News MBC Committee updated responses to Local Plan Review consultation

MBC Committee updated responses to  Local Plan Review consultation image

Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) officers reported at the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee Meeting (held on 9 March), on the high level of responses it received to the Local Plan Review, Preferred Approaches Consultation (Reg 18).

The MBC public consultation, which was undertaken between 1 December 2020 and 8 January 2021, saw 3,200 responses, ranging from residents, developers, infrastructure providers, Parish Councillors, elected officials and technical bodies.

Chair of the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr David Burton said:

“We are pleased to have seen so many people take the opportunity to take part in this consultation. They clearly reflect some the main issues raised regarding the Local Plan Review and will be considered alongside the evidence base which informed the Regulation 18b consultation document, the emerging further evidence base which is currently being established and a number of other technical matters relating to sites and proposals. All of this will then form the basis of further work with elected Council Members in establishing the policies and proposals, including the spatial strategy to be promoted at Regulation 19.

“It is vital that the plan continues to progress in time for submission to meet the end of year otherwise the existing plan will expire and the current national planning regulations will then provide an assumption in favour by applications by developers.”

The LPR consultation document included preferred approaches towards accommodating future growth in housing, employment and retail, and locations for these, together with the infrastructure necessary to secure them. The consultation document also has important policy areas, including protection of key environmental assets, climate change and funding of key infrastructure.

The consultation also received a good level of response from infrastructure providers and statutory consultees whose main comments related to matters ranging from highway capacity and utilities provision to the need for new healthcare facilities and the protection of heritage and natural landscapes.

Discussions with infrastructure providers, statutory bodies, adjacent local authorities and other stakeholders are ongoing and where issues have been raised, the Local Planning Authority is working to resolve them through these and further technical evidence between now and the Regulation 19 consultation in the Summer.

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