New planning legislation introduced by the Tory-Lib Dem government includes a legal requirement for Local Authorities to propose a Local Plan for the area to cover housing needs to meet population growth and identify land to support economic growth.
Sefton council have produced a Local Plan based on this legal requirement including evidence that in order to meet these targets there will need to be development on the green belt.
Maghull Town Council have considered the contents of the Local Plan as it refers to the area and have submitted a response to the Government Planning Inspector based on concerns held by elected members following consultation with residents.
The Planning Inspector will decide on behalf of the government if the plan is acceptable or not. Our submission highlights the following concerns:
- The amount of housing proposed for the area is disproportionate
- Concerns around the delivery of adequate infrastructure, to address flooding and failure within the drainage system and mitigation of increased traffic flows
- Concern around the provision of a range of community services to meet a growing and ageing population
- Concerns around erosion of the green belt
It is recognised that Sefton Council is legally bound to propose a plan but it is Maghull Town Council’s contention that insufficient consideration has been given to the concerns raised at each stage of the process.
Inadequate infrastructure was the main concern of residents and we recognise that as a result of a robust scrutiny of the Plan 19 recommendations have been accepted that if fully implemented would address the issues around infrastructure, but concerns still exist around incursions into the green belt.
Speaking after the town council made its submission to the Planning Inspectorate regarding Sefton's Local Plan, Maghull Town Council's Labour leader, Cllr Patrick McKinley said:"
"The real villain here is the government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which is better known as the developers' charter. The NPPF is forcing Local Authorities to come up with plans that will include development on green belt.
"According to the Campaign to Protect Rural England, since the introduction of the government’s NPPF the number of houses planned for the green belt has increased nationally by 38%. Nearly 220,000 houses are now planned for green belt development.
"We are fortunate in one respect and that is if the government fails to listen to the concerns of our community and accepts the plan, we are developing a Neighbourhood Plan that will enable us to protect Maghull from the developers' charter. So we will continue to fight for what’s best for Maghull.
"Not to do this would leave the area exposed to the worst aspects of the developers' charter, including unbridled development on the green belt, because we have so much local land that has been made available for development."