Local Plan proposals will not be published until the summer

Friday 23rd November 2018 3:14 pm
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Planning officials at Waverley Borough Council will spend the next few months revising plans for where 11,200 new homes should be built by 2032

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HEEDING objections that Waverley’s ‘rushed’ Local Plan part two needs more work, the borough council announced it will not go out for final public consultation until summer 2019, last Friday.

Haslemere councillors Robert Knowles and Carole King protested that the document was not ‘fit for purpose,’ because it made assumptions without evidence about housing sites in the town that were not deliverable at Waverley’s ‘watchdog’ overview and scrutiny committee, on October 22.

Committee members were asked to comment on the document, which contains site allocations for the 11,200 homes Waverley will be required to build by 2032, with a view to putting it out to public consultation before Christmas – before officially submitting it for adoption.

The second part of the Local Plan was due to go to Waverley’s decision-making executive and full council at a special meeting, to be held on October 31 – prior to approving the document for public consultation – but it was taken off the agenda following objections by the watchdog committee members.

Announcing the new timeline, Waverley said the deferment would allow time for extra engagement with stakeholders, including a series of workshops with parish and town councillors in those areas where the Local Plan is proposing housing sites, involving the relevant ward members in each area.

The workshops are designed to allow those who attend to gain an enhanced understanding of the site promotion and selection process; and to be able to feed in to the process of selecting sites for Local Plan Part Two.

The council will continue to discuss the proposed housing sites with key parties to gain further feedback on issues such as transport impacts, water supply and sewerage, and health provision within those settlements.

Waverley’s portfolio holder for policy and customer services, councillor Christopher Storey, said: “It is vital our plans represent our residents’, businesses’ and communities’ aspirations for the future of the borough – and that is why we’ve added extra time for further targeted engagement with our stakeholders.”

Welcoming the deferment, Mr Knowles said: “I’m very pleased it’s been sent back for further work.

“I was very concerned statutory authorities had not responded. It’s vital proper responses on infrastsructure are obtained. Waverley can’t just barge ahead without absolute assurances these essential services are available.”

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