The Core Strategy is the first and most important of a series of planning documents to guide development and change in the District up to 2031. They will determine where new homes are built, where new jobs are created and how people can travel to get to the things they need. The Core Strategy sets the course for everything to follow: it presents a vision of how the District Council wants the District to look and function in future years.
The challenges facing the District, which the Core Strategy seeks to address, include:
- Where should new homes be built and new jobs located?
- How can the housing needs of local people be met?
- How can the impacts of climate change be reduced?
- How can it be ensured that everyone can reach the services they need?
- How can our rich heritage and landscape be protected?
Prior to its adoption of the Core Strategy, the District Council had been powerless to prevent its decisions to refuse planning consent in relation to a number of large housing developments being overturned on Appeal, either by the Planning Inspectorate or by the Secretary of State.
However, before the Core Strategy could be adopted, it had to be examined at great length by a Planning Inspector appointed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, in order to determine whether the Plan was sound and complied with all the legal requirements. After a number of drafts, revisions and re-submissions, the Inspector's Final Report of 20 June 2016 concluded that the Core Strategy provided a sound basis for the planning of the District, and the District Council was finally able to adopt the Core Strategy on 11 July 2016.
The final Core Strategy document may be found online here.