Burnley Council officers are continuing to make progress on work to develop the new Local Plan which will help shape the borough over the next two decades.
It is a long and complex process to create one of the most important documents the council produces, securing investment in new homes and jobs in the borough.
There are, at this stage, a few outstanding technical issues that need to be resolved. As a result a decision has been made to re-schedule the dates on which the executive and full council were due to discuss the Local Plan. The new dates are to be confirmed.
Councillor Sue Graham, the council’s executive member for regeneration and economic development, said: “The Local Plan process began in 2010 under the previous administration. Every quarter for the six years since then councillors have been given a detailed report on progress.
“Drawing up a new Local Plan is a statutory process; it’s something we have to do by law. It’s also one of the most important documents and pieces of work the council is responsible for. The Local Plan is about ensuring we can continue to attract investment into our borough and ensuring we have the housing and jobs we need, as well as protecting the wider environment.
“The Local Plan, once agreed, will be the blueprint for the development of the borough which will shape our communities for the next 16 years. Without it decisions on where new homes or businesses are built will be taken out of our hands and we will have a lot less control over how the borough takes shape for the next generation.
“It is a costly and lengthy process but it’s one that we have to do, taking into full account the views of all interested parties, and one that we have to get absolutely right. That’s exactly what we are doing. It’s a difficult task but one that we are approaching in a professional and methodical manner so that we get the best outcome for the whole borough.”
The Government has recently confirmed that local authorities who do not have a Local Plan in place by April 2018 will not receive New Homes Bonus. Such a loss of Government funding would add further pressures to the budget challenges the council faces and impact on our ability to delivering existing services to our residents.