Planning chief: 'We only have one crack at Local Plan'

Planning chief: 'We only have one crack at Local Plan'

Planning chief: 'We only have one crack at Local Plan'

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A PLANNING chief has warned a council has one chance at getting its Local Plan right or it could face starting again, leaving the door open to developers.

Cllr Neil Marshall likened the Local Plan process to snakes and ladders, stating Wycombe District Council would go to the bottom of the pile and have to work its way back up the ladder if the government rejected its housing projections and its proposals to meet that need.

He told Monday’s Full Council meeting that it was imperative the authority got it right first time or it would "lose its protection to developers".

This included the "sensitive and controversial" review of the district’s green belt land, as set out by the government, to see if any protected plots could be developed.

He said: "Planning Inspectors assessing Local Plans are making clear that the overall extent of the green belt within a local authority area should be reviewed to help find more land for housing when housing need cannot be fully met by other means.

"It is therefore important we undertake a green belt review to demonstrate we have explored all the options in relation to assessing how much additional housing the district can accommodate and whether we may have to ask other nearby authorities to assist with meeting that need.

"We have not yet undertaken that review and I would not want to pre-judge the outcome of it but we will want to ensure that a review is subject to full public consultation."

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