Draft Melton Local Plan attracts thousands of comments

Jim Worley, Melton Council's head of regulatory services, hold a copy of Melton's draft Local Plan document
Jim Worley, Melton Council's head of regulatory services, hold a copy of Melton's draft Local Plan document

Thousands of comments have been made by Melton residents about a draft document which will shape development in the borough for the next 20 years.

Melton Council has confirmed it received 450 individual responses to its draft Local Plan, with many of those people making points about multiple aspects of the proposals.

Councillors will go through the various responses and assess if amendments need to be made as a result.

They are expected to decide early in the new year whether they can then submit the plan to the Planning Inspectorate ahead of a public inquiry hearing.

Jim Worley, head of regulatory services at the council, said: “We had no pre-conceived expectations about the quantity of responses we would receive but we consider that this number represents strong interest in the plan.

“Very many of the submissions cover several or a wide range of aspects of the plan and, in terms of comments on its overall content, they will amount to several thousand.”

There is a possibility that the responses received from residents could lead the council to consider another round of consultation if it is felt that large scale amendments would be required to the plan.

Mr Worley said: “The council will, where possible, be working with those who have made representations to establish whether there can be agreement over amending the content of the plan to alleviate their concerns.”

When the final Local Plan document is submitted it is likely to take several months before it is brought before a public examination.

Mr Worley added: “If and when it is established, it will be publicised and, of course, parties involved will be individually contacted in order that they can participate.”

Alongside the Local Plan, the council is assessing potential sites for housing and employment across the borough.

This is part of the Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) 2017.

A council spokesperson said: “The SHLAA will not be regarded as planning policy.

“The decision to allocate sites or grant planning permission will continue to be made through the council’s Local Plan and development management functions.”

Anyone who wishes to submit a site for consideration for the SHLAA should download a potential sites submission form at www.melton.gov.uk/SHLAA and email it to planningpolicy@melton.gov.uk by Friday February 24, 2017.