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  1. Published on: 11/09/2019 04:49 AMReported by: rogerblaxall
    Following detailed public consultation, the Labour administration of West Lancashire Borough Council has completely stopped proposals for an ambitious 30 year Local Plan and will now start work on a completely new plan based on the public response.

    Yesterday, Cllr Dave Evans, who took over the Portfolio for Planning in May told QLocal: "I welcome the chance to start a new West Lancashire Local Plan with a clean slate and fresh ideas.

    "We said from the very outset of the last consultation process that, unlike with previous plans, we wanted this to be a genuine consultation where the views of residents were fully considered.

    "Despite less than two per cent of residents responding this was still an increase on previous consultations and many of the submissions were impressively detailed and provided strong evidence for taking a different approach.


    “The next local plan will run for 15 years but it will be designed so that its positive impact will be felt beyond our lifetimes. It will be a plan for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.

    “The current plan expires in 2027 and was written at a time when the effects of climate
    change were only just beginning to be recognised by government. Now we are only too aware that our planet is changing for the worse and that we must be setting targets at all levels of government to cut our carbon footprint.


    “We need to be looking at measures such as solar panels on all new build sites, and sites for solar, wind and tidal power generation. Food production is also becoming increasingly important and we want to protect farming in West Lancashire, which has one of the highest concentrations of Grade A agricultural land in the country.

    “We also need to ensure that our urban areas are able to develop properly, particularly in Skelmersdale. The new plan will ensure we build on recent momentum and progress, such as the borough council taking control of the town centre development, and allow the town to finally reach its potential.

    “Elsewhere, the Yew Tree Farm development in Burscough also needs a new master plan to increase local employment opportunities and ensure that the infrastructure improvements the town needs are put in place.

    “The new Local Plan committee will draw on councillors from all three parties on the council and will co-opt where necessary to ensure that the right expertise is provided at each stage of the process. Local residents can have faith that this administration does listen to their concerns and will make sure that the next Local Plan protects our borough and delivers for our residents.”
     

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