"Spelthorne’s Local Plan has been many years in the making, with many bumps along the road. The journey has not just been difficult and challenging, it has gone way beyond that. It has been divisive, bruising and at times unpleasant. It has fractured communities and turned councillors against each other. The reason for the acrimony is easy to discern: the government’s brutal housing targets which eclipse everything else in the Plan-making process." (Cllr. Lawrence Nichols, Leader of the Council).
Last night the Council voted by a sizeable majority for the Local Plan to go forward for public consultation (25 for vs 8 against). It is a great relief because the absence of a Local Plan would create a wild west for developers who would feel free to impose their will on yet more of our precious Green Belt.
The Association is happy to endorse the following comment by the Leader: "It is councillors who are responsible for agreeing the final shape of the Plan, but the massive amount of complex and detailed work has been done by a small group of Council officers. This has taken several years and crossed three political administrations. Our officers have answered hundreds of questions, many of them more than once. The Plan documents have been produced by these officers with great professionalism, considerable hard work and exemplary patience. It is their advice and guidance which will be minutely tested by the Inspector and other interested parties. As councillors we recognise the enormous amount of hard work that the officers have done to get to the Regulation 19 [Public Consultation] stage, and we thank them for their efforts"
Responses to the consultation will be directed to the Planning Inspectorate unfiltered and this website will keep you up-to-date.