The draft Poole Local Plan aims to deliver 14,200 new homes, jobs and infrastructure in Poole by 2033. Following a series of informal debates, known as ‘hearing sessions’ held earlier this year, the Planning Inspector has written to the Council to confirm that the draft plan is capable of being found ‘sound’ and 'legally compliant’ subject to various recommended modifications.
The Inspector has asked the Council to prepare a schedule of proposed main modifications, which include:
• adding clarity to parts of the plan on issues such as affordable housing, mix of uses in the town centre, tall buildings and retail policy
• amendment to Policy PP7 to include a statement that the ongoing assessment of housing land supply in the borough will be based on recovering any past shortfall in housing delivery over the remainder of the plan period
• modification to the green belt boundary at Canford School
• amendment of Policy PP33 with regard to parking strategy and aspirations for rail service improvements
• amendment of the plan in respect of Talbot Village
The Council is now preparing the schedule of modifications to be submitted to the Inspector for his initial consideration. Once the Inspector has considered the proposed modifications the Council will undertake a statutory six week consultation on the changes to the plan. It is anticipated that the consultation will take place early summer 2018.
The draft Poole Local Plan outlines:
• sites for 6,000 homes in the town centre
• 5,000 homes in other areas with the most access to public transport
• 1,900 in the rest of Poole’s urban area
• 500 homes on Green Belt land in Merley and 800 on Green Belt land in Bearwood
• the release of land at Creekmoor for education use to ensure Poole has enough school places by 2033
• regeneration in the town centre
The draft plan also aims to support the protection of the South East Dorset Green Belt by adding land south of Bearwood to the Green Belt. Overall, the plan would lead to only around 3% reduction of total Green Belt land in Poole.
• Read more information about the modifications and the draft Poole Local Plan
Cllr Ian Potter, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regeneration, Borough of Poole, said: “Poole will see a lot of change over the period to 2033 including new homes, jobs and other facilities that will help Poole prosper over the coming years.
“The Poole Local Plan enables us to meet the needs of our residents both now and in the future and helps guide development and change across the town.”
As well as providing new homes for local needs, the Poole Local Plan supports the council’s ambition to regenerate the town centre. It also outlines steps to create the Stour Valley Park concept, a new public open space that could eventually extend from Wimborne to Christchurch.
Julian McLaughlin, Head of Growth and Infrastructure, Borough of Poole, said: “It is important that we have a positive plan for accommodating growth and development in Poole. I would like to thank everyone who has taken the opportunity to comment on the initial plan and where modified we feel it is for the better.
"We are pleased that the Planning Inspector is confident enough in the content to recommend relatively few modifications while giving us the green light to proceed with the next step in the review process, the final consultation. I would encourage people to provide comments to help shape the future of Poole once the consultation starts.”
Following the public consultation, the Inspector’s final report is expected to be issued to the Council. If the inspector finds the plan 'sound' subject to the recommended modifications, it is envisaged the plan could be adopted in Autumn/Winter 2018 setting out a new framework for Poole to meet its needs and guide development to 2033.