NEXT STEP TO BE TAKEN TOWARDS WELL-PLANNED DEVELOPMENT IN WOKINGHAM BOROUGH
The Local Plan Update will guide development locally over the next 20 years and once completed it will set where housing, business and leisure development can take place in the borough up to 2036. Wokingham Borough Council is in the early stages of producing this plan and expects to complete it by 2019.
As part of the Local Plan Update process, the borough council needs to understand what land is available for new development. Therefore the council has undertaken two ‘Call for Sites’ consultations, which were an open invitation to anybody to put forward land to be considered for development.
Over 200 sites have been submitted and a list of all of these and a distribution map will be available to view on the following link on the council’s website at: www.wokingham.gov.uk/localplanupdate from today (September 21) for information only. It will show the location and size of each site and what use the site promoter has suggested it be used for.
It is important to note that at this stage, no decisions have been made on whether a site is acceptable for development or not. All sites will be subject to a technical assessment to determine their suitability and only the most appropriate sites will actually be allocated for development. Many of the sites suggested may not be suitable, available or able to be delivered; there is no guarantee that a site will be allocated through the Local Plan Update process. The assessment will include the considerationof how sustainable development would be; with sites that are within easy reach of existing shops, services, amenities and infrastructure such as road and rail links (both existing and planned) considered to more sustainable and appropriate for development.
The council will not be seeking comments on specific sites that have been nominated for development at this stage; the opportunity to comment on specific sites will come in a later stage of the Local Plan Update process (known as the Preferred Options stage) in 2017. At the Proposed Submission stage (in 2018), the council will undertake a consultation on the sites it proposes to allocate as part of the Local Plan Update, subject to future executive approval.
Wokingham Borough Council’s executive member for planning and regeneration Cllr Mark Ashwell said: “It’s important to understand that the Local Plan Update is about more than new homes.
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“It will also establish what needs to come with those homes – new schools, new roads and other transport investment, new parks and play areas, new sporting and community facilities, new health facilities and all the other things that make communities work. It’s also about maintaining our current high quality of life, ensuring we remain an economic success story and protecting what is most important in our environment.
“Part of this process is gathering a comprehensive picture of all the land that may be available for development so that these can be assessed and the best spots selected.”
The list of promoted sites and the distribution map, as well as further information about the Local Plan Update, can be found on the council’s website at: www.wokingham.gov.uk/localplanupdate.
To receive email updates about each of the Local Plan Update consultations please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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