RESIDENTS, businesses and organisations will have a final opportunity to comment on a 20-year planning blueprint for Reading in a public consultation exercise which begins later this week (Nov 30th).
Throughout the year Reading Borough Council has been developing its Local Plan – a key strategic planning document to help guide future development in the town up to 2036.
The plan sets out how and where the Council will tackle meeting the substantial needs for development, including new homes, and how that will be balanced against the need to protect and enhance those aspects that make Reading unique. When adopted, the Local Plan will become the main consideration in deciding planning applications in the local authority area.
A draft Local Plan has evolved following two phases of public consultation over the last two years, which attracted more than 350 representations. A meeting of the Council’s Strategic Environment Planning and Transport Committee (SEPT) earlier this month agreed the final phase of consultation, before the document is submitted to the Secretary of State, for examination in the Spring.
Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“This is the final phase of public consultation on what is a key planning document which will play a major role in helping to shape Reading over the next 20 year period.
“The level of demand for housing means Reading will continue to face huge demands, but it is essential development is balanced with the right infrastructure.
“Feedback received in the two previous phases of consultation show general support in trying to accommodate the estimated 671 homes every year Reading needs over the next 20 year period. What is clear however, is that Reading does not have the space available to accommodate that level of housing within its own boundaries, and we will need to work with neighbouring authorities to consider how all housing needs in the west of Berkshire area can be met.”
The consultation on the draft Local Plan will begin on Thursday November 30th and run for a period of 8 weeks. The Local Plan will be made available from Nov 30th on www.reading.gov.uk/newlocalplan . People will have until Friday 26th January 2018 to feedback.
Following consideration of all public responses following the final consultation phase, submission of Reading’s Local Plan to the Secretary of State is scheduled for February or March 2018. An independent Inspector will then examine the plan and determine whether it is ‘sound’ and legally compliant and therefore can be adopted.