Consultation needs to be extended

Councillor Penny Baker
Councillor Penny Baker
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Sheffield residents may or may not be aware that a consultation is currently taking place on the new Sheffield Plan.

This is an important document that according to the council’s website ‘will guide the future of the city by setting out how and where development will take place up to 2034’.

This started officially last Wednesday with the publication of The Sheffield Plan: Citywide Options for Growth to 2034, despite the council still withholding the location of the 117 green belt sites proposed for development by land owners and developers as part of the Call for Housing Sites.

The Lib Dem group found out back in July that the council were considering 117 sites located in the green belt for development as part of the call for housing sites.

We have been asking for this list first by requesting it from the planning officers but when that was refused we submitted an FOI, only to have that refused on the basis that the information was due for publication.

We were told that the list would be published as part of the SHLAA, and was told only last week that this would be published and made available along with the opening of the consultation, (November 11, 2015).

I was then told on Wednesday that the list would be published on Friday and that not even a draft was available.

It is now Monday, five days into the already short consultation period, which will be running until December 23.

How do they expect to people to be able to give their opinion when they are not fully informed?

The council have chosen to hold it in the run-up to Christmas, when people have other things on their mind.

This is simply not good enough.

We’ve seen this time and time again and it shows the Labour council don’t want to listen.

If the recent consultations on buses and schools are anything to go on, it will be over before people are aware it is even happening.

The council now needs to extend the consultation period so the people of Sheffield can have their say on this important matter.’

Coun Penny Baker

Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Sheffield City Council

n Editor’s note: The identity of the 117 green belt sites were released yesterday after The Star’s Political Reporter Ellen Beardmore asked the council why they had not been published.