Monday, November 15, 2021

Have your say in planning for the future of West Lancashire

  • Local Plan Consultation will open on 18 November
  • Consultation is the first step towards a new plan for the Borough
  • Residents will have 10 weeks to comment on the consultation

 

Are you interested in how West Lancashire develops over the next 15 or so years?  Do you want to help shape your area's future?  West Lancashire Borough Council is preparing a new 'Local Plan' looking ahead to 2040 and we want to hear your views.

The Local Plan is a legal document that sets out where new housing, business and other uses can go and contains policies that the Council uses when considering planning applications. It covers a wide range of topics including jobs, transport, leisure, recreation, energy and nature. The current Local Plan dates from 2013 and needs updating to better reflect issues like health and wellbeing, and the Council's declaration in 2019 of a Climate Emergency.

The Council will be looking for your views on what are the main planning-related issues in West Lancashire, and how best to tackle them through the Plan.  You can choose to give your views on the things that most concern you, or you can look at the whole range of issues.  Once the consultation goes live on the 18 November, there will be an interactive website portal that can be accessed via the Council's home page and the Council can also provide paper copies of what will be included in the consultation for those unable to access the internet.

The consultation will last 10 weeks, four weeks longer than the obligatory six, to give people the best opportunity to take part and have their say.  It starts on 18 November 2021 and lasts until 27 January 2022.

This is the first stage in preparing the Council's new Local Plan. This will be a new plan to replace the one proposed in 2018 and will be a fresh start going forward. There will be two more opportunities after this one for people to have input, and we hope that the new Plan will be adopted by the end of 2024.

Councillor Gaynar Owen, Portfolio Holder for Planning, said: "Taking part in the consultation at this early stage will make sure your views help shape the overall direction the Plan goes in.  For example, should we go for a very 'green' plan that has climate change at its heart?  Do we want to go for growth in West Lancashire?  Do we work towards a combination of the two approaches?  We want to hear people's views on these important decisions."

We're not looking at choosing housing or business sites at this point – that will be the focus of the next stage in approximately one year's time.  But you can comment on the sites that were submitted to the Council in last year's 'Call for Sites'.

We very much look forward to hearing from as many people as possible from across the Borough to get as good a picture as we can on the approach people think the Council should take as we plan for the future.