STOCKTON-ON-TEES BOROUGH Council’s Cabinet will meet on 27 June to discuss a proposal which would see a Local Plan produced for the area.
During the meeting council officers will recommend to Cabinet that a Local Plan is developed to replace the existing policy documents to take into account changes to the national planning system.
The Local Plan would set out a vision for the future development of the area in relation to housing, the economy, community facilities and infrastructure.
Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “The National Planning Policy Framework is a complete mess. Within the last few weeks we have seen the Government overturning applications rejected here despite strong local opposition and similar scenarios are playing out elsewhere too. We have always said that planning decisions are best made locally but sadly our planning officers must make their recommendations based on this flawed and inappropriate national policy which makes a mockery of the Government’s messages about devolution and local decision making.
“We do not have a five year supply of homes and meeting this target is impossible as there is no funding available to help regenerate brownfield sites. Just last week a Government planning inspector told us in an appeal decision that given the current Government funding arrangements it is necessary to pursue sites capable of development without significant public subsidy in order to achieve the housing required.
“The Government is continuously changing the goal posts and their policy is always in favour of development so we need to make sure we have a robust and proper plan which allows us to respond to quickly changing legislation and national planning guidance.”
If members agree to the development of the Local Plan a number of steps will take place between the end of June and March 2017. These include the creation of a number of additional documents which will inform the timetable and consultation requirements for the Local Plan.
The Local Development Scheme would set out the documents which would form the Local Plan and a timetable for their production.
The Statement of Community Involvement would outline how the Council will engage with communities when producing the Local Plan.
Once these documents are complete the Local Plan production will begin and officers will report progress back to Cabinet in March 2017.