The document that will underpin future development across all of Wirral for the next 15 years is set to go through the next crucial stage.
The Submission Draft Local Plan is published today (May 9) and over the next six weeks there will be an opportunity to comment by making written representations on the Plan. All representations must be made by June 24.
It follows on from a full public consultation which took place in 2020 and received around 26,000 responses which have now been processed and used to develop the final Submission Draft Local Plan document.
This latest publication stage is an opportunity for local communities, businesses and other interested stakeholders to make formal representations on this Submission Draft of the Local Plan’s “soundness” and “legal compliance.”
At the heart of Wirral’s Local Plan is the regeneration of the ‘LeftBank’ of the River Mersey, from New Ferry through Birkenhead including the Wirral Waters dockland area, Seacombe, Liscard and New Brighton.
The proposals set out in the Submission Draft will transform the LeftBank area addressing several decades of decline and the existing social and economic deprivation. It will also show how future development in the area will ensure that the right number of homes and employment floorspace will meet forecasted needs through to 2037.
The Local Plan is important for showing where development is planned, and therefore where resources and possible additional infrastructure such as walking and cycling links, or new schools are needed.
The plan will also ensure that Wirral protects its fantastic built heritage, its Green Belt and outstanding natural environment.
Wirral currently has 144,596 households and is expected to grow by more than 6% so it is estimated the borough will need 13,360 new homes between 2021-2037 (up to 20% affordable) with 5,000 new homes to be delivered by 2026 and 49 hectares of land required for new jobs.
Wirral Council’s Director of Regeneration and Place, Alan Evans, said, “Following the initial consultation when there was widespread opposition to Green Belt release and a desire to focus on urban regeneration we have used this opportunity to focus on major regeneration across Wirral’s LeftBank to help us achieve our housing and other development needs.”
“No Green Belt release is proposed. At the heart of the Plan is the regeneration of the eastern side of the Borough. In particular, the Plan includes proposals for the comprehensive regeneration of Birkenhead based on the Birkenhead 2040 Regeneration Framework.”
You can read the Local Plan, a summary document, and key evidence documents online at www.wirral.gov.uk/newlocalplan Paper copies of the Local Plan and key supporting documents will also be available at all libraries throughout the consultation period for anyone who wishes to view/study them. In addition, paper copies of the full range of evidence studies used in the preparation of the Local Plan will also be available at Birkenhead Central Library.
Guidance on how to make a representation is available at www.wirral.gov.uk/newlocalplan and all libraries. In addition there will be drop-in events in each of Wirral’s four constituencies as set out below:
|Date and time||Place|
|17 May 2022- 2pm – 8pm||Wallasey Central Library, Earlston Road, Wallasey, Wirral, CH45 5DX|
|19 May 2022- 2pm – 8pm||West Kirby Leisure Centre, Grange Road, West Kirby, Wirral, CH48 4HX|
|24 May 2022 – 2pm – 8pm||Birkenhead Central Library, Borough Road Birkenhead, Wirral, CH41 2XB|
|26 May 2022 – 2pm – 8pm||Bebington Library, Civic Way Bebington, Wirral,CH63 7PN|
Following the end of the publication period, the Council will collate all the representations received before submitting them along with the Local Plan Submission Draft and evidence documents to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities who will appoint an Inspector to carry out an independent examination. This examination is expected to take place in autumn 2022.
Every Local Planning Authority should have an up-to-date Local Plan in place and review it at least every five years. The Government has a target for all Local Planning Authorities to have up to date Local Plans in place by 2023.