Inspector raises duty to cooperate concerns with the Lichfield Local Plan
Photo courtesy of paulwoolrich of Flickr
8th May 2013
The Planning Inspector examining the Lichfield District Council Local Plan has raised four issues which focus on the duty to cooperate.
The Issues raised by Robert Yuille, the Inspector who examined and consequently recommended Coventry City Council’s plan be withdrawn, are as follows:
1. Has the Council discharged its duty to cooperate, particularly with regard to the strategic matter of housing provision and meeting the housing requirements of neighbouring councils?
2. Has the Council cooperated constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis with East Staffordshire Borough Council on the Brookhay Villages and Twin Rivers Park proposal – a proposal that straddles the boundary between the two councils?
3. Has the Council cooperated constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis with Birmingham City Council which has confirmed that it will not be able to accommodate the whole of its future household growth within its boundaries?
4. Has the Council cooperated constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis with Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council which has raised concern that the aspiration to reduce commuting from Lichfield could backfire and encourage more population decentralisation, especially from the Black Country?
In March 2013, a URSUS Consulting report commissioned by Lichfield District Council to review the representations received on the consultation on the SA Update and advise the Council on the implications for the SA process, also highlighted duty to cooperate.
The report highlighted ‘Cumulative effects in combination with proposed development in neighbouring authorities should be assessed. While this has been done to a degree in the SA, we recommend that further consideration is given to the implications for the proposed development in the Lichfield Local Plan: Strategy, following the compilation of evidence currently being done on the Duty to Co‐operate’
This means the impact on infrastructure and local services by Birmingham City Council’s proposals of an urban extension into the Sutton Coldfield green belt, which will see up to 10,000 homes and 50 hectares of industrial units constructed, will need to be considered in Lichfield’s Local Plan. The Local Plan will also need to support Birmingham’s inability to accommodate all of its future household growth within its boundaries.
The Inspector has set 17th May 2013 as the deadline for submitting Hearing Statements. These are restricted to (i) Issues and questions identified by the inspector or (ii) any new matters since representations were submitted.
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