Council votes to continue with Local Plan Review
Local Plan Review will proceed as per the decision of Council on 1 December 2022.
Following last night's (2 March 2023) extraordinary Council meeting, it has been agreed that the Local Plan Review will proceed as per the decision of Council on 1 December 2022. A motion proposed to stop the LPR regulation 19 consultation due to concerns around soundness was dismissed by Councillors following a debate and presentation by Councillor Richard Somner, Executive Member for Planning.
The Local Plan Review outlines a strategy for delivering 9,000 new homes (at least 3,000 of which will be affordable), as well as supporting infrastructure and promoting West Berkshire as a good place to do business. Each local authority is required to have a Local Plan, and to review it every five years. The current Local Plan is in place until 2026 and a review is currently taking place to extend it through to 2039.
It is a key objective for the Council that West Berkshire remains a 'plan-led' authority where development and growth are managed and planned for. This means that the District's valuable assets will be both protected and enhanced, with growth allocated to the least sensitive areas protecting our flora and fauna.
Councillor Richard Somner, Executive Member for Planning, Transport and Countryside, said:
"I am pleased that Council took the prudent course last night and agreed to continue with the Local Plan Review. I stated at last night's extraordinary Council meeting I am making public the advice I have received regarding the soundness of the LPR.
"I remain confident that we have taken a thorough approach to developing and consulting on the plan, and it will ultimately be up to the Planning Inspector to make a decision on the plan's soundness."
We will provide a further update on the consultation next week.