Have your say on plans for District's future
Published on Friday 3rd August 2012
Cannock Chase Council has urged local people to have their say on a crucial plan that will guide development in the District over future years.
The Local Plan covers the whole of Cannock Chase District and will help to shape the way in which its physical, economic, social and environmental characteristics of Cannock Chase District will change by 2028. It includes proposals for housing, employment and retail development, transport, health and recreation, the natural and historic environments and more.
This is the latest round in a series of public consultations which have been carried out since 2006 to progress the Plan - which now incorporates the Core Strategy and Rugeley Town Centre Area Action Plan - into one document. The last draft was published for consultation in 2010 but a number of changes have been made to take account of national planning policy changes, new legislation and the views of the Council's Cabinet.
Consultation events are being held across the District. A number have been confirmed so far and more will be added soon:
- Hednesford library: Tuesday 28th August, 10am to 1pm
- Cannock Chase Council Civic Centre, Cannock: Wednesday 29th August, 10am to 1pm
- Rugeley library: Thursday 30th August, 10am to 1pm
- Cannock indoor market: Friday 31st August, 10am to 2pm
- Pye Green Community Centre: Monday 3rd September, 5pm to 8pm
- Cannock Wood village hall: Tuesday 4th September, 4pm to 7pm
- Prospect village hall: Thursday 6th September, 4pm to 7pm
- Rugeley market: Friday 7th September, 10am to 2pm
- Brereton library: Tuesday 11th September, 2pm to 4pm
- Heath Hayes library: Thursday 13th September, 10am to 2pm
- Norton Canes library: Thursday 13th September, 2pm to 4pm
Weekday meetings for interested groups can also be arranged at alternative venues between 6th August and 14th September. Call the Planning Policy Unit on 01543 462621 or email email@example.com
Cllr George Adamson, Cannock Chase Council Leader, said: "We'd like everyone who lives or works in Cannock Chase to have a look at the Local Plan and to let us have their views. The plan is vital to make sure that all future development, including housing and employment sites, takes place in the best locations. I urge anyone with an interest in the future of our District to get involved."
Visit www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/planningpolicy for more information and to have a look at the Local Plan. Views can also be submitted online here.
Local Plan Q&A
Why produce a Local Plan?
Cannock Chase Council is required to produce a Local Plan to meet identified development requirements. It provides an opportunity to set a local strategy to guide the District's development - comments received from public consultation are important and help inform the content of the Local Plan. A Local Plan also provides the means of attracting contributions from development for infrastructure.
How much housing is needed in the District?
The Council has worked with neighbouring authorities at Lichfield and Tamworth to identify a minimum housing requirement for south-east Staffordshire from 2006-2028. This has been identified as 19,800 new houses and Cannock Chase District will accommodate 5,300 from this figure based on an assessment of the supply of sites within the District. Housing east of Rugeley in Lichfield District will also contribute 500 houses to meeting Rugeley's housing needs.
Will new housing be affordable?
The Council places a high priority on the delivery of affordable housing within new residential development. The Local Plan will seek to maximise new affordable housing provision, recognising this must be informed by an assessment of a scheme's viability.
Will the Local Plan help provide employment opportunities?
Yes. The Local Plan seeks to make 88 hectares of employment land available, equating to delivery of about four hectares per year. Some 280,000 square metres of new commercial floorspace has been built in the District since 2001, creating and safeguarding many local jobs. The Local Plan proposals will continue the level of employment land delivered in recent years.
Will transport infrastructure be improved?
Yes. The Chase Line will be electrified during the plan period and road junctions such as Churchbridge and Five Ways Island improved, with contributions to meeting the costs received from development. Bus services to employment areas are prioritised.
What about town centres?
Expanding shopping in town centres is a priority and over 64,000 square metres of new floorspace across the District's three town centres is planned for. The potential for an additional 35,000 square metres of retail space for Cannock town centre is planned for, although the difficulty of delivering this in the short-term in the current economic conditions is recognised and is being assessed. Regeneration in Hednesford is well advanced, centred on a new Tesco store, and is planned for completion in December 2012. Rugeley town centre has an Area Action Plan to help guide regeneration, commencing with a new Tesco store close to the Trent and Mersey canal.
Will the local plan provide open space and facilities for leisure and protect the countryside?
Yes. The Local Plan protects countryside and open space, including space for new sports pitches and facilities. New facilities will be funded from development costs.
Is the Green Belt protected from development?
The Local Plan strategy aims to ensure that no large areas of the Green Belt are lost to development.