Liverpool’s Local Plan is set to undergo scrutiny at cabinet, full council and a special regeneration select committee over the next two weeks as the city council looks to finally adopt a plan for the next 15 years.
Along with Wirral, Liverpool was one of 15 local authorities put on notice by communities secretary Sajid Javid in November. In a written statement to the Commons, Javid set a deadline of the end of this month for progress to be made, saying that “up-to-date plans are essential” and threatening intervention.
The over-arching goal of the plan, which has been in development since 2013, is to provide a framework for the delivery of 35,000 homes and 370 acres of employment land in the years to 2033. The plan, which has gone through various consultations, includes new policy for controlling development in the city centre and a move to limit the conversion of homes into houses of multiple occupation amid 100 policies around growth management.
The specially-convened regeneration committee will scrutinise the plan on Wednesday 17 January, before it goes before cabinet on Friday 19 January and full council on Wednesday 24 January. It will then go out to final public consultation before being submitted to the Secretary of State.
A planning inspector will then determine whether or not the plan is ‘sound’. Once approved the Local Plan would then replace the existing Unitary Development Plan 2002 on all planning matters.
Consultation on the draft Local Plan occurred in early 2014 and in October 2016, garnering more than 2,100 comments from residents, community groups and business organisations.
A change made since the 2016 draft Local Plan was produced sees the higher figure of 1,739 completions per year housing target for the city replace the previous figure of 1,480 – this updated calculation came as part of the draft Strategic Housing and Employment Land Assessment published by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and West Lancashire Council in October 2017.
In December, the city council announced its intention to set up a company called Foundations to deliver 10,000 rent-to-buy homes across the city.
City mayor Joe Anderson said of the Local Plan: “This is a hugely vital document and demonstrates our commitment to building new affordable homes and attracting new jobs.
‘’Everyone living and seeking to invest in Liverpool will be affected by this Local Plan which is why we’ve been consulting with businesses and residents for the past three years before it is submitted to the Secretary of State.
“The feedback we’ve had has been extensive and it has helped shape many of the policies which will all help to create a healthier and more prosperous city.”
Cllr Ann O’Byrne, deputy mayor, added: “This Local Plan sets out to determine what type of city Liverpool wants to be and how we accommodate a growing and changing population over the coming decades.
“The over-riding message is that people want to see Liverpool grow in a sustainable way and this Local Plan provides the tools for us to achieve exactly that.”