South Worcestershire Councils Response to the Planning for the Future White Paper Consultation, 29 October 2020

The South Worcestershire Councils have published their response to the Planning for the Future White Paper Consultation.

pdf SWCs Response to the Planning for the Future White Paper Consultation (347 KB)

SWDP Review Timetable Updated, 6 October 2020

The three South Worcestershire Councils have updated their Local Development Schemes (LDS). The latest versions were adopted at Council meetings held on 16 September 2020 (Wychavon District Council), 29 September 2020 (Malvern Hills District Council) and 30 September 2020 (Worcester City Council).  The LDS is a project management document which sets out the council priorities for producing planning policy documents over the coming three years.

The new timetable for the SWDP Review is as follows:

Additional Preferred Options (Focused on Sustainability Appraisal) Consultation (Regulation 18) – March-April 2021

Publication Consultation (Regulation 19) – November-December 2021

Submission (Regulation 22) – March 2022

Independent Examination (Regulation 24) – May 2022-January 2023

Receipt of Inspector’s Report (Regulation 25) – March 2023

Adoption (Regulation 26) – April 2023

Project Plan and Local Development Schemes

South Worcestershire Councils Response to the Changes to the Current Planning System Consultation, 25 September 2020

The South Worcestershire Councils have published their response to the Changes to the Current Planning System Consultation.

pdf SWCs Response to the Changes to the Current Planning System Consultation (281 KB)

Covid-19 Causes Delay to SWDP Review, 24 July 2020

The completion of the review of the South Worcestershire Development Plan has been delayed due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was hoped that the document would be ready for public examination in early 2021, but lockdown restrictions have made it impossible to complete a number of technical assessments and evidence gathering needed to support the plan. This includes additional traffic and air quality modelling. These cannot be carried out currently as vehicle movements are still not close enough to pre-lockdown levels.

Over the next few months the necessary assessments and studies will take place. The plan to be sent for public examination will be published, subject to approval by all three South Worcestershire Councils, in October 2021. It will then be submitted to the Secretary of State in February 2022. The expectation is it will then be examined before the end of 2022 and adopted shortly after. The proposed timetable changes still need to be approved by the three South Worcestershire Councils. They will be considered at meetings in September.

Cllr Lucy Hodgson, Chair of the SWDP Joint Advisory Panel, said: “We’re disappointed we have to push back the SWDPR timetable but it was unavoidable given the delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Many consultants needed to complete the technical work required remain on furlough, and any data we capture now about traffic movements or air quality would not give us a reliable picture.

“Given the importance of this document to meeting future demand for housing and economic growth in South Worcestershire, it’s important the plan is robust so it’s right we take the time to do this work.

“The team will do everything possible to make sure there is no further delay to the timetable but that will depend on how the pandemic progresses and the impact of a second wave of Covid-19 or any future lockdown restrictions.”

The revised SWDP sets out how a Government requirement to build another 14,000 new homes across Malvern Hills District, Worcester City and Wychavon District by 2041 will be met. This is on top of the need for 28,400 new homes by 2030, more than half of which have already been built, set out in the current plan.