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SWDP review to be published following COVID-19 delay

The South Worcestershire Development Plan will be published in the autumn following a 12-month delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The South Worcestershire Councils have agreed a revised timetable for the document which sets out how a Government requirement to build another 14,000 new homes across Malvern Hills District, Worcester City and Wychavon by 2041 will be met. This is on top of the need for 28,400 new homes by 2030, more than half of which have already been built, set out in the current plan.

A consultation on the plan – officially known as the publication version which is effectively a first draft – is set to take place in October and November 2021.

The plan is set to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in the spring of 2022 and is expected to be publicly examined by an independently appointed inspector later the same year. If the plan passes the examination stage, it will be put to a vote by all three councils to be formally adopted in spring 2023.

Before the plan is published, there will be two related public consultations in March. The first will be seeking views on the Sustainability Appraisal that supports the plan and will focus on technical aspects of what is being proposed and not the actual sites for development. Consultation on the preferred sites for new housing and employment land took place in late 2019 and almost 7,000 responses were received and analysed.

There will also be a consultation on the preferred sites for Travellers and Travelling Showpeople to meet the need for accommodation for this community. This will form part of the Travellers and Travelling Showpeople Site Allocations Plan, which has its own approval process.

Both consultations will run for seven weeks from 1 March to 19 April 2021. More information on both consultations and how to take part will be released before the start date.

Cllr Lucy Hodgson, Chair of the SWDP Joint Advisory Panel, said: "I'm pleased we have been able to make progress on this important document once again. We cannot rule out further delays as we are still in the midst of this global pandemic, but we will work hard to avoid that. Barring any unforeseen circumstances or events outside of our control, I look forward to seeing the plan published later this year.

"We received a large number of responses to our consultation on the proposed development sites. These have all been analysed and some of the technical issues raised have been addressed in a Sustainability Appraisal which will go out to consultation shortly, subject to approval by all three councils."

Visit the South Worcester Development Plan's website for more information. 

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