Council to create new Local Plan - and they want your feedback!

Council to create new Local Plan - and they want your feedback!

by Henry James (November 2021)

WEST Lancashire Borough Council is preparing a new Local Plan looking ahead to 2040 and they want to hear the views of residents.

The Local Plan is a legal document that sets out where new housing, business and other uses can go and contains policies that the council uses when considering planning applications.

It covers a wide range of topics including jobs, transport, leisure, recreation, energy and nature.

The current Local Plan dates from 2013 and the council has said it needs updating to better reflect issues like health and wellbeing, and the council's declaration in 2019 of a Climate Emergency.

The council will be looking for people’s views on what are the main planning-related issues in West Lancashire, and how best to tackle them through the Plan.

People can choose to give their views on the things that most concern them, or they can look at the whole range of issues.

Once the consultation goes live on November 18, there will be an interactive website portal that can be accessed via the council's home page and the council can also provide paper copies of what will be included in the consultation for those unable to access the internet.

The consultation will last 10 weeks, four weeks longer than the obligatory six, to, “give people the best opportunity to take part and have their say.” It will run until January 27 next year.

This is the first stage in preparing the council's new Local Plan. This will be a new plan to replace the one proposed in 2018 and will be a fresh start going forward.

There will be two more opportunities after this one for people to have input, and the council hope that the new Plan will be adopted by the end of 2024.

Councillor Gaynar Owen, cabinet member for planning, said: “Taking part in the consultation at this early stage will make sure your views help shape the overall direction the Plan goes in.

“For example, should we go for a very ‘green’ plan that has climate change at its heart? Do we want to go for growth in West Lancashire? Do we work towards a combination of the two approaches? We want to hear people's views on these important decisions.”

The council are not looking at choosing housing or business sites at this point – that will be the focus of the next stage in approximately one year’s time.

People can comment on the sites that were submitted to the council in last year’s ‘Call for Sites’.

The council has said: “We very much look forward to hearing from as many people as possible from across the borough to get as good a picture as we can on the approach people think the Council should take as we plan for the future.”

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