Now is the time for people to have a further say on the future shape of the borough.
Bury Council consulted on a previous draft of its Core Strategy in November 2011 and, since then, the document has been significantly revised and restructured. As a result, the council is seeking further comments.
The Core Strategy is an important planning document that sets out a vision for the development of Bury over the next 15 years or so. It looks at how much housing, employment and retail development Bury needs to accommodate and identifies broad areas of the borough where the council will be looking to encourage this development as well as areas where built development will be resisted. The Core Strategy is important because the policies within the document will be used as the basis for making decisions on future planning applications – so it is important that everyone gets involved.
High quality, sustainable development
In broad terms, the Core Strategy is looking to promote ‘sustainable development’ by encouraging the re-use of previously developed ‘brownfield’ sites. This also involves requiring all new development to be well designed and located in areas that are accessible by walking, cycling and public transport in order to reduce the need to use a car.
Supporting the local economy
The strategy includes policies to boost the local economy and identifies a need for 56 hectares of land for employment development. In seeking to attract good quality jobs into Bury, the strategy places more emphasis on identifying good quality employment sites. This includes the identification of land at Gin Hall, off Junction 1 of the M66, where the strategy says that employment uses will be supported if there are very special circumstances to justify the development of this land which sits in the Green Belt. Other areas where employment development will be focused include sites in and around Bury town centre, land betweenDumers LaneandBury Roadin Radcliffe, at Pilsworth, and in and around Prestwich town centre.
Other economic policies aim to create thriving town centres by increasing activity during the day and in the evening by encouraging more family attractions and leisure uses such as restaurants. New retail development will be focused on existing town centres although the strategy states that the majority of this will be in Bury and Radcliffe. The increasing importance of the visitor economy to Bury and the need to keep improving attractions is also recognised.
New housing and community support
The revised strategy includes a target of building 400 new homes each year and aims to focus these on previously developed ‘brownfield’ sites in the borough – largely within east Bury and Radcliffe. It sets out requirements for housing developers to provide a percentage of their new houses at an affordable price. It also includes a policy that sets out how planning applications for new gypsy and traveller sites will be dealt with.
In order to support local communities, the strategy looks to improve access to better quality education and healthcare facilities, to improve access to good quality open spaces and sports facilities and to protect community facilities such as community centres, village shops and church halls.
The strategy recognises the importance of the local environment by seeking to retain the Green Belt, protect wildlife, ecological features, important historic buildings and the character of the borough and make sure that development is not allowed in areas where there is a significant risk from flooding. The Core Strategy also seeks to promote the ‘green agenda’ by aiming to reduce carbon emissions from new and existing buildings and encourage the use of green energy.
In order to achieve its development targets, the revised Core Strategy no longer includes protection of land that sits outside the Green Belt which is currently designated as ‘Other Protected Open Land’.
The strategy includes a series of Township Frameworks which present a more detailed explanation of what the strategy means for each of the borough’s six townships: Ramsbottom, Tottington and North Manor; Bury West; Bury East; Radcliffe; Whitefield and Unsworth; and Prestwich.
Consultation on the revised strategy started on 19 October and will run for six weeks ending on 30 November. The revised Core Strategy and its supporting evidence can be viewed or downloaded from the council’s website at www.bury.gov.uk/corestrategy.
The documents can also be viewed at the Planning Division reception (Ground Floor,3 Knowsley Place,Duke Street, Bury) between8.45amand3.30pm(Monday-Friday),BuryTown Hallfrom8.45amto5pm(Monday-Friday) and at selected public libraries during their normal opening hours.
Specific comment forms and details of how to respond can also be found on the council’s website and at the venues mentioned above.
Press release issued: 25 October 2012.