No Local Plan for several months

Sheffield’s long-awaited Local Plan will not be ready for several months, says the senior councillor in charge of it.

Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 10:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th June 2019, 7:38 pm
Coun Bob Johnson, cabinet member for transport and development

Liberal Democrat councillors have complained that the plan, which is a blueprint for how the city will be developed over the next 20 years, is already a year overdue.

But Labour says it is of “utmost importance” to get it right and that no plan or consultation will be ready for several months.

“We are concerned that the publication of the Sheffield Local Plan, for consultation, has been delayed for over a year and there is still no official publication date,” said Coun Ian Auckland, shadow cabinet member for planning and development.

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“We believe that this consultation plan is completed and the decision to delay the publication is a political decision by the leader of the council.

“We are dismayed that Labour would leave such an important document unpublished and leave the city development open to exploitation by developers and the Green Belt unprotected.”

Labour says there will be a full consultation on the draft plan then a further period of consultation on the final proposals before the plan is considered by the government’s independent Planning Inspector.

Coun Bob Johnson, cabinet member for planning and development, said: “It is of utmost importance that Sheffield gets the right plan to build homes in sustainable locations by maximising the use of brownfield sites and avoiding development of Green Belt land.

“It would be foolish to publish a plan to meet a government target that does not deliver these objectives.

“Therefore, due to the emerging work, it is not envisaged that any consultation or plans will be ready for several months.

“An updated timetable will be published shortly outlining timescales, taking into account the current work that is being undertaken.”

The Greens said they were disappointed not to see the Local Plan. Coun Paul Turpin said: “We regret to see Labour has not only voted against carrying out a review of supply and demand of student accommodation but has failed to bring forward a draft Local Plan and would call on them to reconsider both of these requests.”