The Council has sent off to central government its proposed new Local Plan. It brings to an end (potentially) 25 years of agonising about the future size of the City.The plan is a compromise on growth rates with over 850 additional homes scheduled to be built in each of the next 20 years.
One key implications of this “Big City” policy is the impact that it will have on the City’s infrastructure. Health, education, leisure and – crucially- transport systems will come under even greater pressure as the population grows.
The additional homes could wipe out any advantages being seen as a result of the small scale improvements currently programmed for the A1237.
Arterial roads could also reach grid lock unless there is substantial investment.
Hopes for an alternative network of public transport routes also hang on key investment decisions with part of the resourcing needing to come from developers.
All the stranger, therefore, that a report on what infrastructure improvements will be needed, and how they might be funded, was take at a private meeting yesterday. The papers on the Council web site give little clue to the assumptions contained in the plan. The Council says that more information may be published on 29th May.
Too late then for any critical input on what may yet prove to be the Achilles heel of the plan