The Preferred Option builds on previous consultation exercises, including ‘Issues and Options’ in 2007, and ‘Strategic Options’ in 2011, and reflects some of the comments people, groups in the community, businesses and stakeholders made at the earlier stages of the process. Since then we have also updated our evidence base, taken into account significant changes in national planning policy and subjected all options to a Sustainability Appraisal and an initial assessment of how feasible it would be to deliver infrastructure. In addition to the Preferred Option document, the Sustainability Appraisal Report is also a consultation document and available for comment.
The Preferred Option represents what the Council feel is a sound, sensible, and robust approach for the future development and protection of the Borough. However, before we prepare a final draft version of the Plan (the ‘pre-submission’ Plan), we again need the input of local people and other groups.
Your comments are important and will help to shape the Council’s Submission Draft Local Plan which we will consult on next year before making any final amendments and submitting it to the Secretary of State for Examination by an independent Inspector.
After we receive the Inspector’s Report we hope to be able to adopt the final Local Plan (likely to be early 2014). That document will be the overarching planning document for the Borough, used to guide decisions on planning applications and underpin the Council’s proposals for investment and regeneration.