Joint local plan review moves to next stage

Members from West Dorset District Council’s Strategy Committee and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s Management Committee have given their approval of the next stage of the Joint Local Plan review.

Both councils will now have to consider the proposals when they meet at the end of July.

Cllr Ray Nowak, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s briefholder for environment & sustainability, said: “I am pleased that we are a step closer to beginning the next stage of the joint local plan review. It’s an extremely important document which will set out future development in the area.”

The West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland Local Plan was adopted in October 2015. The inspector’s report, following the public examination of the plan, identified that an early review should be undertaken. This was in order to identify additional land capable of meeting housing needs to the end of the current plan period and for the five years afterwards.

The first part of the local plan review took place in early 2017 on the issues and options for the plan. Following the information gained from this consultation, a ‘preferred options’ document was put together.

A consultation on the ‘preferred options’ will now take place once approved by members of the borough council and members of West Dorset District Council.

Cllr Ian Gardner, West Dorset District Council’s portfolio holder for planning, said: “The consultation provides an opportunity for residents, local businesses and statutory bodies to comment on the emerging local plan. When finally approved it will detail the sites allocated for development and be used when considering planning applications. For this review, the councils are required to allocate sufficient sites to meet the demand to 2036.″

Consultation on the preferred options document will run for eight weeks, with the aim of starting in August. Roadshows are being planned for the first few weeks of September where the public will be able to speak with planning experts. People can have their say by submitting comments through an online consultation form, by email or by post.