Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration and transport, writes:
The main reason we’re currently negotiating with the government over the devolution of new powers for the city-region is that we want to ensure Liverpool is able to maximise its economic potential and we provide enough good jobs and opportunities for everyone in our community.
But growing our economy means we need a reliable supply of the right land in the right places for the extra homes and business sites that we will need in future years.
The process for identifying how much land is needed to meet Liverpool’s needs is the basis of the Local Plan process. This is a legal document that councils are obliged to produce which sets out the land needed for future housing growth, as well as the location of sites for companies, key infrastructure and recreational space. As you would expect, protecting the natural environment and bio-diversity are also key considerations.
Months and indeed years of work goes into producing the final document which, when agreed by the Planning Inspectorate, will form the “planning bible” for all future development decisions in the city.
As you would expect, this is a long and intensive process and is mirrored in every other local authority across the country. (Indeed, only a fifth of councils have an approved Local Plan as a result of the complexity of the process). Currently, our planning officers are sifting through a mass of evidence that will help us identify suitable – and sustainable – sites to help grow the city as we develop our Plan.
What we can confirm today is that, as the landowner, we have decided these sites http://councillors.liverpool.gov.uk/documents/g14844/Public%20reports%20pack%2004th-Sep-2015%2009.00%20Cabinet.pdf?T=10 do not constitute viable or deliverable options for development. This follows a careful process of assessment and evaluation of the sites and they will now not be considered as potential development sites in the Local Plan.
We are continuing to scrutinise other potential sites put forward and this is very much an ongoing process as we work through, literally, dozens of site options across the city. Indeed, just because we have ruled out these sites today, it doesn’t follow that other locations are now more likely to be developed. Further announcements about other sites may be made as we consider each in detail.
All potential sites will be assessed through the local planning process separately and are subject to the same strict assessment and public consultation requirements.
Once finalised, however, our Local Plan will mean we have identified the space for homes, jobs, companies, leisure and utilities that a growing, ambitious city like Liverpool needs.