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Good Response to Joint Local Plan Consultation

More than 2,000 residents and stakeholders have had their say about initial plans for housing and employment growth in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council have sought people’s views on the Preferred Options stage of its Joint Local Plan preparation over the past month.

The major consultation exercise – ending at 5pm today – is based on the preferred options document which outlines levels of growth that the councils are planning over a 20-year period and sites that could accommodate this. It identifies new sites for up to 10,301 houses and a total employment land supply of 167 hectares in Stoke-on-Trent while in Newcastle-under-Lyme, new sites have been identified for 7,367 houses and provision is being made for a total employment land supply of 63 hectares, a portion of which falls within the Green Belt.

Residents have been encouraged to get involved using a variety of methods. More than 1,500 people have attended 27 drop-in events organised in each character area in the city and borough. Documents have been available in key public buildings and hundreds more have submitted their comments online.

The aim is to publish a report on the responses and consult on a draft Joint Local Plan before the end of the year. Meanwhile, the preferred options will continue to be developed and assessed. Once in place, the joint plan will be used to decide planning applications including the building of new retail, office, housing development and employment premises. It will also set the context and framework for neighbourhood planning.

Cllr. Paul Northcott, Borough Cabinet member for planning and regeneration, said: “The Joint Local Plan will help shape where new housing, roads, shops, businesses and schools are both needed and built across both authorities over the next two decades. The plan will be fundamental in helping to improve our economic potential and ensure that we attract and retain young people, reflecting the needs of our ageing residents, provide housing choices and create opportunities for local jobs while at the same time ensure that we do our best to protect our wildlife, landscape and heritage.

“For these reasons it’s absolutely vital that residents are kept involved and informed as this important plan progresses and before any key decisions are made. There has been a good response to this consultation – we’ve gone above and beyond the legal requirements to ensure we gather as many views as possible.

“As with most consultations the information captured will help to inform where we need to go from here both in terms of the data and where we hold consultation events in the future. There will be further consultation opportunities over the next couple of years as the plan moves towards adoption.”

A consultation was also held last summer on a range of options for housing and employment growth and six broad locations.

Cllr. Anthony Munday, Cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “The Local Plan is a once in a generation opportunity to help shape how our city will look in the future, and it is encouraging to hear so many people have taken part in this round of public consultation. We want to hear what the public has to say and every view and comment we receive will be taken into account, and I’m thankful to those who have already got involved.

“Although this particular period of consultation has now finished, there will be further opportunities for people to comment as the plan progresses ahead of it being submitted to the Government for inspection. There is still a lot of work to be done and public involvement will form a very big part of that.

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Last updated 1 March 2018