Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council is unveiling the first draft of its Local Plan, which will eventually determine which areas are earmarked for different uses and which are not.
If approved, an eight-week public consultation would begin in June, with a second round of consultation on the revised document scheduled for early 2024.
Andrew Fear, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Strategic Planning, said:
The Local Plan is the key to how the borough does, and does not, develop up to 2040 by allocating space for housing and business, for community facilities and protected open spaces, and for schools and health centres.
For instance, we are proposing the use of brownfield sites, including some council land, wherever possible and the protection of more than 60 green spaces, some of which have been earmarked for development in previous Local Plans.
This is the moment that people should get involved and shape how this area looks and feels, because what is decided now will influence planning applications for a long time.”
Local Plans are required by Government to earmark land suitable for different types of development and maintain a rolling, minimum five-year supply of housing land.
If one doesn’t exist, or the housing supply falls below the minimum requirement, then developers are more likely to gain approval for planning applications for anywhere in the Borough – including areas previously deemed off-limits.
Cllr Fear added:
We are open-minded about which sites are earmarked for a certain use, or for none at all, although we do have a preference for brownfield sites that may be suitable for redevelopment because it often makes sense to build there rather than elsewhere.
However there are Government criteria we have to meet, including identifying a minimum housing supply to prevent a free-for-all from developers, and we will speak to communities, infrastructure providers, highways authorities and so on as part of a process which brings together technical, expert and local opinion to shape the proposals.”
The proposal to consult on the first draft of the Local Plan will be considered by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council’s Cabinet on June 6th 2023.