Copies of Fareham Today are now being delivered, telling you about the consultation on Fareham’s Local Plan, which will shape the Borough from now until 2037.
A six-week public consultation starts on November 6. Do look carefully at the centre pages of Fareham Today, which give advice and links on how to view documents and maps, and how to make comments.
The booklet you’ve received is by no means the whole story. The draft text of the Publication Local Plan, approved at the Council meeting on October 22, runs to 300 pages, summing up literally thousands of pages of evidence and years of work by our council staff..
You will be able to see the main document in the minutes of the October 22 Council meeting when they are published on the Council’s website, and get a flavour of the discussion that took place.
Minutes of the Planning & Development Scrutiny Panel, which discussed the draft plan on October 8, have already been published. Those two meetings were marathons of almost five hours each, so your councillors have given the plan a thorough examination.
It’s not a simple process to make comments, but it’s worth making the effort if you care about our town’s future. Your comments will be read by a Government planning inspector who will rule on the plan.
But to carry weight with the inspector, they must be based on one of three grounds set out on pages 8-9 of Fareham Today – Compliance with planning laws, Soundness in meeting the needs of the area within national planning policies, and Co-operation with neighbouring councils and other public bodies.
Most public attention on planning focuses on house-building. But remember that there are other equally important factors, such as employment, shopping, transport, climate and the environment.
Urbanisation comes through roads, supermarkets and industrial units as well as streets and homes.
We all want to preserve the best features of our immediate surroundings as much as possible. But the quality of our home area depends on the health and prosperity of our wider community. As Liberal Democrats, we seek to ensure that Fareham’s Local Plan is the best it can be for all of Fareham’s people.
Councillor Jim Forrest
Lib Dem spokesman on Planning and Development.