York residents are being urged to look out for a special booklet landing on doormats over the next 10 days.
Its yet another “consultation” on the Local Plan.
There have already been at least 7 separate opportunities for residents to comment over the last 5 years. The most recent came latest summer. Not surprisingly the response rate to each consultation has gradually reduced and consultation fatigue has set in. The lack of response to objections – mostly dismissed off hand by Council officials – means that the latest booklet may be ignored by many.
Yet in many ways it is the most important, as the comments will go to an independent inspector who will hold an “examination in public”. This is a kind of Public Inquiry. It is the only chance that residents get to present their case to an experienced official who should balance arguments objectively.
The booklet explains how residents can tell the government what they like and dislike about the city’s proposed Local Plan – the document which determines how the city develops over the next 15 years and beyond.
The Council has spent over £12 million during the last 15 years on drafting the Local Plan. Despite this the Plan has yet to be adopted as policy.
The ‘York’s Local Plan – how to make your comments to government’ – booklets are being distributed ahead of a consultation running from Wednesday 21 February until midnight on Wednesday 4 April.
The city is required to have a Local Plan to support York’s economic growth and determine how the city changes, including where new homes and jobs are created.
Residents’ views from two recent city-wide consultations in 2016 and 2017 have helped to shape the final proposals. The council is stressing that this final consultation is different.
The results of this consultation will be submitted directly to the government ahead of an Examination by a planning inspector.
The booklets will be delivered to every household in the city alongside – but not inside – another local publication.
If you haven’t received your household’s copy by Monday 26 February, please request one through firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01904 552255.