Last chance to have your say on this phase of the Local Plan as final theme draws consultation to a close

The last of nine themes - 'Creating new places and communities' - will be introduced at the Community Stakeholder Forum's meeting on Wednesday 24 March, and will launch the final part of the council's innovative six-month consultation which ends on 21 April.

The feedback received throughout this first consultation will inform the council's work, as it carries out further research and starts preparing a draft local plan that will shape the district over the next 15 years and beyond.

The final theme aims to feed some of the ideas generated by earlier themes into a discussion about what new development should look like, what it should contain and where it should be located. At the meeting, the Forum will receive a presentation from the award-winning VeloCity team, who will talk about their concept of creating networks of new and expanded villages that are connected by cycling routes to rail stations.

Cllr Evans, Portfolio holder for Planning and the Local Plan, said: "The council's bold, unique approach to Local Plan consultation has, since November 2020, explored a wide range of themes that are relevant to the way the district is shaped over the next 15 or so years.

"The whole community has been invited to comment on each of these themes, while the newly-established Community Stakeholder Forum has provided a platform for a range of local stakeholders to discuss their points of view. Guest speakers have contributed their ideas, prompting thoughtful discussion among the Forum members and hopefully inspiring those watching online to make their views known through the public consultation.

"This final theme raises questions about how significant growth required by government can be properly planned, including deciding on where it should be located. While the scale of growth presents a challenge, the Local Plan provides the opportunity for local people to decide how it is planned. I hope the whole community is inspired to contribute their ideas, informed by the speakers, discussions and documents on all of the themes that have been covered."

The event will be hosted on Zoom and live-streamed on YouTube from 7pm so that anyone can watch. Pre-registration for Zoom will be available on the local plan webpages.

Following the meeting, the consultation on the theme will open. It will also be the final chance for people to take part in this all-important first Local Plan consultation. Comments can be made on all themes, as well as anything else that may not have been covered, until 21 April.

Information on the nine themes, the key dates and how to comment will be posted on this website and the council's social media channels.

Everyone who has an interest is encouraged to sign up for regular Local Plan information and updates by subscribing to the e-newsletter service.

12 March 2021