Tamworth’s Local Plan moves to next stage

October 14, 2014

A NUMBER of public events are set to take place across the borough this autumn – giving residents the chance to look at development plans for future housing and employment opportunities.

As part of the plan, more than 60 sites across the borough underwent in-depth studies to assess their suitability for future housing which was reduced to 24 potential sites.

From the 24 potential sites, three main strategic areas have been identified for future housing. These are; Anker Valley with a capacity 500 dwellings, site of the Golf Course with a capacity 1100 dwellings and Dunstall Lane with a capacity 700 dwellings.

“It is vital for the future growth and development of Tamworth that we have a Local Plan in place which can meet the needs of the borough.”The decision for the public events follows a debate and vote on Tamworth’s Local Plan at last week’s Full Council (October 8th). The debate in the council chamber took an in-depth look at the plan which proposes where future development for employment and housing up until 2031 will be located.

This means that a six week consultation outlining proposals for land use and planning policies will now take place, starting towards the end of October and end at the start of December.

Details of these events – including when and where they are taking – will be advertised ahead of the consultation road shows. This will include the local press, Tamworth Borough Council’s website and people on the consultation database will be contacted directly.

The first round of consultation took place during the spring, where more than 300 people attended eight drop-in sessions across the borough. As a result of these, 133 people and interested parties – including Staffordshire County Council, Natural England and the Environment Agency – responded to Tamworth’s Draft Local Plan.

Any representations made to the Local Plan consultation should follow the guidance set out by the Council. This means any comments need to comply with the four tests of soundness, legal compliance and the duty to co-operate.

For example, if someone objects to a planning policy, they must set out why it is not sound based upon one of the four tests: effective; justified; positively prepared and in conformity with national guidance.

Councillor Steve Claymore, Cabinet member for Economic Development said: “Tamworth is expected to experience a high level of growth in the next few years, and we need to be able to identify and provide the necessary housing, employment, infrastructure and retail to allow the borough to fulfil its full potential.

“It is vital for the future growth and development of Tamworth that we have a Local Plan in place which can meet the needs of the borough.”

As a result of the first round of consultation, some changes to the plans were made, including: strengthening of policies regarding historic environment and ecology and the removal of some housing allocations and the addition of several others

The evidence base for the Local Plan shows that Tamworth has a need of at least 6,250 new homes over the lifetime of the plan, but due to development constraints, such as Green Belt and extensive flood zones, only 4,250 can be accommodated within Tamworth. This is approximately 170 new homes a year.

Work has been ongoing with Lichfield and North Warwickshire Council’s for them to help provided 2,000 new homes needed for Tamworth outside of the borough.