Local residents and businesses will be asked to comment on the Draft Local Plan after Solihull’s Cabinet approved an eight week consultation, from 5 December 2016 to 30 January 2017.
In July 2015 the Council decided that instead of pursuing a Local Area Plan (LAP) for potential development around the HS2 Interchange, it should review the Solihull Local Plan (SLP) which had previously been adopted in December 2013.
The other reasons for the review of the plan include the legal challenge to the housing requirement in the previous SLP and the apparent housing shortfall in the wider housing market area.
The outline programme for the review is below:
- Draft Local Plan – consultation 5 December 2016 – 30 January 2017
- Publication of Submission Draft, in light of comments from the consultation – Spring 2017 (date TBC)
- Final Local Plan submission to Secretary of State – Summer 2017, which will then trigger an Examination in Public and an official consultation (date TBC)
Councillor Ian Courts, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Managed Growth, welcomed the new Draft Local Plan:
“The proposed consultation is not a statutory requirement. However, we want local people and businesses to get involved in preparing a robust Draft Local Plan. We can then produce a Submission Draft before finally entering into the official consultation that comes before the Examination in Public. This is why the proposals at this stage are not fixed and why we are so keen for people’s views.
“I know it is vital for the future development of Solihull that the borough has a plan in place that can support the creation of homes and jobs in a planned and sustainable manner, while retaining the essential ‘Urbs in Rure’ character of the area.
“The final plan will have to juggle many competing forces, but to be effective, it really should have the involvement of residents, businesses, developers and the many other stakeholders that are affected. The question I would pose to everyone as they read through the plan and look at various sites is, ‘if not here, then where?’
“Cabinet has approved an eight week consultation period, to run from 5 December 2016 to 30 January 2017. It’s important for local people to take the time to read the Draft Local Plan and see how it will affect themselves, their local area and the borough as a whole.”
The consultation will open at 9am on 5 December 2016. An engagement plan is currently being finalised to offer opportunities for people to discuss the plan in person with Council officers working on the review.
To ensure a consistent approach to capturing comments, so that all views can be given due consideration, those commenting will be encouraged to use an online portal to register their views.
This will allow a more robust link between comments and particular policies or proposals within the plan and make sure respondents can see their comments were considered.
The previous Solihull Local Plan, adopted in 2013, can be viewed here