Council Submits Local Plan to Secretary of State

Reading Borough Council’s Local Plan will be submitted to the Secretary of State tomorrow (March 29th).

The Local Plan is a key strategic planning document which will help guide future development in the town up to 2036. It follows three phases of public consultation over the last two years.

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.

The submission of the Local Plan and Proposals Map to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government marks the beginning of a public examination process. An independent Inspector will consider the documents and determine whether they are sound, legally compliant and fulfil the duty to co-operate.

Up to date information on the submitted Local Plan – including the dates of public hearings when available – will be provided on a dedicated Council webpage which can be found at  www.reading.gov.uk/localplanexamination. The webpage goes live on Thursday this week.

Tony Page
Cllr Tony Page

Tony Page, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:

“The submission of the Local Plan for examination by the Secretary of State is the culmination of  a number of years of work by the Planning Department and three detailed public consultations.

“This is a key planning document which, when adopted, will play a major role in helping to shape Reading over the next 20 year period. We  know Reading will continue to face huge demands for housing over this period, but it is absolutely essential that housing demand is balanced with supporting infrastructure, including improved public transport and road links, new schools, health and recreational facilities.

“The Local Plan is clear that Reading does not have the space available to accommodate the level of housing demand within its own boundaries, and that we will need to work with neighbouring authorities to consider how all housing needs in the west of Berkshire area can be met.”

The Council has appointed a Programme Officer, who will be the main point of contact for the administration examination. The Programme Officer can be contacted using the details on the webpage www.reading.gov.uk/localplanexamination when it goes live on March 29th.

The planning policy team can be contacted on planningpolicy@reading.gov.uk for more information on the Local Plan itself.

Oscar Mortali

For media enquiries about this release email oscar.mortali@reading.gov.uk or call 0118 937 2301