The Council is pleased that the Inspector has given a clear indication that the Local Plan can be found sound and guide the Council’s planning decisions in a Plan-led system, which has been the Council’s principal objective in developing its new Local Plan.
The Council is particularly pleased that the Inspector has found it is well-positioned to provide sufficient housing, which is a strong endorsement of the Council's actions to secure a housing supply, including affordable homes, for local people.
Whilst the Inspector has asked the Council to reconsider the evidence base for the location of development to meet the longer-term housing need, she has not dismissed the Council’s proposed Strategic Growth Option, nor found it unviable. The Council will respond positively to the Inspector’s concerns in these regards and take time carefully to assess the best and most sustainable strategy by which to meet the longer-term housing needs of the Borough. Future housing growth from the late 2020s will now be an important part of a future review of the Local Plan and all options (including the SGO) will be considered, and further evidence will be gathered on the correct boundaries for green gaps; and the best way to tackle traffic congestion whilst providing new homes.
The Council remains committed to delivering a sound Local Plan and ensuring that we deliver the right homes in the right places. That is the best way to secure funding for the infrastructure we need for the future, alongside new homes.