WIRRAL residents are being urged to give their views on the borough’s Local Plan, as the council’s Cabinet yesterday (Monday) agreed to launch a major programme of community consultation.
The ‘Local Plan’ is the policy which guides how an area can be developed; it determines what can be built where and what land should be protected from development.
Wirral is required identify a ‘suitable, available and deliverable’ supply of land to meet the ‘housing needs’ of the next 15 years. This housing need has been determined by Government ministers and means Wirral must identify sufficient land for 800 new homes to be built every year for 15 years – at least 12,000 extra new homes by 2035.
Cllr George Davies, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “Wirral must have a Local Plan. It is a legal duty, and the policy which guides and determines how our borough can be developed in the coming years. It is crucial our Local Plan is designed based on the unique needs and character of our borough, and the needs of our residents.
“Wirral residents must have their say on Wirral’s Local Plan.
“As part of a national housebuilding target, Government has told Wirral we must identify enough land to allow for 12,000 new homes to be built in Wirral by 2035. We know, and so do Government ministers, we do not have enough brownfield or urban land to enable that scale of housebuilding and as a consequence we will have to consider releasing land from the Green Belt.
“I have written to every developer with a planning application in hand, urging them to start work on the homes they have permission to build. Many have responded positively and I hope they will work with the Council to build the homes Wirral residents need in the areas Wirral residents want to live.”
The Local Plan will determine what brownfield sites should be made available for housing, it determines where new employment and mixed use sites should be released for development and it will conduct a full review of Green Belt in the borough.
A consultation website has been created – wirral.gov.uk/localplan – which allows residents to give their views. A programme of public meetings is also scheduled throughout the borough. People can book places at the public meetings by visiting the website.
Cllr Davies continued: “Our hand is being forced. We will of course meet our legal obligations and develop a Local Plan. We have to review our Green Belt land and, while making any of those sites available for development will be our last resort, it has been made unequivocally clear to us that if we do not do it, it will be taken out of our hands.
“The Local Plan we develop will meets residents’ needs, and we will do everything we can to protect the special character of Wirral. This consultation is vital, and I hope every Wirral resident is able to get involved and make their voice heard.”
This week, paper feedback forms will be delivered to every One Stop Shop, Library and Leisure Centre in the borough for those residents unable to get online. Formal consultation – with detailed maps and technical information on each site affected by the Local Plan – commences on 03 September.
Community consultation: Key points and meeting dates
While comments are being sought now, the formal element of the consultation – where detailed maps and technical information will be available – starts on 3 September. This will include large scale maps being available in community locations throughout the borough
A series of local meetings has been arranged, and you can book your place by visiting the consultation website. Dates and locations are:
3 September 2018: Wallasey Town Hall, Seacombe; 10am, 4.30pm, 7pm
5 September 2018: Floral Pavilion, New Brighton; 10am, 4.30pm, 7pm
10 September 2018: Hulme Hall, Bromborough; 10am, 4.30pm, 7pm
12 September 2018: Pensby High School, Pensby; 4.30pm, 7pm (moved from Irby Club on 11 September)
18 September 2018: West Kirby Concourse, West Kirby; 10am, 4.30pm, 7pm
Residents are welcome to drop in between 11am and 7pm (5pm and 9pm at Pensby) on the day of each meeting to talk to council officers and ask questions about the proposals.