Consultation to begin on Local Plan
Published on 26 July 2017
PEOPLE are being given a chance to have their say on how planning and development takes place across Leicester over the coming decade.
Leicester City Council is launching a 12-week public consultation into its latest Local Plan, which will guide its planning policies and land use up until 2031.
Opening the consultation is the very first stage of the process which is expected to last about 18 months. Views given will be used to form the first draft Local Plan, which will then go out for further public consultation.
The council has to draw up Local Plans every few years, to set out how it will adapt to ongoing changes such as population growth, the need to provide new jobs, houses and schools, and other infrastructure needed to support a thriving, growing city.
It will look at subjects including where and when new housing should be built, including social housing and accommodation for students. It will also examine employment needs, including encouraging investment, creating new jobs and use of existing employment land.
The Local Plan will also explore the city’s transport needs, such as future transport options, tackling congestion and improving air quality.
The greater Leicester urban area is one of the fastest growing in the country, with a population of about 650,000, of which 350,000 live within the city council area.
Issues to be addressed in the local plan include:
• Land needed for office and business space to create jobs
• The land needed to cope with extra housing needed for a growing population
• The quality of open space in the city
• Where new shopping facilities could be located
• Sites suitable for student accommodation
• Location and distribution of fast food outlets
• Essential infrastructure, such as schools and community facilities
• Possible limits on fast foods takeaways near schools
• Creating a prosperous, thriving city centre
• Limits to the number of gambling establishments in the city
• Improvements to transport options
• Regeneration, including the city’s Waterside area
Any piece of land over half a hectare – just less than the size of a football pitch – will be included for consideration in the local plan. People can also suggest areas of land which aren’t included, but which they’d like to see redeveloped.
No firm decisions have yet been made about developing any sites, so it is important for people to get involved and share their views on how land should be used in the future.
Views and information submitted as part of the consultation will be used to form a draft Local Plan, which will then be consulted upon further as part of the decision-making process over the city’s future development.
The final Local Plan will then be submitted to the Government, where it will be independently assessed before the city council can adopt it.
The consultation on the Local Plan was launched on Wednesday, July 26, and will run until Tuesday, October 31.
Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “We want as many people as possible to take part in this consultation, to ensure that people get involved in shaping the future of their city.”
“The Local Plan looks to set out the council’s long-term plans for the city, by identifying how land is used and what sites can be built upon. This means some difficult decisions need to be made to ensure we can accommodate the city’s growth over the coming years.
“It’s vitally important to us to involve the people who live in the city, who can give us their views on how they’d like development to proceed.”
Leaflets explaining the Local Plan and how to get involved in the consultation will be delivered to households across the city and greater Leicester area in the coming weeks.
People will be able to take part online on the Citizen Space website, at consultations.leicester.gov.uk
Public exhibitions on the Local Plan are also due to take place, along with a range of meetings in communities across the city.
Copies of the reference materials will be made available to view from next week at city council-run libraries, the Town Hall and customer service centre in Granby Street. Paper copies of the consultation questionnaire will also be available at those sites.