the drop-in sessions where help will be available to submit comments. The sessions are taking place at:
Friday 16 November, 3pm-7pm, Cookley Village Hall
Saturday 17 November, 10am - 2pm, Offmore Evangelical Church Hall, Kidderminster
Tuesday 20 November, 5.30pm – 8pm, Heronswood Primary School, Kidderminster
Friday 23 November, 3pm – 7pm, Areley Kings Village Hall, Stourport
Saturday 24 November, 10am -2pm, Stourport Civic Hall
Tuesday 27 November, 3pm-7pm, St George’s Hall, Bewdley
Thursday 29 November, 3pm – 7pm, Kidderminster Town Hall
Friday 30 November, 3pm – 7pm, St Oswald’s Church Centre, Kidderminster
The deadline for responses is 5pm on Monday 17 December 2018.