The Burnley Local Plan – a huge document encompassing new housing, industry and heritage sites across the borough – could finally be adopted at the end of this month.
The final decision to approve the plan will be made at a meeting of the full Burnley Council on July 31st after years of consultation with residents, businesses and community groups.
The plan has been subject to a rigorous examination by an independent planning inspector appointed by the Government.
The inspector has listened to the concerns of neighbourhood representatives, interest groups and developers and has now submitted his report to the council on the changes to be made to the plan.
• Lowering the amount of employment land required in the borough from 90 hectares to at least 66 hectares, to better align the housing and employment growth targets.
• Final plan removes two sites proposed in the draft plan: Shuttleworth Mead South and the Burnley Bridge extension.
• Deletion of the gypsy and traveller site at Oswald Street. Instead, the council will develop alternative proposals for a site/s in a separate planning document.
Council leader Mark Townsend said: “Writing and approving a new local plan is a long and challenging process. We need a plan that can help us achieve prosperity and deliver good quality homes for this and the next generation. The plan must also balance lots of competing interests.
The plan must also balance lots of competing interests.
“I do have some concerns that our original proposals for business growth land have been scaled back and that quality standards for some housing sites have also been reduced. However, the plan is a careful balance of different objectives that will still deliver the growth this borough needs.
"It makes the best use of brownfield sites, will ensure we have vibrant town centres, will protect the borough’s rich heritage and natural environment, and will protect communities from flooding. The inspector has found the plan sound, and so I recommend the plan for approval by the council later this month.”
Coun. Sue Graham, executive member for economy and growth, said: “If the council does not to adopt a new plan, the council could lose control over what gets built where. Not adopting the plan would potentially lead to us ‘planning by appeal’, with decisions being made by national government in London.
"That could mean more development in the wrong places. So while I am disappointed by the decision of the inspector to remove some employment land, I am pleased that, overall, this is a local plan which is based on local priorities. I am confident that it will help create future economic growth.”