The first stage of a new Local Plan for Fenland will formally launch on Friday 11 October.
This key document will determine what the district will look like in the future. It explains where opportunities for growth in homes and jobs should be taken, how parts of the district will be enhanced further or protected, and what other infrastructures, such as schools, roads and plays areas, are needed.
Fenland's current Local Plan was adopted in 2014. However, Government Policy states that plans over 5 years old must be reviewed, and with changes to national guidance and new government ambitions for planning, Fenland will take this opportunity to set out a long-term vision and policies to deliver sustainable growth until 2040.
The Local Plan process will start with a public consultation on the Issues and Options document. This document sets out a series of questions to help establish what policies and sites should be included in the new Local Plan. The consultation will run until Thursday 21 November.
Local people, developers, landowners, agents and parish councils will be encouraged to suggest sites for future housing, employment, retail, leisure and other provision, that are available and deliverable.
All sites will be assessed against detailed assessment criteria and the preferred sites will be included in the next version of the Plan due for public consultation in May/June 2020.
National Policy states that a Local Plan housing target must be calculated using the government standard method. This works out as 550 dwellings per year for Fenland, therefore the target for 2040 will be 11,550 dwellings. The new Local Plan must identify sufficient available and deliverable sites to meet this target.
Councillor Dee Laws, Portfolio Holder for Planning, said: "This is an exciting time for Fenland as the Council starts preparing the new Local Plan. The Local Plan will determine the way the district develops and grows over the next 20 years. We all care passionately about Fenland and want to help ensure that the towns and villages grow and prosper in the best possible way to bring benefits to all local communities.
"We really value your views and input in the creation of the new Local Plan for Fenland. I encourage you to get involved at this early stage and to help shape the future growth of our district."
The Issues and Options consultation document and online questionnaire can be viewed at: www.fenland.gov.uk/newlocalplan. Alternatively, printed versions of the document can be found at the following locations: Libraries and Fenland Customer Services Centres in Chatteris, March, Whittlesey and Wisbech, Boathouse Business Centre and South Fens Business Centre.
We will also have a number of drop in sessions at the libraries:
· Wisbech Library, Friday 18 October, 10am - 4pm
· March Library, Thursday 24 October, 2pm - 6.30pm
· Whittlesey Library, Friday 25 October, 10am - 4pm
· March Library, Friday 1 November, 10am - 4pm
· Chatteris Library, Monday 4 November, 10am - 4pm
The consultation will run until Thursday 21 November.