Public Consultation on Cotswold District Local Plan underway until 21 December

Press release from Cotswold District Council.
Release date: 6 November 2015

As work continues on developing a Local Plan for Cotswold District, the Council is now consulting the public on the planning policies and standards which, when adopted, will set out the ground rules to be followed when considering applications for development. The proposed policies will cover a wide range of issues from housing and employment to design, infrastructure and the environment.

This public consultation marks another key step in preparing a new Local Plan. It follows on from the Development Strategy and Site Allocations consultation in January 2015, which included requests to comment on objectives for the Local Plan. This time around, the public is being asked to focus on whether the planning policies would deliver sustainable development which helps to meet the Local Plan’s objectives (.

The consultation period will run until midday on Monday 21 December.

Cllr Nick Parsons, the Deputy Leader of CDC and Cabinet Member for Forward Planning, explained: “We can’t deliver our objectives for the District without a robust means of doing so – that’s why we need Development Management policies. Policies and standards set out the ground rules, making it clear what we can and cannot do. The policies pay regard to national planning guidelines but add more specific detail relevant to our area. They should ensure that future development is of high quality and protects, conserves or enhances the environment.

“To be as effective as possible in responding, people should consider how the proposed planning policies would apply to their area to ensure the delivery of appropriate and sympathetic development. We would be grateful if they could consider whether the policies are clearly written, fit for purpose and will ensure implementation of the Plan’s strategy and objectives. The most effective responses will be when respondents can provide evidence and justification to support their comments.

“We have consulted the public several times already about the emerging Local Plan over the last four years. Most recently, we asked people to provide their views on the Local Plan’s objectives and development strategy – including the allocation of housing and gypsy and traveller sites across the District – and we received nearly 10,000 responses. We have captured this information and will take it into account, so there is no need to go over this ground again.

“However, it is worth pointing out that the Council has received no compelling evidence to suggest that the proposed strategy – set out in our previous consultation – is inappropriate or that a more sustainable AND deliverable alternative should be promoted. This includes the Council’s concerns about a proposed new settlement at Kemble Airfield and proposals to reduce the size of the strategic development site at Chesterton.

“Any changes resulting from the January 2015 consultation will be clarified in the Regulation 19 consultation next year on the whole Local Plan. However, for this current consultation we want your views on the proposed Development Management policies only.”

The Council has arranged public drop-in sessions at its Trinity Road Council Chamber, Cirencester on 17 November (2 pm to 6.30 pm) and the Moreton-in-Marsh Area Centre on Wednesday 18 November (2 pm to 6.30 pm) when officers will be available to answer any questions about the current consultation.

You can view the consultation document relating to planning policies (opens in a new window) online. Once you have registered your details, it is easy to submit comments on any section of the document or provide feedback on the document as a whole.

In addition to the Council’s website, copies of the consultation document and associated supporting papers will be available to view at the Council offices in Cirencester and Moreton-in-Marsh and at libraries across the District.

If you cannot or do not wish to submit comments online, it is possible to email your comments to localplan@cotswold.gov.uk.

Written comments can be sent to:
Forward Planning Team, Cotswold District Council, Trinity Road, Cirencester, GL7 1PX

Please ensure comments reach the Council by noon on Monday 21 December. We are unable to guarantee that comments received after the deadline can be taken into consideration.

The Council is required to make all comments publicly available to view on its website and cannot accept anonymous representations. This consultation exercise is not an opportunity to repeat representations submitted previously in response to earlier consultation documents.

Once the Council has received comments on the planning policies, we will use them, together with comments from the January 2015 consultation and our detailed evidence base, to produce the ‘pre-submission’ version of the whole Local Plan. The pre-submission plan, which will include the development strategy, detailed site allocations and policies, will then be subject to a round of statutory public consultation in the spring of 2016. At that stage, the comments from the public can only be directed to issues regarding the Local Plan’s ‘soundness’ and legal compliance. That will pave the way for the Council to submit the Local Plan – and all the related evidence – to the Secretary of State for examination by the end of 2016. The submitted documents will include summaries of comments that the Council has received from the public during previous consultations.

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