'We need city blueprint': Planning councillor criticises leaders for delay on local plan

A councillor on Sheffield’s planning committee has hit out at leaders for failing to publish a Local Plan – a document that governs how development should take place in the city.

Wednesday, 7th August 2019, 4:31 pm
Updated Monday, 19th August 2019, 1:10 pm
Sheffield skyline. Picture: Scott Merrylees

Councillor Bob McCann spoke about the delays to the blueprint at a recent planning and highways meeting.

He said: “It really matters, it’s not just about the housing it’s about the whole infrastructure. It’s about time this local area plan was published, at least for consultation if nothing else.

“I remember it being mentioned when I was last on the council in 2014/15. It was actually being mentioned in planning terms then and it’s not here yet. It’s supposed to be a 20-year plan but if you’re going to take 20 years to produce it it’s going to be out of date by the time you get it finished.

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“Developers are coming up with plans that don’t really fit anything the city wants. I’m not saying they are all bad plans but there doesn’t seem to be any control over it.

“Things like the infrastructure for health provision, dentists, schools. When you’re building one or two bedroom houses it’s not so bad but when you’ve got three bedroom apartments there might be children and where will they go to school? That’s the sort of thing we need this plan for, so we know how it’s going to fit together.”

He was overruled by Coun Jayne Dunn, chair of the committee. She said it was “not relevant” to the meeting and discussion of the topic was meant for full council meetings.

Sheffield Council said it would publish a draft last year but as yet this has not materialised. It now aims to issue the document by the end of this year.

The plan will determine what can and cannot be developed in each part of the city up to 2034.