Warrington South MP, Faisal Rashid, is urging constituents from across the constituency to have their say on Warrington’s Draft Local Plan through the official consultation, which runs until 17 June 2019.
The Proposed Submission Version Local Plan will set out the legal planning framework for Warrington’s development for the next 20 years. Covering housing, business space, transport infrastructure and community facilities like schools and GPs. Central government requires local authorities to produce plans and deliver housebuilding targets against centrallyimposed government criteria and data.
Faisal is campaigning for proposals to develop areas of Green Belt in the constituency to be scrapped from the plan and is calling for a vigorous brownfield first approach to development in order to obviate the need to develop on the Green Belt.
In recent weeks Faisal has called on the Government to give councils the real powers they need to put an end to the practice of land banking. He launched a traffic survey to try to tackle local traffic issues. He hosted a local housing summit to look at the action that is needed to address the housing crisis – including measures to free up brownfield sites and in doing so relieving pressure on the country’s Green Belt. He has called on Warrington Borough Council to declare an environment and climate emergency – advocating the need for ‘urgent and concerted action’ to tackle the escalating international ecological crisis. And, he is challenging the Government on the figures they expect Warrington Borough Council to base their Local Plan housing projections on. The Government has made it clear that it expects councils to use ONS figures from 2014 and not the more recent 2016 housing need figures. The Government has made it clear that it expects strategic policy-making authorities to follow this standard method for assessing local housing need. Faisal is calling on the Housing Minister to allow Warrington to use the lower 2016 housing need figures in an effort to protect local Green Belt land.
Now, Faisal wants to ensure that all constituents have the opportunity to voice their opinions on the Local Plan, which can be viewed and commented on via the following link: https://www.warrington.gov.uk/info/201103/consultations/2488/consultation-on-proposed-submission-version-local-plan
Faisal Rashid MP said:
“The Local Plan will have far-reaching implications for our town. Understandably my constituents have very valid concerns about the big changes that are being proposed and how they may transform the landscape of the town.
“We need housing, but we must protect Warrington’s Green Belt. That is why I have always called for the redevelopment of brownfield land to be prioritised, and Green Belt protection strengthened. And why I have, and continue, to take positive action to help promote a brownfield first approach to development in our town. I have backed infrastructure proposals that will improve access and help to reduce congestion in and around the town centre. I have supported a number of funding bids to rejuvenate the town centre, helping to strengthen its future viability.
“I remain absolutely opposed to the loss of our Green Belt land for development. Not only would it mean the loss of our much-loved Green Belt – but it risks opening the floodgates to the future loss of this land. At a time when we have seen a national climate change emergency declared, our town simply cannot afford to lose areas of Green Belt. It has so many benefits – for the environment, for health and for our wellbeing. I will continue to fight tooth and nail for its protection.
“The final plan must respond to the needs and the wishes of our residents – they must reflect what local people want and need. They must be driven by local communities and not imposed on them. That is why I am encouraging my constituents to have their say on the proposals for the town. Along with responding to the consultation I also encourage residents to share their views with me. And I am more than happy to meet with my constituents to discuss any aspect of the Draft Local Plan. While MPs do not have any formal role in local planning processes, it is important that all local people are given the opportunity to express their views and that their concerns are given the consideration they deserve. Over the coming weeks I will be collating the comments I receive and including them in the comprehensive response that I will be sending to the Council in response to the Local Plan consultation.
“Once Warrington Borough Council’s proposals have been finalised, the Planning Inspectorate will carry out an independent examination of the Proposed Submission Version Local Plan. And at that time, once again we will have the opportunity to make our views known.”