Consultation on sustainability appraisal

A public consultation has started on an important document supporting the development of new homes across South Worcestershire over the next two decades.

The sustainability appraisal sets out how sites and policies in the revised South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) balance economic and social factors with protecting the environment, which is officially referred to as sustainable development principles.

Where it is not possible to meet sustainable development principles, the sustainability appraisal explains how the impacts can either be lessened or achieved with certain changes.

The document was first published in autumn 2019 alongside the preferred sites for development in the revised SWDP. In response to the thousands of comments received to that consultation, and to take into account the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the sustainability appraisal has now been updated and is out for consultation again.

The consultation runs from 1 March to 19 April and people can have their say by visiting www.swdevelopmentplan.org where they can read the document in full and respond to the online survey.

The consultation is not considering proposed sites for development or polices in the revised SWDP. Comments submitted on these subjects will not be considered.

A further round of consultation on the plan overall is expected to start in October 2021 when the first draft of the revised SWDP is published. It will then be submitted to the Secretary of State in February 2022 for independent public examination, which is expected to take place later that year.

Cllr Lucy Hodgson, Chair of the SWDP Joint Advisory Panel, said: "The updated sustainability appraisal is an important document which shows how we will meet the requirements for new housing and economic development, while balancing our responsibilities to the environment and helping to tackle climate change."

Visit www.swdevelopmentplan.org for more information.

The revised SWDP sets out how a Government requirement to build another 14,000 new homes across Malvern Hills District, Worcester City and Wychavon District by 2041 will be met. This is on top of the need for 28,400 new homes by 2030, more than half of which have already been built, set out in the current plan.

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