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New Local Plan set to be adopted after being judged ‘sound’

Liverpool’s Local Plan – setting out how the city will meet the challenges of a growing population, regenerating neighbourhoods and employment needs over the next decade – is set to be formally adopted.

Following a six week public consultation in the summer, an independent planning inspector has concluded that – subject to a number of modifications – the plan is ‘sound’.

This means it complies with all necessary legal requirements, meets the future development needs of Liverpool and is justified, effective and consistent with national policy.

The document contains 100 detailed policies to manage the sustainable development of the City, protect parks and open spaces, builds on work to protect the city’s heritage and ensure high quality development and place-making and also includes a new policy for guiding and managing development in the city centre.

It also responds to climate change with policies ensuring energy efficient buildings, sustainable and active travel, enhanced green infrastructure, managing flood risk and minimising and mitigating pollution.

Key to Liverpool’s Local Plan is to focus future development on brownfield land and allow for regeneration projects and job creation in the city’s main employment areas.

It also enshrines a new robust process to control the number of conversions of properties into houses of multiple occupation (HMO’s).

The council will aim to use the Local Plan to support its recently published City Plan, which is focused on delivering a post-Pandemic recovery that delivers benefits for people from all walks of life.

The Local Plan and City Plan embody the Mayor’s and Cabinet triple lock commitment to better environmental, social and equality standards.

The Local Plan will also enforce various area-based masterplans in the Baltic Triangle, Ten Streets, the Commercial District, the Cavern Quarter and the Upper Central area of the city centre.

A Tall Buildings Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) – which includes a revised policy taking into account the sensitivity of key views, and a Public Realm Strategy SPD will be brought forward to supplement the plan.

If the Local Plan is approved by Cabinet on Friday 7 January, it will then be considered by all councillors at a meeting on Wednesday 26 January.

Provided the process and procedure followed in developing the plan is not challenged during a subsequent six-week judicial review period, it will then replace the existing Unitary Development Plan 2002 on all planning matters.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, said: “The Local Plan gives us a strong foundation on which to deliver our vision of improved communities, dealing with climate change and giving everyone an equal footing in life.

“It is a fundamental part of our work to improve the quality and type of new developments, to rebalance the relationship between cars, pedestrians and bikes on our road network, meet our net zero carbon commitment and embed social value in every decision we make.

“An important part of our work will be talking to landowners, developers and partner organisations to make sure they understand the new policy requirements in the Local Plan, and deliver positive outcomes on the ground for Liverpool’s communities.”

Councillor Sarah Doyle, Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for Development and Housing, said: “The Local Plan determines how we will make Liverpool a healthier and more prosperous city that meet the needs of a changing population.

“It reflects the type of homes and jobs we need as a city to improve community wellbeing, what type of high street we shop in and how we maximise the benefits from our parks and green spaces.”

Local Plan Fact file

The Local Plan is the key, statutory planning and development policy each local authority is obliged to produce.

It will shape Liverpool’s development needs until 2033 by:

  • Setting out how nearly 35,000 new homes will be provided to meet the needs of a growing population.
  • Providing 145 hectares of land to provide for business and jobs growth.
  • Protecting open space and the natural and historic environment.
  • Promoting better quality new homes that are wheelchair accessible, meeting residents needs throughout their lifetime.
  • Increasing the supply of affordable homes.
  • Managing the over-concentration of developments such as hot food takeaways and homes in multiple occupation (HMO’s).
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