Inspector gives local plan the green light

Chichester's Local Plan has been given the go ahead by the planning inspectorate following a thorough examination process.

The plan will now go to July's Cabinet and Full Council meetings with a recommendation that it is formally adopted.

"This is great news for the district," says Cllr Susan Taylor, Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning at Chichester District Council.

"The Government requires the council to prepare a local plan based upon an increase in the number of people expected to live and work in the area. Many people cannot afford to live in this area, where they work, and many younger people don't look for jobs here because they cannot afford the housing costs. The local plan offers the opportunity to try and address these issues and by introducing this plan we are showing that we will accept change, and importantly that we are in control of this change and are able to balance growth with other important local interests.

"The local plan provides the policies against which planning applications will be assessed and it will set the direction of future development in the district (excluding those areas within the South Downs National Park). The plan also provides the basis for parish councils to prepare neighbourhood plans and allows the district council to introduce the Community Infrastructure Levy.

"The Community Infrastructure Levy will require developers to contribute directly towards vital infrastructure needed by our communities. Without the plan we would be unable to access this important funding.

"Throughout this process we have highlighted the significance the plan will play in shaping the district and protecting our beautiful environment. It will strengthen our ability to resist harmful speculative development.

"We would like to thank everyone who has assisted with this very long and complex process. Your involvement has been crucial in helping us to achieve this fantastic outcome, which will make sure that our district has a bright future, with a strong economy and a thriving working population."

The inspector's report concludes that the Chichester Local Plan provides an appropriate basis for planning the future of the district (excluding those areas within the South Downs National Park), providing a number of modifications are made to the plan. All of the modifications were suggested by the council, including an early review to take account of the possible upgrading of the A27.

Please see the Inspector's full report for further information.