We have confirmed our plans to re-evaluate sites as part of our Local Plan.
Local authorities are required by the government to set a Local Plan to identify how an area could evolve and provide enough homes, jobs and infrastructure for a growing population.
In April 2022, central government increased Medway's housing target from 26,962 to developing 28,475 new homes by 2040. The new Local Plan must detail how the government target will be reached.
Medway Council’s Cabinet is anticipated to meet on Tuesday, 18 October to discuss preparing consultation papers for a key stage of the Local Plan process which provides for more options – Reg 18. If agreed, we will be able to look at new sites which could be suitable for housing. We would conduct a ‘call for sites’ giving landowners opportunities to come forward with sites which may be sustainable for future housing.
The Reg 18 process would give residents and stakeholders, as well as councillors, the opportunity to review and feedback on proposed development sites once again.
The Local Plan process involves a number of different stages which are set out in legislation, including consultations at various stages of the process to provide residents and stakeholders the opportunity to have their say before a draft Local Plan is put together.
If councillors approve the plans to go to the Reg 18 stage, a public consultation could be held in summer 2023. The responses would then be taken into account to draft a new Local Plan. A further consultation would then be held on the draft Local Plan – known as Reg 19 – before it is submitted to the Planning Inspector for independent examination.
The Local Plan is not just about providing new housing, it also considers ensuring sustainable growth, employment opportunities, maintaining parks and historic sites, and providing community services and facilities for people to enjoy. Councils need to achieve all of this while also protecting and enhancing the natural, built and historic environment.
When adopted, Local Plans are legally required to cover how areas are due be developed over a 15-year period, extending the timeline for Medway’s local plan from 2037 to 2040.