Council supporting planning to protect green spaces and strengthen delivery

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council is now set to look at its response to the consultation on the current Planning Policy Reforms and what this could mean for the delivery of its new local plan. 

The council’s proposed response to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill: reforms to national planning policy open consultation, does recognise that there is an outdated method being used to set housing targets for local authorities. It also says that the current figures are not achievable for the BCP area, however the reforms do provide new clarity and protection for the local Green Belt. 

Councillor Philip Broadhead, Deputy Leader and Portfolio for Development, Growth and Regeneration, said: 

“We absolutely welcome these proposed new reforms, which will be incredibly positive for the BCP region. Government have listened to the concerns of local authorities, and this is clearly reflected in this open consultation. 

“These proposals will provide a clear way forward for us to deliver the first Local Plan for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Pool. I’ve always been incredibly passionate about protecting out Green Belt, especially when the housing targets for this area were so unachievable, so that’s why these reforms are so welcome as they will mean punctual delivery of a Local Plan that will really work for our residents and communities. 

“Unlike so many areas, we’re incredibly lucky to have 15 miles of coastline, and significant areas of protected Healthland and Sites of Special Scientific Interest, but this also provides an additional challenge and does restrict development opportunities. These new reforms will allow the Planning Authority for this area to consider the true local picture and decisions will reflect what is right, and achievable, for this conurbation” 

As well as protecting the Green Belt, the new proposed reforms put a greater emphasis on protecting the area’s character, alongside stressing the importance of development quality. Local Authorities will be given more powers to refuse development if it doesn’t meet locally set standards, helping to increase the say that local people have on their community. 

The Draft Local Plan is expected to be published by BCP Council in Autumn 2023, with the being open for public consultation and examination. Full adoption will follow around December 2024. 

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