The blueprint for land use across the whole of the BCP area begins its development, as BCP Council is set to agree the next stage of preparing the first Local Plan for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
The Council’s Cabinet will be asked to approve The Local Plan Issues and Options Document for public consultation at the next meeting on 28 July 2021. Consultation with the public will take place for an 8-week period, commencing this summer.
Currently, the council is working under three Local Plans for each separate area, inherited from preceding councils. The creation of one Local Plan for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole is essential, and will mean future developments can be planned in a sustainable way.
Once adopted, the new Local Plan for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will be the legal starting point in determining planning applications in the BCP area. The Local Plan will cover the period from 2022 –2038 with a requirement to review it every five years.
An initial consultation in 2019 set out the key issues that the plan needs to consider and invited those with an interest in promoting development sites to submit them for consideration. Information expressed during that consultation has informed the Issues and Options document. This document highlights all the current options to address the planning issues identified, and will then seek public feedback.
At this stage in the process, no commitment has been made to allocate land for development. The council is committed to ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to give their view on all the issues we face, so we aren’t limiting the inclusion of the options we have available. Later stages in the development of a Local Plan will be when the council sets out site allocations.
A key issue identified is the requirement to plan for significant future housing, resulting from the government’s method for determining housing need. BCP Council is currently carrying out further work to examine the housing need in our area in more detail.
Councillor Philip Broadhead, Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning, said: “This is the first step on our journey to developing a Local Plan for the BCP area. We are clear that we aren’t pre-determining or omitting any opportunities we have without hearing from our residents, businesses and visitors first. Therefore, all of the issues and opportunities are being put forward for public consultation.
“This first Local Plan for our area really needs to ensure that we can balance the delivery of housing, jobs and infrastructure to meet our future needs, alongside our commitment to tackle climate change and protect our green spaces and coastline.
“We face huge challenges in meeting the government’s housing need targets, along with our own commitments to support the creation of 13,000 jobs and that is why this early consultation, which assures openness and transparency, is so important.
“I urge all our residents, businesses and visitors to have their say in this consultation which will help inform the development of a new Local Plan for the area. This will play an integral role in delivering BCP Council’s Big Plan, so we are a world-class city-region, which truly values our culture and improves the quality of life for our communities.”
The consultation, on this first stage in the process, will begin late summer 2021.
For more information, please visit www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/LocalPlan