05:00PM, Thursday 04 August 2016
Cllr Derek Wilson
Delays to the Borough Local Plan have been caused by neighbouring authorities objecting to the proposals, according to a senior councillor.
Royal Borough councillors have been working on the Borough Local Plan since 1999, and a draft plan was released in June, with the council hoping it would be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by September.
The scheme is intended to unite development policy for a range of areas including housing, retail, employment and leisure and, the borough has set itself a target of building 712 houses every year until 2032.
But Cllr Derek Wilson, (Con, Oldfield) cabinet member for planning, said the borough has had to delay submission due to other authorities believing it is going ‘too fast’.
Speaking at Bray Parish Council on Monday he said: “We were originally going to take the plan to full council on August 10 but that is no longer going to happen.
"The reason is our neighbouring authorities consider we are going too fast, although the government’s own proposals state all local planning authorities should have plans in place by 2017.
"We were going to submit at the end of September for potential examination in April/May next year, I don’t consider that being too fast, considering we’ve been working on this from 2007, and other local authorities are fully aware of that.
"We have a duty to cooperate with neighbouring authorities, if we don’t we fall at the first hurdle.
"Some neighbouring authorities say they have nowhere to build, and would like us to take some of their housing, obviously I have said no, there is a duty to cooperate, not a duty to agree.”
The Borough Local Plan is now expected to go to full council on Tuesday, September 27.
From October to November, residents will be given the chance to comment on the 'soundness' of the plan, with it expected to be submitted to the inspectorate by the end of the year.
The borough is hoping the inspection will occur in summer 2017, with the plan being adopted by the end of 2017.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Wilson said: "We need to get on with it, so we are having various discussions with neighbouring authorities.
"We should be working together."
The borough could be expected to build an additional 5,000 houses if a third Heathrow runway is approved, it has been claimed.
Cllr Derek Wil-son and Cllr Malcolm Beer (Ind, Old Windsor) expressed their fear in June in a letter to Brandon Lewis MP, then minister of housing and planning.
Their letter raised concerns about the opinion of the Government-appointed Aviation Committee that neighbouring authorities would have to provide additional housing.
Cllr Wilson said the borough has opposed the third runway, as the flight path would be over Maidenhead, and it had not taken into account an expanded Heathrow in its local plan.
The aviation consultative committee said 14 authorities next to Heathrow should each be prepared to build an extra 5,000 houses up to 2030, he said.
Visit www.rbwm.gov.uk to view a full draft of the Borough Local Plan, including which sites have been earmarked for development.
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