Breckland growth blueprint enters final stages

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Today Breckland’s draft Local Plan enters a six-week ‘pre-submission period’, during which the proposals can be reviewed by members of the public.

When adopted, the plan will be a key strategic document that will shape growth in the district until 2036, and this pre-submission period is one of the final stages before the proposals are submitted to a Government Planning Inspector.

During this period, Breckland Council is inviting views from residents, businesses and local organisations as to the ‘soundness’ of the draft Local Plan. People can comment on whether the proposals set out an appropriate strategy to meet the housing, employment and infrastructure requirements of the district and are consistent with national policy.

When the pre-submission publication period ends, the responses will be collated and reviewed before the document and representations are submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in November.

An independent inspector will then be appointed to assess the plan. It is anticipated the hearing in public will be held early in 2018, and the inspector may call on those who respond during the pre-submission period to attend – if they have stated they are willing to do so – to answer questions or provide more information, before writing the final independent report. If found to be sound, it is anticipated that the Local Plan will be adopted around summer 2018.

Cllr Gordon Bambridge, Breckland Council’s executive member for growth, said: “Breckland was one of the first local authorities in Norfolk to begin developing a new Local Plan, which will reflect locally-assessed development need rather than a prescriptive national target, and we expect to be one of the first to have our draft plans adopted.

“We have used feedback from residents, businesses and local organisations to shape the document as far as possible to meet their needs and aspirations and I’m pleased that we are now nearing the final stages of the plan production.”

The pre-submission period will run from today (August 21) until 4pm on October 2. The draft Local Plan will be available to review online and as well as at venues throughout the district, including the council’s main offices in Thetford and Dereham, its customer service centres and town libraries.

Comments can be submitted through the online consultation portal on the council’s website, by emailing planningpolicyteam@breckland.gov.uk (entitled ‘Pre-submission comment’), or by post to the Planning Policy Team, Breckland Council, Elizabeth House, Dereham, NR19 1EE.

Comments by email or post must be submitted using the Representations Form which can be downloaded from the website, or requested by calling 01362 656870.

The online consultation, with the draft Local Plan documents and a downloadable PDF of the Representations Form, can be found on the Planning Policy section of the council website. Go to www.breckland.gov.uk/pre-submission-publication.