Six weeks of public consultation on the final draft version of the city council’s Local Plan gets under way on Thursday 5 June.
This is the version of the plan that will be the basis for a public examination carried out by an independent inspector later this year. Full details and all the documents will be on the council’s website at www.canterbury.gov.uk/localplan.
Last summer, the council held 10 weeks of consultation on the preferred option plan. Nearly 7,000 comments were submitted, which covered a range of issues across the whole plan.
There was support for large parts of the draft plan, particularly policies relating to landscape, heritage, tourism and open space. The main objections related to the overall strategy and the development proposals, including the growth strategy for the district, amount and location of development, specific site allocations, capacity of local services and the ability to deliver the necessary infrastructure, and environmental issues.
As a result, the council has made some changes to the draft plan, partly to reflect additional information and comments that were received, and partly to ensure that the draft plan is consistent with national guidance (such as the National Planning Policy Framework) and evidence collected by the council over the last few years.
In the consultation starting this week, people will be able to comment on any aspect of the draft plan. But at the public examination, if anyone wants to object to parts of the plan, it will help the inspector if they can identify in their comments why they think the plan is not ‘sound’. Advice on how to go about making a comment is available on the council’s website.
Consultation is also taking place at the same time on the draft District Transport Strategy and Open Space Strategy. These are integral parts of the Local Plan and back up the whole plan process. Council Leader Cllr John Gilbey said:
We have reached this point following several years of hard work and consultation, producing a Local Plan that we believe provides development in the most sustainable locations. And I am particularly pleased that we are proposing that several areas of the district should have Local Green Space protection.
This is now the final period of consultation before the public examination when the plan receives rigorous independent scrutiny, so I would urge people to make their views known over the next six weeks.
The consultation will close on Friday 18 July. Copies of the plans will be available to view at the council’s offices in Canterbury and Herne Bay, in libraries across the district and at Whitstable Museum from 5 June.
A number of public information evenings are being held during the consultation period for people to learn more about the plans. They will take place starting at 7pm at:
- Monday 16 June – Herne Bay High School
- Wednesday 18 June – Spires Academy, Sturry
- Wednesday 2 July – Kent County Cricket Ground
CCC website 03 June 2014