We will work through the new Local Plan and in other ways to promote policies that support a sustainable future, local services, a good quality of life and a resilient local economy, with full involvement of local people in planning decisions. Environmental sustainability and local self-sufficiency should be at the heart of planning policies.
Resist excessive housing development and focus our efforts on environmentally sustainable developments on brown field sites, with the provision of sufficient affordable homes. Our preferred level of house building in the Local Plan is well under 800 per annum over the next 15 years. However we believe it is crucial that a Local Plan is approved to protect against indiscriminate over-development. We will argue that any Plan with a higher level of development must include stringent zero carbon sustainability measures, including nature conservation, traffic reduction and excellent public transport provision ensure the Local Plan maintains the economic focus on the city centre as a ‘living city’ with many residents and
local shoppers as well as tourists and family friendly evening activities.
Oppose any further major out of town retail development for any reason whatsoever ensure the Local Plan encourages mixed use development so employment is close to housing to reduce the need to commute.
Ensure the Local Plan safeguards open space and community facilities, including community centres, sports clubs, pubs, social clubs, youth clubs, post offices, local shops and similar venues where people are able to meet each other and help create a safer and more vibrant community. We support the implementation of a city-wide article 4 direction (approved by Council following a Green Party motion) to ensure that all the city’s pubs have to be subject to planning permission for change of use to retail. We also support the registration of ‘assets of community value.’
Ensure the Local Plan protects, expands and enhances natural green spaces that act as the city’s lungs, providing clean air, safe walking and cycling routes and preserve wildlife and habitat ensure the Council retains sufficient capacity to adequately protect our historic and natural heritage through the planning process via sufficient Conservation and Enforcement Officers initiate a proper Environmental Capacity study in the longer term, as part of the process of Local Plan Review,
followed by a city-wide consultation process to assess what level of development the city can sustain without changing its special character, overloading its infrastructure, or significantly damaging the quality of life of residents review the scheme of planning delegation so that more planning decisions are returned to public scrutiny and where local residents are fully informed about planning applications that may affect them. Where decisions are delegated to officers there must still be a transparent publicly accountable process that is clear for residents to
influence and follow.
We will lobby the new Government to overturn the National Planning Policy Framework, which is essentially a developers’ charter and which contrary to the misleading claims of the Localism Act, is at the core of a massive centralisation of planning decisions. We will also lobby for the return of full planning powers to local authorities and local people.