The current Local Plan sets out the housing, employment and other development plans for the Borough to 2031, deciding how land will be used and what will be built where in the future. It also helps to plan, fund and co-ordinate the infrastructure which will be needed in support of the new development.
The Local Plan Review is a similarly forward-looking document and will be a key way that some of the council’s priorities can be realised that are set out in its published Strategic Plan. A public consultation taking place between 19 July and 30 September 2019 is the first stage in the Local Plan Review.
Without the Local Plan Review there is a risk of the government taking some of our key local planning decisions, including sites which the council judges unsuitable.
This consultation looks at the scope, themes and issues to be considered in the Local Plan Review as we seek to embrace growth and enable associated infrastructure. The consultation is asking the public questions like:
* What could the Local Plan Review do to help make our town and village centres fit for the future?
* What infrastructure and services, including community services and facilities do you think are the most important for a successful new development?
* How can the Local Plan Review ensure we have an environmentally attractive and sustainable borough that takes a pro-active approach to climate change?
Cllr David Burton, Chair of the council’s Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee said:
By starting this Local Plan Review now, we have the best chance of getting the Plan in place by 2022 when new, higher Government-driven housing targets are set to apply.
"Having an up to date Local Plan in place is the best way to maintain local control over where new development happens, its type and its quality. This goes hand in hand with protecting and enhancing the borough’s special environmental qualities, bringing forward and enabling infrastructure as well as ensuring a local contribution to the global challenge of climate change.
"Without an up to date plan there is a risk of the government taking planning decisions, including planning by appeal whereby the Government’s Planning Inspectorate grants planning permissions on sites which the council judges unsuitable.
People can respond online through https://maidstone-consult.objective.co.uk/portal/ or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to Strategic Planning, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone ME15 6JQ.
Details of the consultation are available on the council’s website Local Plan Review Printed copies of the consultation are also available to view at Maidstone Link and at libraries in the borough. The council will then consider all comments and these will help develop the Local Plan Review.