Wirral Council’s Cabinet agree to recommend consultation on draft Local Plan in early 2020
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In the familiar setting of Committee Room 1 at Wallasey Town Hall this morning, Wirral Council’s Cabinet made a number of decisions and outlined how councillors thought some of them would benefit Wirral people as well as taking the time to highlight a few awards that had been won.
Yet, despite all the positivity on the agenda there was also the contentious and controversial Local Plan (previously called the Core Strategy Local Plan) which Labour’s support in the past for had been seen as one of the reasons why Labour lost their majority on Wirral Council in the May local elections earlier this year.
Of the eleven substantive items on the agenda the item on the Local Plan was discussed for the shortest amount of time.
Cabinet decided to recommend to a public meeting of all Wirral’s councillors on the 14th October 2019 a revised timetable for the production of the Local Plan.
There has of course been in the past letters published between Wirral Council and the national government as well as from the national government to Wirral Council about his. The government had previously threatened to use its legal powers to take the Local Plan production process out of Wirral Council’s hands if there was further delay.
However the timetable that Cabinet recommended outlined on pages 11-12 of this report recommends that the Local Plan is adopted by Wirral Council in December 2021, submitted to the Secretary of State in November 2020, that there is a consultation next year in January to February 2020 on the draft Local Plan as well as outlining the planned dates for key public meetings.
The Local Plan is a collection of Wirral Council’s planning policies (which are used to determine planning applications) and the key issue of much political controversy is whether the Local Plan will lead to new housing in what is currently Wirral’s greenbelt (or whether the same new housing can or will be met by increasing the housing density in the already built upon areas).
The rest of the Cabinet meeting decided on an agreement with Tranmere Rovers Football Club, due diligence on the £5 million investment in a community bank project, a couple of decisions on the Wirral Waters regeneration scheme, a couple of decisions to appoint specialist advisors for civil engineering and network management support, a grant of £181,000 to a unnamed company in Bromborough, acceptance of the recommendations on statutory care plans for children, an annual public health report about the impact of creative communities on improving mental health as well recommending the adoption of a Wirral Council Plan 2025.
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