'Why it is so important for Medway to have the RIGHT local plan' by the Liberal Democrats
By Alan Wells for Medway Liberal Democrats
Medway's local plan has been the subject of much discussion and the lack of current Council leadership has had far-reaching consequences for our towns.
The importance of having a valid local plan can't be understated. It provides the basis for a considered and strategic approach to housing, employment and other forms of development for our area, and so governs planning applications and wider planning matters.
For this reason, Medway Liberal Democrats are asking the Council how has it arrived at this point where Medway is left without an up-to-date, sound policy framework thereby undermining Medway's wider development strategy.
We have seen, Medway being vulnerable to unplanned, ad-hoc development, which will not deliver the benefits or transport and roads achievable through planned growth. The right
local plan would aim to make Medway a more environmentally sustainable place, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality around our homes, with policies aimed to ensure the impacts of climate change are fully considered from the onset of early design, with improvements to building design.
Car parking and traffic still dominate our towns, the continued growth in road traffic damaging our health, and harming our towns, and contributing to climate change. The right local plan should have an efficient and integrated planning and transport system to achieve sustainability, with future developments providing healthy, successful places for people to live in.
There's also a risk that if we fail to produce an up-to-date local plan, Central Government may intervene and take over the writing of the local plan. This would mean we'd have no control over what development is imposed on Medway, which would not be beneficial to our interests.
John Castle, Chair of Medway Liberal Democrats said "Medway's local plan is not about individuals or any single group. It is about the whole of Medway and protecting and enhancing our town's for future generations. We are therefore calling on the Council to consider the impact of any decisions will likely have on Medway and to take into account the democratic process to make the right informed decisions on how to progress with the local plan".
"Done positively, and in the right way, the local plan can benefit and make the best of future housing and development opportunities. It can protect what is unique and special about Medway while meeting the needs of families, businesses and young people."