Following approval from the MBC Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee meeting held on 4 October and Full Council on 6 October, a six week period of Public Consultation on the Maidstone Local Plan Review Draft for Submission version will commence Friday 29 October.
The Consultation which runs until 12 December sets out the main components of future growth in housing, employment, retail, and the preferred locations where these would provide the widest benefits together with the infrastructure necessary to secure these benefits across the borough of Maidstone. The public and other stakeholders including parish councils, community groups, residents, businesses and developers can have their say via the online form which will be available on the MBC Local Plan Review webpage from this Friday:
Chairman of the MBC Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Paul Cooper said:
“The iterations of this important Local Plan Review have now been through a number of consultation processes. However, this Regulation 19 Consultation is the culmination of all of our previous work, and in accordance with government guidelines, is the plan that we propose to submit to government for Examination by an independent inspector. So, as ever, I would encourage residents, businesses and other stakeholders to let us have their views.”
Along with other local authorities across the country, MBC is working to meet nationally imposed government housing targets and the Maidstone LPR reflects that. The Reg19 consultation document has important policy areas, including protection of key environmental assets, climate change and funding of key infrastructure.
Councillor Cooper added:
“The Council is acutely aware, that as with similar plans across the South of England, our efforts to meet government housing targets and to ensure that these are accompanied by all the associated land and infrastructure for traffic, jobs, education, health and other services are contentious within local communities. As such, we have worked very hard to identify a spatial strategy and supporting policies which will be best placed mitigate the impacts of growth and to bring new facilities which will benefit both our existing and new communities. I would also remind people again of the consequences of failing to get a local plan in place, which is that we effectively lose almost all local control over where development goes in our borough and risk a scenario whereby the first sites the development industry brings forward are those that they would be least likely to get an approval for with the control that an adopted plan provides. In such a scenario it is likely that the most unpalatable sites which we have already discounted would be the sites which would come forward first.”
The Local Planning Authority has undertaken extensive work with a wide range of other organisations and stakeholders to ensure all sites proposed in the Plan have been fully assessed.
The Draft Local Plan Review document, report and associated appendices/background papers are available on the Maidstone Borough Council’s website: www.maidstone.gov.uk