Local plan submission delayed until next year

James Harrison

Submission of the final draft of the Royal Borough’s local plan has been delayed until the new year.

A final version of the major planning document was due to be submitted to the Government in November.

However, at last night’s cabinet meeting, at Charters School in Sunningdale, Cllr Derek Wilson (Con, Oldfield), cabinet member for planning, requested an extension to allow further consultations to be carried out.

Under recommendations agreed at the meeting, a final draft is now expected to be published by February 22, before being delivered to the Department for Communities and Local Government on April 6.

According to a report prepared ahead of the meeting, a legal compliance review of the council’s processes identified several issues, including a failure to consult properly with other local authorities and ‘incomplete record keeping’.

Defending the decision to call for additional time, Cllr Wilson said: “I think it’s appropriate that we should open the consultation process, so that just before we submit, everyone has a final opportunity to make any comments they want to on the Borough Local Plan.”

A proposal to join with the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in transferring day-to-day running of children’s services to community interest company Achieving for Children (AfC) was also given the green light.

Cllr Natasha Airey (Con, Park), cabinet member for children’s services, argued the scheme offered one of the best ways for the borough to improve.

She said: “This is a good opportunity for us to combine our strengths.

“We have a Requires Improvement judgement from Ofsted and they recognise we’re on a clear trajectory of improvement – but Richmond and Kingston are both Good.”

And approval was given for a new road and streetworks permit scheme.

The measure, which was presented by Cllr Phillip Bicknell, (Con, Park), cabinet member for highways and transport, is intended to regulate when utility companies and others can begin roadworks and when they must be completed by.

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