Liverpool’s Local Plan moves to the next stage

This morning, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet announced it would take its draft Local Plan to consultation for a six week period in September and October. The Plan outlines how the local authority will manage population growth until 2033, which is expected to see around 29,600 new homes being developed.

As well as this, it will set out key priorities concerning business growth, protection of green spaces, and managing development within district centres as the Council looks to shape the city’s growth in the coming years.

Development has been a contentious issue in Liverpool in recent times. May’s local elections saw gains for the Liberal Democrats and an increase in vote share for the Green Party as both parties played on local discontent around the sale of green spaces for housing in areas such as Allerton and nearby Sefton Park. In addition, Steve Rotheram, MP for Walton, won the Labour selection for the City Region mayoral elections, beating Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson in the process, on a campaign that promoted the protection of green space and parkland.

No wonder then that two of the the key priorities highlighted in the Local Plan are to protect Liverpool’s parks and prioritising brownfield development to meet Liverpool’s housing targets.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, Liverpool’s regeneration chief said the document demonstrated he Council’s commitment to “building new homes… [and] protecting our parks and opening up new ways for future generations to enjoy them.

A noble aim, but is it deliverable? One potential spanner in the works is an announcement from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) that  states new housing projections will mean a further 9,000 households are to be expected in Liverpool, on top of the 29,600 already planned for. This could cause political issues for the Council’s leadership as further protests and green protection campaigns are set up in a bid to keep the Council focused on developing brownfield sites to fulfil its housing need.

Whether this will stall the progress of the Local Plan will need to be seen; what can be guaranteed though is Remarkable will keep a close eye on any political fallout from the consultation and offer insight on what it means for developers and house builders alike.

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