09/04/2018: Breckland Local Plan Examination in Public dates announced

Breckland Council's draft local plan, which sets out a vision for growth in the district until 2036, will enter its final stages on April 17 when the Examination in Public commences. These hearing sessions will be held at the Council offices in Elizabeth House, Dereham and spread over approximately seven weeks, ending 8 June. 

The public hearings will provide the opportunity for the appointed Government Inspector, Jonathan Manning, to address issues raised during the pre-submission consultation earlier this year, in order to determine whether the Plan is 'sound' and legally compliant.

Cllr Gordon Bambridge, Breckland Council Executive Member for Growth, explained: "Following the submission of our draft Local Plan earlier this year, we have been in regular correspondence with the Inspector answering his questions and providing additional information. These public hearings will enable Mr Manning to speak directly to organisations and individuals who made submissions, and ask them for clarification or further information regarding any matters which have not yet been resolved."

The plan seeks to deliver more than 15,000 new homes during its lifetime (2011 - 2036) - around 10,000 these have already either been built or have had planning permission granted. The plan also allocates a minimum of 64 hectares of employment land to boost growth and support new jobs in the district, while putting in place policies to protect the historic and natural environment.  New or improved infrastructure to support the housing, employment and retail growth is detailed in the accompanying Infrastructure Delivery Plan.

Cllr Bambridge continued: "This is one of the most significant documents that we have produced as a council and has involved considerable detailed work. The valuable input received from residents, businesses, local organisations and professional bodies during the consultation process has helped us develop proposals on housing numbers, growth distribution and site options that will shape future growth in the district."

Topics to be covered during the hearing sessions include the environment, transport, infrastructure, housing site allocations, affordable housing and economic development. Although the public may attend the hearings to observe the proceedings, only those who submitted comments during the pre-submission period and have been invited to do so by the Inspector may speak during the sessions.

A full schedule on the sessions, including the topics, to be covered will be published on the council's websitewww.breckland.gov.uk/localplanexaminationlibrary. To facilitate seating arrangements, the council is asking members of the public who plan to attend to notify the Programme Officer in advance stating which session they plan to attend.
If the Inspector agrees the plan is sound, it is anticipated that the Local Plan will be adopted by Breckland Council in autumn 2018.