Four-Week Public Consultation on Local Plan Set To Launch
A four-week public consultation will get under way tomorrow (Thurs, Feb 1) on how planning and development will take place across Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme over the next 20 years.
Both Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council are working together on a new Joint Local Plan, which will shape where new developments including housing, employment, retail, leisure and transport will take place in both the city and borough. The plan is still at a relatively early stage, but when finished it will give both councils more control over the quality and location of developments, and better protection for green spaces.
Comments are being welcomed on the Preferred Options stage of the Local Plan, which identifies a number of potential sites across Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle for possible housing and employment developments.
A series of drop-in sessions have been organised across both areas as part of the consultation – which runs between February 1 and March 1 – where people will have the chance to view plans and speak to people involved. The comments will be used to produce a Draft Joint Local Plan, which will go out for a further period of public consultation at the end of the year.
Cllr Anthony Munday, city council cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure, said: “It’s really important for as many people as possible to take time to look at the document in its current form and have their say through the consultation. This way, they can get involved in shaping the future of their city and wider area by giving us their views on how they’d like to see development proceed.
“There will naturally be some sites which people have concerns about and this is why we are holding these consultation events. No final decisions have been made and all feedback we receive will be considered and used in the development of the plan as it progresses. The plan will act as a basis for safeguarding the environment, and will be a critical tool in guiding decisions about individual development proposals. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help shape how our city will look in the future.”
Cllr Paul Northcott, Newcastle’s cabinet member for planning and regeneration, said: “It is really important that residents in the borough engage with the consultation process. This is a golden opportunity for residents to comment and assist in shaping the vision and aspirations across both authorities.
“The plan sets out the borough's economic objectives to provide for more than 7,600 jobs and coupled with this is the need to provide housing choices to meet these objectives.
“The plan also outlines the ambition to deliver 9,621 dwellings in Newcastle-under-Lyme. In order for the borough to grow and prosper over the next 15 years, even more creative thinking will be required and this is why the public’s thoughts and comments are so important in this consultation process.
“Past development strategies have resulted in prolonged periods in which economic growth has been constrained. A major contributing factor to this has been an under supply of housing, particularly in Newcastle-under-Lyme, which has led to worsening affordability and in turn has resulted in increased difficulty for young people to form households. We also need to provide housing more suitable for some of our aging population to downsize and in turn release larger family homes for young families to move in to.
“The proposals in this plan set out how we can deal with this and part of this strategy involves making a particularly strong case for special circumstances to amend parts of the Green Belt boundary in the borough. This is to ensure the objectives of the Joint Local Plan can be achieved, but at the same time being sensitive to the rural identity of communities. By working with emerging neighbourhood development plans we can promote growth in the right areas appropriate to the needs of the borough and residents who wish to live here."
To meet the region’s growth aspirations, up to 199 hectares of employment land and 27,800 new homes have been highlighted as being required across both areas between 2013 and 2033. It is forecast up to 20,000 jobs could be created across Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle in the period.
After consultation on the full Draft Joint Local Plan at the end of this year, a final Joint Local Plan will be produced in summer 2019 which will again be consulted on, before being submitted to the Government for independent examination in autumn 2019. It is hoped the final document will be formally adopted in spring 2020.
Consultation drop-in events – where people will have the chance to view plans and speak to people involved – are being held at the following locations:
- Monday, February 5: Jubilee 2, 3pm to 7pm.
- Tuesday, February 6: Madeley Centre, 3pm to 7pm.
- Wednesday, February 7: Chesterton Community Centre, 3.30pm to 7pm.
- Thursday, February 8: Clayton Community Centre, 3pm to 7pm.
- Thursday, February 8: Swan Bank Methodist Church, Burslem, 3pm to 7pm.
- Friday, February 9: Fenton Town Hall, 10am to 1pm.
- Friday, February 9: Kidsgrove Town Hall, 3pm to 6.30pm.
- Saturday, February 10: Tunstall Market, 9am to 3pm.
- Monday, February 12: Milton Parish Centre, 1.30pm to 4.30pm.
- Monday, February 12: Keele Village Hall, 3pm to 6.30pm.
- Tuesday, February 13: Audley Methodist Church, 3pm to 7pm
- Tuesday, February 13: St Stephens Community Church, Bentilee, 10am to 12pm.
- Wednesday, February 14: Loggerheads Library, 3pm to 7pm.
- Friday, February 16: Longton Market, 9am to 3pm.
- Friday, February 16: Betley Village Hall, 3pm to 7pm.
- Monday, February 19: Meir Medical Centre, 10am to 4pm.
- Tuesday, February 20: Blurton Local Centre, 10am to 4pm.
- Wednesday, February 21: Stoke Local Centre, 10am to 4pm.
- Thursday, February 22: Whitmore Village Hall, 3pm to 7pm.
- Tuesday, February 27: One Smithfield, Hanley,10am to 4pm.
The consultation document will be available online from 1 February at www.stoke.gov.uk/jointlocalplan or at any library in Newcastle or Stoke-on-Trent. It will also be available to be viewed at the Guildhall (Newcastle), Kidsgrove Customer Service Centre, The Madeley Centre, Civic Centre (Stoke town), One Smithfield, and customer service centres in Longton and Tunstall. If you have any questions about the consultation process, email firstname.lastname@example.org or 01782 742333 (during normal office hours: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).