Council leaders have given the green light for the next stage of a document – which will direct the area’s growth plans for a 20-year period – to go out to public consultation.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council are working together on a new Joint Local Plan, which will shape where new housing, roads and development will take place in both the city and borough. It will also act as a basis for safeguarding the environment, and be a critical tool in guiding decisions about individual development proposals.
Cabinet members at both authorities have agreed to send the document, which identifies a number of potential sites across Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle for possible housing and employment developments, out for a month-long public consultation. To meet the region’s growth aspirations, up to 230 hectares of employment land and 27,800 new homes have been highlighted as being required across both areas between 2013 and 2033.
For Stoke-on-Trent, this is anticipated to result in excess of 20,000 new jobs created, and more than 16,080 houses built. The city council has identified development sites which will deliver 167 hectares of employment land, prioritising sites within the already established and successful Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone, which has seen 9 hectares create around 1,000 jobs to date.
The plan outlines objectives for Newcastle-under-Lyme to provide for more than 7,600 jobs in the borough. Coupled with this is the need to provide housing choices and the proposals demonstrate delivery of 9,621 dwellings in Newcastle-under-Lyme over the life of the plan against the borough’s requirement of 11,720 dwellings.
Councillor Anthony Munday, cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure at the city council, said: “I am pleased cabinet has agreed to move the Joint Local Plan to the next stage where we look forward to receiving comments from the public on the latest outlines. The plan will bring forward both employment land and housing, enabling new houses to be built for our residents and new jobs to be created with up to 230 hectares of employment land being made available.
“I’ve read the arguments and listened to the challenges made about prioritising jobs over houses – what the Joint Local Plan will do is enable both which a great news story for our city. It will allow us to build on the economic success that is already well under way, providing the confidence for investors with clear policies on the land available for development in our city. Housing growth in Stoke-on-Trent will go hand in hand with economic growth, with more people living in the city and spending money here, which is great news for businesses.”
Councillor Paul Northcott, cabinet member for planning and regeneration at the borough council, said: “This came to our planning committee this week and there was unanimous, cross-party support for the consultation to go ahead.
“This now gives residents, developers and all other interested parties an opportunity to have their say on the visions and aspirations of the plan. We recognise there is still work to do and the sites listed are preferred sites and not final as yet.
“I am pleased Newcastle’s cabinet has approved this important next stage of work which needs to address issues such as an aging population and housing needs to meet economic growth and employment opportunities in both the borough and Stoke-on-Trent.
“We need to gather more information to identify where there is potential capacity and at the same time safeguarding the identities and sensitivities of villages thereby protecting their special characteristics where they exist.
“The Joint Local Plan also needs to listen to the findings from the emerging Neighbourhood Development Plans to understand the needs of those areas.”
The public consultation on the latest stage will run between February 1 and March 1 with all comments received being fed back to both council’s planning committees and cabinet in autumn.
The comments will be used to produce a full draft Joint Local Plan, which will go out for public consultation in November/December. Comments at this stage will again be considered before a final Joint Local Plan is produced in summer 2019 which will be consulted on, before being submitted to the Government for independent examination in autumn 2019. It is hoped the final document will be formally adopted in spring 2020.
The consultation document will be available online from 1 February at
Or at any library in Newcastle or Stoke-on-Trent. It will also be available to be viewed at the Guildhall (Newcastle), Kidsgrove Customer Service Centre, Civic Centre (Stoke town), One Smithfield, and customer service centres in Longton and Tunstall. Exhibition events will also take place in the coming months.
If you have any questions about the consultation process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone the dedicated local plan telephone line on 01782 742333 (during normal office hours: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).