Consultation on Northumberland’s core strategy planning document is coming to a close and the council is asking people to provide any comments that they have by 15 August.
Since May local residents, organisations and business have been asked to comment on the document, which sets out important planning issues and asks people to choose between options for future development.
This is the first stage in preparation of the Core Strategy - a plan that will cover the entire county except the National Park. It will eventually replace policies in former district and borough plans that are still used for day-to-day planning decisions.
The consultation sets out issues on topics such as:
- Where in the county housing, employment and services should be located;
- How much housing should be allowed in places where there are very few local services;
- How to provide affordable housing where it is really needed;
- How to safeguard important mineral reserves like coal;
- How energy can be generated within the county without damaging the environment; and
- How to help wildlife survive while allowing people to enjoy open spaces and the countryside.
These are just a few of the issues that the document will cover, with others including flood risk, shops in town centres, tourist development, waste management, the landscape and historic environment and the Green Belt.
The council has held drop-in events throughout the county between the end of May and late July to explain the issues and help people respond to questions about them.
Councillor Tom Brechany, executive member responsible for planning, housing and regeneration at the council explains: “We have had a very good response to the consultation so far, and I would encourage anyone who hasn’t done so to express their views now. We want as many residents and businesses as possible to take part in this process.
“The planning issues we are exploring are strategic ones but the options chosen will have a strong bearing on what actually happens on the ground in the towns, villages and countryside of Northumberland. They will decide future council policy on where development can or can’t go and how we will protect our environment.
“I urge people to take part and help shape the county’s future.”
The consultation runs until 15 August, with further information available on the council’s website www.northumberland.gov.uk/corestrategy You can also get in touch by telephone on 01670 623629 or email firstname.lastname@example.org