PUBLIC consultation on a key planning document which will provide a 20-year blueprint for Reading begins on Wednesday 3rd May.
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 each local authority area.
Following an initial period of public consultation last year in which 200 representations were made, the Council is now asking residents, businesses and organisations to have their say on a draft of the Local Plan as part of a formal six-week consultation.
From May 3rd, the Draft Local Plan will be available on the Council’s website at www.reading.gov.uk/newlocalplan and people will be able to feedback via the same link.
Two Local Plan drop-in events, where residents can discuss the plans with planning officers, have also been organised and will be hosted in the reception of the Civic Offices. They will take place on Monday 15th May, from 2pm to 7pm, and Tuesday 23rd May, from 1pm to 6pm.
All responses will be considered before a Revised Draft Local Plan is submitted to the Government.
Cllr Tony Page, Reading’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“This is a key consultation, the results of which will help influence and shape Reading over the next 20 years. I would urge people to take some time to have their say.
“The acute need for housing in the south east – and in particular affordable housing – means Reading will continue to face huge pressures in terms of development. The Local Plan will determine what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of possible future development.
“Aside from working with neighbouring authorities to accommodate more housing, the document highlights opportunities to make even more of Reading’s considerable heritage, not least the Council’s on going work to transform the Abbey Quarter into a major visitor attraction.”
National changes in planning policy mean every local authority now needs to replace existing development plans with a single Local Plan that seeks to meet its needs.
Reading’s updated Local Plan addresses major issues facing Reading, including housing, affordable housing, infrastructure and transport, employment need, sustainability, heritage and open spaces.