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Borough Plan to be submitted to Planning Inspectorate

Published on Friday, 26th May 2017

On Wednesday 24 May Council agreed the latest version of the Borough Plan and agreed to submit it to the Planning Inspectorate for examination.

NBBC is required by law to draw up a local plan that sets out how land is to be used for housing, business, recreation and conservation, how the right development is to be achieved in the right location at the right time and how sustainable development can be achieved overall. Once agreed by the Planning Inspector, the Council will use the Borough Plan when considering planning applications. It has been tailor-made to suit the Borough and its communities and is supported by a detailed Infrastructure Delivery Plan that will also be submitted to the Inspectorate.

The Plan has been subject to two rounds of public consultation, the latest round taking place between 30 January 2017 and 13 March 2017 and resulting in a total of 763 responses, including 649 separate responses, 58 Agent responses, 36 statutory consultee responses and three ordinary petitions. There were also 20 action group responses, which included 2649 individual representations. All these responses were considered by Cabinet and will now be forwarded to the independent Planning Inspectorate for consideration, alongside the Borough Plan.

Many of the issues emerging from this recent consultation exercise had already been identified within the previous exercise and contributed to the formulation of the Plan. Having considered the latest responses, officers did not identify anything new that required a change to the Plan. The majority of responders are members of the public and 90% concern the allocation of housing and employment land, something that has been influenced by the Council’s legal ‘duty to co-operate’ in accommodating growth from elsewhere within the region.

Ian Powell, Director of Regeneration and Public Protection said:

“The Council and its partners have invested extensive time and effort in getting the Plan right. Once in place, it will bring many benefits, including the protection of remaining green space, the management of future development projects to ensure that they are sustainable and meet strict standards of sustainability, design and quality, plus, of course, the provision of homes for future generations. The Plan also identifies over 100 hectares of employment land, so it also supports investment in future growth and employment within the Borough.”

"We have prepared a Plan that’s right for Nuneaton and Bedworth, one that helps us make the best possible decisions in the future about the use of land. It has been informed by the feedback we received from residents, businesses and organisations early on in the process and as many of the messages were repeated in the latest round of consultation, the Plan strongly reflects many of the key issues that emerged this time round too.”

Most of the latest submissions concerned the allocation of housing; as the Council is legally obliged to accommodate some of the growth from outside the Borough, it was necessary to balance the need for growth and the wishes of the community. The submissions made by individuals and businesses will be forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate, so they will have all the information when considering whether or not to approve the Plan.

Once submitted to the Planning Inspector, consideration will be given as to whether or not the Council has met its statutory duty to co-operate and also if it has prepared a ‘sound’ Plan, in that it is positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national policy.

The Inspector will determine the process of the examination and how the hearings will be conducted. Not all objectors have requested to be heard, however all written comments will still be considered.

Any major changes the Inspector suggests will be subject to another period of public consultation before the Plan can be adopted by the Council. The timetable going forward will be in the hands of the Inspector including the dates and times of the hearings which are likely to take place at the Town Hall. However, these are likely to take place in late summer or autumn of this year. Dates and times will be publicised closer to the events and those who have requested to take part will be informed.