The Head of Planning, Regeneration and Leisure Services presented a report on the subject of the Redditch Local Development Scheme.
The Executive Committee was informed that the Council’s Local Plan review process, for the preparation of Local Plan no. 5, had commenced. As part of the process, the Council was required to prepare the Local Development Scheme no. 7, which detailed the process and timetable for the preparation of the new Local Plan. The Local Development Scheme did not address the policies that would be included in the Local Plan No. 5, as this would be considered at a later date.
As part of the Council’s work on the Local Development Scheme, consideration was being given to the requirement for other local authorities to seek the Council’s views of their Local Plans, under a process known as the Duty to Co-operate. Officers prepared responses on behalf of the Council, though these could be amended by Members through the democratic process. In relation to the correspondence with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, the Council was agreeing a Statement of Common Ground, whereby a statement was agreed with Solihull regarding each Council’s Local Plan.
Following the presentation of the report, Members discussed the consultation process that would be followed for the Local Plan no. 5. Officers explained that there was a statutory period of at least six weeks of consultation, though Officers usually advised that the consultation period should be extended to eight weeks. In previous years, a range of methods had been used for consultation purposes in respect of the Local Plan, including press releases, social media and consultation with Feckenham Parish Council. Consultation events had also been held in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre and other prominent locations in the Borough and, subject to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was possible that similar events could be held for the Local Plan no. 5, including potentially hybrid events.
Reference was made to the potential for local residents to submit their views during the consultation process. Members urged the public to participate in this consultation process, as this provided an opportunity for the public to influence the content of the Local Plan and this would ultimately have implications for future decisions on planning applications.
1) the update on progress on the Redditch Local Plan Review be noted;
2) the Local Development Scheme No.7 for the production of the Borough of Redditch Local Plan No.5 be approved;
3) the consultation responses provided to neighbouring and nearby authorities be retrospectively approved; and
4) the Statement of Common Ground with Solihull Borough Council be approved.