Wirral’s ‘Local Plan’ closer to being adopted

Inspectors have updated on Wirral’s Local Plan which is now a major step closer to being formally adopted.

The Local Plan is a vital document outlining where and how Wirral will meet future demand for housing, employment land and the infrastructure needed to support this, while protecting its green spaces.

The draft Local Plan is designed to be “brownfield first” meaning new housing and other developments would be built on previously developed locations in order that green spaces and the Green Belt can be preserved.

The work on the Plan has taken place over several years by council officers and underwent detailed examination over a period of several weeks during 2023 by inspectors appointed by the Government.

The inspectors have now written to the council saying that the Plan as it currently stands is “unsound”. This is a technical planning description and means that the authority now needs to complete work on a number of changes – known as “main modifications” – to enable the Plan to be adopted.

This is a normal part of the process. The Council has already submitted and published suggested modifications that it believes are necessary to make the Plan sound so we have already started this process. 

Council leader Cllr Paul Stuart said, “This is fantastic news and testament to the incredibly hard work of the officers who have worked tirelessly to get the Plan to this stage.

“It is quite usual for inspectors to recommend change such as this to a draft Local Plan, and while there is some more work to be done and this is not to be underestimated, I can see that we are now very close to seeing a Local Plan which not only protects Wirral’s precious green belt but also underlies our ambitious and impressive regeneration programme.

“This is an important step forward for our Local Plan and its importance cannot be overstated. The Plan will bring real improvements and opportunities for everyone in the borough, underpinning economic growth, new homes, inward investment and jobs and overall greater prosperity for our residents and businesses.”

The note from the inspectors asks the council to continue to work up the modifications and take account of the detailed advice set out in the note.

Officers are now assessing the implications of the advice and working on the required modifications which will take some time. Once the modifications are agreed with the Inspectors there will be a six week consultation period.

The Inspectors’ post hearing note to the council can be found on the Local Plan website

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