How you can get involved with the Local Plan - Part 6 in a series on the Local Plan by Cllr John Halsall Leader of WBC
When I started putting this series of columns together about the Local Plan, I had one clear goal in mind: provide an accessible guide to a very complex issue which affects everybody living in Wokingham Borough.
Over previous weeks, I’ve talked about:
- the difficulties young people have in trying to buy a home
- what the Local Plan is and why we need to put one together
- what happens if we don’t produce a Local Plan
- what we’re trying to in drafting a new Plan
- the benefits to the Borough from the Local Plan.
Why have I taken the trouble to explain this? Surely the Council doesn’t want you, a local resident, to have information about this so that you (*whisper it*) get involved?
What I want is exactly the opposite.
I want as many people living in the Borough to get involved as possible. The success of our new Local Plan depends on being shaped by the largest possible number of views, from Shinfield to Crowthorne, from Earley and Woodley to Hurst and Charvil, from Remenham to Finchampstead.
There are two critical points in the development of the Local Plan where your involvement is so important. The first of these is when we publish the revised draft Plan this autumn, which will provide an updated strategy including changes from our previous draft in 2020. We’ll ask you to share your feedback, and will then make changes to our Plan where we can based on feedback.
The second crucial point will be when we publish our Pre-Submission Local Plan, which we are currently planning for some time in summer 2022. This is the draft of the Plan which will be considered by a Planning Inspector for approval. We’ll ask for your feedback for a second time, both to help us make sure that we’ve got the Plan right as well as to help us shape our arguments for when the Inspector examines our Plan in public.
So, how can you share your views? At each of these important points, alongside consultations with neighbouring councils, public bodies and other consultees required by law, we will launching public consultations that will invite you to give your feedback. This will take the form of a detailed form allowing you to provide your thoughts on every aspect of the draft Local Plan. We will widely advertise the consultation, providing details closer to the time in the press, through the Borough News magazine produced by the Council, on social media, and elsewhere.
I hope that this series on the Local Plan has provided information in a clear, easy-to-digest way.
It’s so important that you get involved with the Plan. We are one community, and I want this to be our community’s Local Plan.
Please keep your eyes open for the next stage of consultation in the coming months, and I look forward to hearing your views when the time comes.