A Bugger’s Muddle In Local Planning?

From WLBC Cabinet

As WLBC faces the forthcoming retirement of Planning Director John Harrison, above, it’s been decided WLBC needs a LOCAL PLAN REVIEW, for which there is a “SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT”.

PURPOSE OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT

1.1 To further assist Cabinet in considering the Local Plan Review item by providing the recommendations of the meeting of the Local Plan Cabinet Working Group held on 4 September 2019.

The Local Plan Cabinet Working Group met on 4 September 2019 to discuss the preparation of the West Lancashire Local Plan Review. The Working Group agreed the following option and recommendations to Cabinet:-

“The Local Plan Review Preferred Options consultation generated a significant amount of feedback on the proposals, and there are a great number of matters related to a new Local Plan that need to be given time for the Council to fully consider and ensure the right new Local Plan is prepared for West Lancashire. This includes matters relating to Climate Change and how the Local Plan might help address this important issue. Due to the age of parts of the current evidence base, the Local Plan Review would need to progress to Submission by 31 March 2020 if it were to be taken forward, and this does not allow the time to fully consider all the matters raised by, and since, the Preferred Options consultation.

Therefore the following recommendations of the Group are made to Cabinet:-

A. That the current Local Plan Review ceases in its entirety.

B. That the current Local Plan Cabinet Working Group be dissolved.

C. That a new Local Plan Cabinet Working Group be established with updated Terms of Reference to commence work imminently on a new Local Plan Review process including preparing new evidence studies where necessary in accordance with Step one as laid out by Government Guidance, in order to deliver a new 15 year Local Plan.

D. That the Leader advise the Borough Solicitor in relation to the size and composition of the Working Group, including the nominations for Chairman and Vice Chairman”.

Might it now be prudent for WLBC to disclose, under a freedom of information request if necessary, a) what the current review has cost in its entirety and b) what the costs will be for all the “New Local Plan Review”, and what guarantees the council tax payers of West Lancashire will have that this bugger’s muddle, or cock-up, won’t be repeated?

NB The OWLs

have stated “Finally local Labour group call a complete HALT to the much maligned new Local Plan. OWL warned about the upcoming plan during elections in 2018, vociferously opposed the proposals when finally released, and held a number of meetings for concerned residents, from where we formed out Task Force. We managed to ensure increased participation in the consultation, and assisted hundreds of residents to make their feelings known. The vast majority of West Lancs residents will be made up”.

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