The Council is in the process of creating a Development Plan Document (DPD) which will provide a suitable spatial strategy and site options. The DPD will also provide policies to assess future planning applications for accommodating Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling showpeople sites and pitches. The consultation is the first stage of this process and is aimed at gathering views on how best to do this and what the DPD should contain.
Cllr Paul Cooper, Lead Member for Planning and Infrastructure at MBC said:
“We will be consulting on the future needs of the Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople communities in the borough which will include promoting an integrated approach between existing and future sites and the wider local communities. We will be looking at balancing the needs of all communities whilst ensuring that infrastructure is provided and the natural and built environment is protected.”
“As part of this consultation, we are not yet identifying specific sites or pitches, but are seeking views on the processes around site identification and assessment. In addition, we will be looking at the options that may be available to us so that we can meet the identified accommodation needs across the whole borough.”
As part of the consultation there is the opportunity for people to submit sites for consideration as potential options for allocation at the next stage.
This consultation is the first formal stage in the planning process, known as Regulation 18 consultation and will help to inform the Regulation 18 preferred approaches consultation documents which MBC hope to publish early in 2024.
People will be asked to have their say between 28 February and 17 April 2023. The consultation will be available on Let’s Talk Maidstone when it begins. https://letstalkmaidstone.uk.engagementhq.com/
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