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Looking Ahead response

Thursday 19 July

Great response to call for feedback

There have been more than 3,000 comments in response to Swale Borough Council’s consultation about the future development of the borough.

Looking Ahead asked for people’s thoughts on possible approaches for the council to consider as it reviews its local plan, which has to be adopted by 2022.

Two hundred and fifty individuals and organisations responded to the consultation to gather for people’s views in a number of areas including the council’s settlement strategy, green spaces, air quality, transport, design, town centres, employment and affordable housing.

There was also a shorter questionnaire which asked people to prioritise views and approaches to the planning issues, which was filled in by more than 450 people online and by post.

The consultation was the first step in the local plan review process and was designed to draw out the possibilities and issues, so was quite broad and non-specific.

As the review moves ahead, the shape of the plan, the technical evidence and detailed content will be developed further at each stage.

Cllr Gerry Lewin, deputy leader and cabinet member for planning at the council, said:

"This was an excellent and comprehensive consultation document which invited comments on the issues and opportunities to be considered in taking forward the future development of the borough. So, I want to thank everyone who responded – the response is as good as we had when putting together the previous local plan when that was at a much more detailed stage.

"We are now using these responses to help us consider what will be the best options for development, whilst making sure we try to protect - and where possible enhance - those areas most treasured by those who live and work in the area."

The council is currently checking online submissions and uploading postal comments that will be made available for public viewing in the next few weeks.

The views presented through the consultation will help inform the work now taking place to explore the options and opportunities available for the local plan review. These, alongside ongoing technical research, will lead to the publication of an issues and options document for consultation next summer. This will be a chance for people to compare and have their say on potential alternative ways forward along with the research behind them.

For more information about the local plan review, visit our planning policy pages.

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