New policies will kick-start the Local Plan
Newcastle-under-Lyme’s Cabinet members will rubber stamp two key documents at their meeting tomorrow that will return the borough to a new and independent Local Plan process.
Once approved these two policies, both required by law, enable the Council to begin work on its own Local Plan, having made the decision to move on from the stalled joint plan with Stoke-on-Trent City Council in January this year.
The two new policies the ‘Statement of Community Involvement’ and the ‘Local Development Plan’, will make sure that the new Local Plan considers all development options and, importantly, involves residents, businesses and other key stakeholders at every stage until completion in 2022.
In brief, the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) is exactly what it says – a commitment by the Council to involve the widest section of the community to express their views – so that the final Local Plan for Newcastle-under-Lyme is an adopted, shared and collective vision for the sustainable development of the Borough.
The SCI is in four sections: an introduction to the planning system, an explanation of the planning documents, the key stages of neighbourhood planning and, finally, how and when public consultation will take place.
Cabinet member for planning and growth, Paul Northcott, said: “We are looking forward to getting our own, independent Local Plan moving now that we can go at our own pace.
“These two policies kick-start the Local Plan process for us and from the outset we will be talking to our residents and businesses as well as parish councils and other key stakeholders about it. It’s about how we can all contribute and help to shape our borough and its future together.
“Although we are keen to start public consultation on the draft SCI, the current Covid restrictions mean that we can’t use traditional methods, such as holding open sessions in local community centres, at this time. Consultation with all of our key stakeholders, however, will be carried out through virtual means, using technology such as Zoom, in the meantime.”
The draft SCI will be published online later this month and residents, businesses, parish and town councils and other interest groups will be consulted on how they want to be involved. Public consultation on this document will last for six weeks.
The Local Development Scheme (LDS) sets out the development plan documents the Council will produce over the next three years and when they will be delivered - the anticipated key milestones in the production of the Local Plan.
The LDS incorporates the Borough’s independent Local Plan as the area’s single local development planning document and sets out the approved timescale for its development.
The three major milestones for the production of the plan are set against the periods of public consultation: Issues and Strategic Options (Autumn 2021), Publication Draft (Autumn 2021) Submission of the final plan (Summer 2022).
The two policy documents and the Cabinet reports can be viewed in their entirety online at the Council’s website or by using this link: https://bit.ly/3crtSRj
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