A Government planning inspector has found Knowsley’s local plan core strategy legally sound and compliant.
Inspector Martin Pike, who led the public examination of the plan, has published his final report which concludes that with the recommended modifications, the plan satisfies legal requirements and complies with national planning policy.
The local plan core strategy will guide development in Knowsley up to 2028. The council submitted its strategy to the government in November 2013, with interim findings from a planning inspector in January 2014 outlining a lack of sites to meet the five year housing supply need, alongside questions over the deliverability of employment sites and the protection of some green spaces.
By June 2014, the council had made main modifications to its plan, including the release of nine of its green belt reserve sites for use as strategic urban extensions. The inspector’s second interim findings found that the revised version of the plan showed a sound approach to the delivery of housing in the area, and the plan was released for public consultation in October 2014.
Following the modifications, the plan received a greater public response than in the earlier phases, including objections to the release of some of the green belt sites.
Cllr Mike Murphy, Knowsley’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: “I am very pleased that the Inspector’s report concludes that Knowsley has been thorough in the preparation of its local plan. The report clearly supports the fact that the council has considered the available evidence and the views of the community and stakeholders thoroughly. I am therefore confident that Knowsley’s local plan is a sound foundation for the growth the borough in the future.”
The inspector’s report will be considered by Knowsley Council’s cabinet and full council on 16 December. At the council meeting, a decision will be made on the adoption of the plan.
The inspector’s Rreport can be viewed on the council’s website and in hard copy at libraries and One Stop Shops in Knowsley.
At this stage of the process it is not legally possible for the council to make further amendments to the plan. The plan can only be adopted in accordance with the conclusions of the inspector’s report.