As the Government continues to move forward with an 80% increase in housing numbers for the Borough, MBC Councillors have agreed to progress the Local Plan Review to the first of two public consultations between 1st and 22nd December 2020, to try to minimise the impact of the Government’s proposals.
Committee member, Cllr Brian Clark stated, “With the government unflinching on its proposed yearly increase in housing numbers, it is essential we do all in our power to try to prevent the extra 40%."
The decision, taken at Monday’s strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee Meeting to proceed to public consultation, proposed by Lib Dem member Cllr Brian Clark, was met with cross-party support. Members agreed this was the best chance to hold back the central government’s new housing target of 1569 homes per year and to not exceed the existing housing target (1214 homes).
Ahead of the meeting, Lib Dem’s had successfully proposed that the Local plan review be subject to two separate public consultations after Conservative plans to hold a single consultation were defeated.
Lib Dem Strategic Planning and Infrastructure committee vice-chair Cllr Sue Grigg followed, “It cannot be understated how much work has been put in to bringing the plan to this stage. Having to accommodate the government’s current housing numbers has inevitably led to the inclusion of more sites than we would have hoped, but we have had to progress this plan to give our Borough protection from future speculative housing development”.
Cllr Clive English said, "The two separate public consultations will allow the Public and Members the opportunity to further strengthen policy proposals set out in the draft on important issues such as Open Space and dealing with climate change as well as giving further opportunity to communities to express their views on the proposed housing allocations”.
Following the meeting, Cllr Martin Cox, council leader commented, “Having reached all-party agreement to progress the Local Plan Update, the council will begin a process of engagement with ward members and key stakeholders ahead of the consultation, which starts on 1st December. I encourage all residents of our borough to consider this housing plan and contribute to the three-week consultation”.