Posted: Wed 10th Jun 2020

Key Flintshire housing blueprint set to be delayed for fourth month due to coronavirus

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

A key housing blueprint for Flintshire looks set to be delayed for four months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Flintshire Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP) sets out locations where up to 7,000 new homes could be built in the county over the next decade.

Councillors previously agreed to put the document out to consultation in July last year.

While officers said good progress had been made since then, they highlighted in a report how the process has been hampered by the outbreak of COVID-19.

Issues arising from the crisis, including restrictions around movements, access to public buildings and the impact on the ability for the local authority to hold meetings regarding the LDP.

Officials have therefore recommended that the submission of the masterplan to the Planning Inspectorate should be put back until October instead of this month.

Meanwhile, the public examination stage now looks likely to start in January next year rather than this September.

In a report, chief planning officer Andrew Farrow said: “Following the public consultation on the deposit LDP that ended in November 2019, the plan has remained on track in line with the agreed timetable and specifically in terms of the process of preparing responses to the representations made.

“That said, the present emergency situation and the lack of public access to key public buildings such as council offices, connects centres and libraries prevents a full list of all of the representations received from being made available for public inspection, as required by the LDP regulations.

“In addition the inability of the council to meet to agree the responses and to the submission of the plan for examination, has meant that the plan’s timetable has had to be reviewed and amendments proposed.

“This report highlights the good progress made with the Plan; the reasons for the need to review the timetable; how this has been discussed with Welsh Government and the Planning Inspectorate, and the implications in terms of a revised timeline for the plan.”

The report will be discussed at a virtual meeting being held by the council’s ruling Labour cabinet next week, during which they will be asked to approve the revised timetable.

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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