Huntingdonshire District Council formally adopted its new 'Local Plan to 2036' at a meeting of Full Council on 15 May 2019.
Formal adoption of the plan followed a period of statutory consultation, public hearings, and consultation on the modifications proposed by The Planning Inspectorate. The District Council received the Inspector’s Report recommending adoption on 29 April 2019, leading to a motion being put before Full Council to have the plan formally adopted.
The new local plan provides a framework for development of housing, the economy, community facilities and infrastructure up to 2036, along with safeguarding the environment and ensuring good design. It also specifically identifies areas of land for development to deliver the homes, jobs and services needed in the district, and includes policies against which all planning applications are considered.
Executive Councillor for Housing, Planning and Economic Development, Cllr Ryan Fuller said:
"The District Council’s Local Plan to 2036 affects everyone living and working in Huntingdonshire. It is effectively the blueprint needed to plan for the future of our district, providing our community of residents and businesses with the degree of certainty they need, and confidence in those responsible for overseeing this future development."
Cllr Fuller added:
"Our new local plan brings together a shared vision for Huntingdonshire. It is a bold and ambitious plan which details how we are going to deliver homes and jobs for the residents of Huntingdonshire, and of course the necessary infrastructure to support them."
The Planning Inspectorate’s report noted that the Huntingdonshire District Council’s 'Local Plan to 2036' had been positively prepared, and is justified, effective, and consistent with national policy in relation to the approach towards building a strong, competitive economy. The Inspectorate confirmed that the plan provides for:
- an adequate supply and range of employment land
- a significant level of flexibility to meet the needs of a growing economy
- a positive and effective approach to business development
The Inspectorate also confirmed that the District Council had met all statutory requirements with regard to the new local plan, and its preparation process. The Inspectorate stated that it:
- complies with all relevant legal requirements
- includes policies to mitigate and adapt to climate change
- meets the Public Sector Equalities Duty
- complies with the Duty to Co-operate
Cllr Fuller, who is also Deputy Leader of the District Council, said:
"It is testament to the hard work, effort, and expertise of the District Council’s Planning Team that we have produced a local plan that is aspirational in design, especially as the council received so few suggested amendments from The Planning Inspectorate. Our local plan contains innovative new policies and has been carefully written to allow sufficiently flexible responses to changing needs and circumstances. I would like to congratulate all involved in the development, testing, and preparation of the local plan and thank all local residents, parish and town councils and other stakeholders who engaged with the development of the plan."
Summing up the significance of the District Council’s new local plan and the effect it will have on those who live and work in Huntingdonshire, Executive Leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, Cllr Graham Bull said:
"A strong community is one that is both mixed and integrated, where people feel they can influence decision making and where people have a sense of pride in their community. This involves places where people want to live, work and enjoy themselves, and where their needs are met. Empowering people to be actively engaged in their communities helps to strengthen community spirit, contributes to a good quality of life, and can reduce disadvantage and promote personal well-being. Strengthening communities is at the core of the council’s new local plan, and I am confident that we can use this plan to achieve the right outcomes for residents and businesses alike."