Introducing the South Worcestershire Development Plan
Malvern Hills, Worcester City and Wychavon Councils have joined together to prepare a Development Plan with the aim ofensuring that future development within South Worcestershire is well planned and managed effectively, having a positive impact on the environment.
The Plan is called the South Worcestershire Development Plan. It considers the long term vision and objectives for South Worcestershire up to the year 2030, as well as containing the policies for delivering these objectives in a planned and cohesive manner, through:
- allocating larger ‘strategic’ sites across South Worcestershire;
- providing policies to ensure that any development is sustainable;
- and assessing all other potential development sites whether it is for housing, employment, retail, education, health, community use or indeed an open space use.
The South Worcestershire Development Plan will replace the existing Local Plans of these three partner councils when it is adopted. It will also supersede elements of Worcestershire County Council’s County Structure Plan.
Who are we?
The first step towards creating a Development Plan was the informal establishment of the South Worcestershire Steering Group, which included leading members from each authority, Chief Executives and planning officers. The informal Steering Group:
- commissioned technical work into the feasibility of growth associated with the City;
- developed a successful bid under the Communities and Local Government’s Growth Points programme; and
- considered how to realise land use and transport infrastructure proposals for the City, using the Local Transport Plan (LTP) and planning processes.
On the 13th October 2006, the South Worcestershire Steering Group considered options for joint working on Development Plan coverage for Worcester City and South Worcestershire generally. It was agreed that the preparation of a Joint Core Strategy (now the South Worcestershire Development Plan) covering the full extent of the administrative areas of Worcester City, Wychavon and Malvern Hills should be recommended to each of the District Councils.
The three local authorities agreed to work collaboratively on the preparation of the joint Core Strategy Development Plan Document (now South Worcestershire Development Plan) for South Worcestershire under the provisions of Section 28 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.
The Planners… The team tasked with preparing the South Worcestershire Development comprises of planning policy officers from the three local planning authorities and a full-time project manager who coordinates the preparation of the South Worcestershire Development Plan. The team is also supported by Worcestershire County Council on matters such as the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), highways and the environment.
Democracy… A Joint Advisory Panel (JAP) was established in October 2006 as the informal decision making body. The Joint Advisory Panel is made up of 2 elected members from each planning authority and is a mechanism through which the three local authorities can prepare one or more joint local development documents. As the name suggests the panel acts as an advisory panel which scrutinises the SWDP on issues such as evidence studies and its findings, infrastructure provision and emerging development strategies. It has no delegated planning or development control powers. These remain with the individual district and city councils. The County Council act as an observer representing its own interests as County Transportation Authority.