Local Plan 'Early Conversation' consultation

23 August 2021

There is still time to share views about the Local Plan. Cheshire West and Chester Council is asking residents and businesses whether the Local Plan needs to be updated to reflect changing national and local priorities.

The Local Plan sets out how the area should be developed in the future including how many new homes are needed and where they should be built. It is the basis for deciding planning applications and provides the framework for the preparation of neighbourhood plans. The Council is required to keep the Plan under regular review and change the content where necessary.

The consultation ends at 5pm on Wednesday 15 September. To join the conversation visit: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/localplanconversation

The Local Plan Conversation is divided into six themes: Climate; Jobs; Homes; Health; Travel; and Environment.

Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Climate Emergency said: "I'd like to thank all of the people that have taken part, just looking at the suggestions received so far shows how important the Local Plan is. I'm particularly pleased to see a strong environmental theme running across a lot of the comments with support for active travel and alternative fuels.

"We have shared some quick poll questions on Twitter, over 40 per cent of people said they would be very likely to walk, cycle or use public transport instead of the car where possible , 47 per cent of people said they would very likely expect to be travelling to work less in the future whilst 40 per cent said they would share their ideas on the design of new development in their area."

The suggestions and comments being submitted can all be seen on the consultation webpage. Some of the suggestions that have been made for how the Local Plan could address climate change include:
  • Using hydrogen for taxis, buses and Council vehicles.
  • House extensions, loft conversions and new buildings should be built to sustainable standards (preferably 'passivhaus'). South facing roofs should have solar, and there should be a presumption in favour of green roofs.
What could the Local Plan do to enhance health and well-being?
  • Reduce the vehicle pollution in the city, by limiting the vehicles in the city.
  • Create new and enhance existing green spaces, especially in areas at distance from public parks. Designated dog walker areas, and dogs excluded from the rest, play equipment for children, and benches and peaceful areas for others. Routes to and from the sites should be made safe for walkers, including young children and frail people.
What could the Local Plan do to provide housing that meets the needs of local communities?
  • As part of granting planning permission, make it mandatory that all new houses have solar panels.
  • Create new homes from redundant offices and retail sites to improve the vibrancy of the city centre and encourage a mixed community
What could the Local Plan do to support an inclusive economy, green jobs and our town centres?
  • Hynet will produce hydrogen at Stanlow. Ensure all major energy users including transport can be connected to the supply.
  • Reduce environmental costs and assist the local economy by making provision for locally generated renewable energy. This could be from solar, water turbine, and sometimes wind and biomass.
What could the Local Plan do to protect and enhance the natural and built environment?
  • The increased demand for 'big sheds' is well known, suggest a policy where use of 'brown roofs' on these are at least 'strongly encouraged'. These are usually lower maintenance that 'green roofs', help increase biodiversity in industrial landscapes and reduce glare from roofing metals.
  • Construction Management Plans should at least 'strongly encourage' the (re)use of the river for the transportation of the site's construction materials. This would reduce construction deliveries to those sites by lorry.
What could the Local Plan do to promote sustainable transport?
  • On demand electric small buses serving our residential areas within 2 miles of Chester City Centre.
  • Cycle rental schemes, like the e-scooter scheme.
Councillor Bryan added: "Last year the government consulted on proposals that Local Plans should focus on identifying land under three categories: Growth areas suitable for substantial development, Renewal areas suitable for some development and Protected areas where development is more restricted.

"People can still give us their ideas for which areas of land could be identified for Growth, Renewal or Protection. The Local Plan really is a key document, I want to make sure is correct and reflects the needs of residents."

To add comments to the mapping section visit: https://participatenow.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/local-plan-land/maps/click-on-this-map-to-pin-your-views

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