Stoke and Newcastle councils call on community to shape city’s future

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Council chiefs in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle are calling for residents to air ideas for development plans over the next 20 years.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council launched their Joint Local Plan Issues Consultation to shape where new housing, roads and development will take place with the input of residents and businesses.

The regeneration cabinet will set out issues and principles to guide future planning decisions and residents can have their say by responding to the consultation.

City councillor Jack Brereton, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage, said it is important people get involved now in shaping the future of the city.

He said: “It will set out things like how many houses the city needs for the future, how much land we need to accommodate new businesses, how we facilitate economic growth across the six towns, how we should improve transport connectivity, and how we protect our green spaces, wildlife and architectural heritage.

“This is the first of a series of consultations over the next two years to develop a new local plan, and it is important that we hear the views of local people to ensure the plan truly reflects local needs.

“If you get involved now we will automatically involve you as the plan develops in more detail in the months ahead, with the next stages of consultation.”

Borough councillor John Williams, cabinet member with responsibility for the Local Plan, said: “The two areas share many of the same issues and so their development needs are best met by planning comprehensively, while retaining the distinctiveness of each area.”

People want to see more jobs and housing in the area and they love the idea of growth but are not so happy about having building work near them, according to city councillor Terry Follows.

He said: “That’s why we need clear and objective guidance to help direct where development goes and how it works for everyone’s benefit.

“We want as many people to take part and tell us what they think as possible.”

The Joint Local Plan is split into eight key themes that the Issues Consultation Document will need to address.

The key themes are housing, economy, city, town and other centres, transport, health and communities, heritage, natural and rural environment and energy and climate change.

Residents can find out more at www.stoke.gov.uk/jointlocalplan or www.newcastle-staffs.gov.uk

Public exhibitions will take place across the area including the Civic Centre in Stoke, Tunstall Children’s Centre, Longton Local Centre, Hanley’s Smithfield One, the Guildhall in Newcastle and Kidsgrove Customer Service Centre.

Feedback forms are available and will be accepted until 5pm Tuesday March 29.

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