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Published on Friday 24 November 2023

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council has published its draft Local Plan, which for the first time sets out the council’s ambitious strategy for all development across the region until 2039.

Local Plans are documents prepared by local planning authorities in consultation with their community, which set out a vision and a framework for the future development of an area.

The draft Local Plan identifies sites for 24,000 new homes and 80 hectares of employment land, along with detailed planning policies which will guide and influence future development.

The council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee will consider the review of the Local Plan on 4 December, followed by further Cabinet consideration on Wednesday 13 December.

Cllr Vikki Slade, Leader and Portfolio Holder for Dynamic Places, said:

"This Local Plan provides a clear and sustainable vision for our area, whilst recognising, valuing and protecting the heritage and past of all three towns.

"Bringing forward a new Local Plan for the BCP area is a significant milestone and, once adopted, will provide clarity and consistency to our planning approach. It will also align with BCP Council’s emerging new Corporate Strategy and Vision.

"I’m proud that this strategy fully supports the council’s climate and ecological emergency declaration, by ensuring that sustainability is the golden thread throughout this Local Plan. It ensures a responsible approach to all new development, which protects the Green Belt and mitigates any environmental impact.

"I’m passionate about the role BCP Council must play in delivering zero-carbon homes, whilst increasing and equalising our neighbourhood tree canopy cover and managing risks of flooding and coastal erosion."

The draft Local Plan includes 33 individual ward policies, which all councillors have had the opportunity to help shape, identifying more detailed and focused opportunities in each area.

Cllr Margaret Phipps, Lead Member for Local Plan Delivery, added:

"The cross-party working group, supported by our Planning Policy colleagues, have worked hard to bring forward this draft Local Plan. Preparing a Local Plan takes time due to the amount of evidence and consideration needed around all sites identified. It is vital our Local Plan stands the test of time and I’m confident that this will.

"I’d like to thank everyone who came along to one of our Local Plan drop-in information events earlier this month. We spoke with over 230 people over the four days, where we were able to gather lots of useful feedback whilst having positive conversations about the future of our area.

"We recognise that some sites identified for new development may generate discussion. Central Government requires all local councils to allocate sites for housing, employment and infrastructure in their Local Plan.

"All sites identified in this draft Local Plan have been selected because we believe they are the most suitable and sustainable options. Data and evidence, along with the results of the Local Plan Issues and Options consultation undertaken in 2022, are the key factors we’ve considered when allocating sites for development."

Subject to agreement, the draft local plan will go out to public consultation in January 2024.

All comments received will then be passed onto an Independent Examiner from the Planning Inspectorate for consideration as part of the formal examination process.

Once adopted, the BCP Local Plan will replace the three Local Plans currently serving the BCP area.

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