The launch of the consultation, which runs until midday on Monday, March 13, concludes a local engagement process that began in 2017 and has resulted in the latest version of the plan being influenced by the 7,000 plus comments submitted in the previous four consultations.
The draft plan aims to provide land for homes and jobs for local people, protect valued environments, create more public open spaces, tackle climate change and promote low carbon energy to help secure future energy needs.
‘Its development has been influenced by a desire to develop brownfield sites first, locating most new homes close to jobs, services and sustainable transport and finding smaller sites for housing in larger villages to sustain essential local services.
‘Once the consultation ends, the draft Plan and all comments received will be submitted for examination in public by the planning inspectorate. Anyone who submits a written objection will have a legal right to appear before and be heard by the Inspector at the Local Plan Examination Hearing.
‘Throughout the seven-week consultation, copies of the local plan documentation – including a summary Need to Know guide – will be available in libraries, town and parish council offices, Forde House and online.
Executive member for planning, Cllr Gary Taylor urged people to take part and to give the council their views. ‘We want to hear from residents, community groups, visitors and businesses, as well as developers, national and other organisations.
‘The feedback we have had throughout the previous four consultations on different aspects of the plan has definitely helped shape these final proposals and I would urge people to look at the draft plan and to comment before the consultation ends on March 13.’
Unlike previous consultations which sought views on alternative options, this consultation is focused on whether the draft plan meets legal requirements, is in line with national policy and whether the council has cooperated with neighbouring authorities and statutory authorities in its preparation.