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One step closer to new local plan for 2022-2038

Published Monday 25 January, 2021
Last updated on Monday 25 January, 2021

Councillors are being asked to approve Swale Borough Council’s draft local plan for 2022-2038.

The draft plan will be discussed at the upcoming cabinet meeting on Tuesday 26 January, and if approved, will go to a special council meeting on Wednesday 3 February before being made available for public viewing next month.

The new local plan outlines how the council will meet the borough’s housing need, implement ambitious, energy-efficient housing policies and secure 30 per cent affordable housing in Swale.

Updated every five years, the draft local plan provides the clarity and certainty needed to protect Swale’s natural and historic assets and secure much needed funding for improved infrastructure.

Included in the draft plan is a transport strategy that outlines how the council plans to deliver a sustainable transport network for Swale that creates an attractive, green and vibrant borough. It will enable and encourage people to travel sustainably and actively, nurture healthy lifestyles, create less polluted places and upgrade the transport network to meet the borough’s needs.

Cllr Mike Baldock, cabinet member for planning at the council, said:

“This is an ambitious plan for us.

“We know that many people feel that local development of the borough is already excessive, however we are required to try to meet these government-imposed targets.

“Despite the current inadequacy of local infrastructure, low GP levels and under-investment in our communities, we hope that the proposed review of the local plan enables us to meet government targets as well as local demand.

“Our aim is to provide more affordable housing, housing for the elderly and the disabled, and greener, more environmentally friendly housing.

“Developers will be expected to deliver 30 per cent affordable housing on new developments on greenfield sites.

“We’ll be pushing for zero-carbon, energy-efficient housing options to meet the targets set out in our climate and ecological emergency action plan.

“We also plan to double the required 10 per cent biodiversity gain to 20 per cent which will ensure that any new developments will improve the biodiversity of our natural landscape.

“The transport strategy included in the plan will provide the clarity we need to reduce congestion along the A2 and A249 and apply for government funding to upgrade Brenley Corner.

“If the proposed draft plan is agreed, people will then have an opportunity to express their views on the soundness of the plan.”

The plan will be available for public viewing on the council’s website from Monday 8 February until Tuesday 23 March 2021.

The meeting agenda and full report including proposed local plan can be viewed here.