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Time to have your say on West Norfolk's Local Plan draft

People wishing to have a say West Norfolk Council's draft Local Plan for development to 2036 are being urged to do so from Monday.

All councils must have a Local Plan in place by 2023 and representations on West Norfolk Council's Local Plan Review Draft will be sent to an independent planning inspector after the closing point on September 27.

Planning decisions are based upon the Local Plan unless material circumstances indicate otherwise.

The Local Plan will guide where development is permitted in West Norfolk. (43093497)
The Local Plan will guide where development is permitted in West Norfolk. (43093497)

West Norfolk Council said this week: "Notable changes within the plan are that 539 homes per year for the next 20 years are now required to be built, which is far fewer than the original 700 homes per year required in the 2016 plan.

"There are only two new housing sites allocated in this local plan - one in Marham and one in Terrington St Clement (other sites are being carried forward). Some sites within the 2016 plan will be deallocated as they are not being brought forward for development and are no longer required to meet the council's five-year housing land supply or housing need requirement."

The review of the Local Plan began in 2016 with a call for sites and policy change suggestions. The draft local plan review was then published for a six-week consultation period in 2019

West Norfolk Council's cabinet member for development and regeneration, Cllr Richard Blunt, said: "All this data and evidence has been collated and assessed to produce a pre-submission local plan review draft.

This has been presented to cabinet and council and approved for the next step - which is the call for representations to the Planning Inspector ahead of the public examination.

"This is a really crucial stage and we would urge anyone with any views on the development of the area over the next 15 years to take a look at the review of the local plan and make their comments.

"This is not a consultation but an opportunity to make representations to the Planning Inspector on the plan the council has produced.

"The inspector will then review all the documents and the representations before determining whether the Local Plan is sound."

The Local Plan Review incorporates a host of supporting documents which include policies on environmental impact, flood risk, settlement boundaries, affordable housing and custom/self-build.

The documents are available on the consultation portal on the borough council's planning pages, and there is an interactive map to assist people reviewing the document.

Mr Blunt added: "I can't impress enough on people how important it is to get involved at this stage. If you care about the way your area may be developed in the future, you need to look at this plan now and make representations.

"Once it is determined as sound and fully adopted by the council, then there is nothing that can be done.

"It will be the document against which planning applications will be judged. I would urge everyone to take the time to have a look and submit their representations before the deadline of 5pm on 27 September 2021."

To make representations, visit west-norfolk.gov.uk/haveyoursay and click on Local Plan.

The Local Plan Review Pre-Submission document and other proposed submission documents are available for inspection online via the above web address or at the council offices, King’s Court, Chapel Street, King’s Lynn, PE30 1EX and at libraries at London Road, King’s Lynn; Gaywood; Hunstanton; Dersingham; Downham Market; and Wisbech.

Representations can be main online via the above link or by post to Environment & Planning, Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, King’s Court, Chapel Street, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 1EX or email planning.policy@west-norfolk.gov.uk.

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