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Committee endorses amendments to Draft Local Plan

Sheffield skyline

Amendments to the Draft Local Plan in response to public consultation will be referred to Full Council for consideration after they were endorsed by the Strategy & Resources Committee today.

At the Committee, a report was presented which outlined recommended minor amendments to the Local Plan, following consultation in early 2023. These recommendations will now be put to Full Council. If approved, the draft Local Plan and the suggested amendments will then be put forward for consideration by a Government planning inspector.

What is the Local Plan?

The Draft Sheffield Local Plan will guide the future of Sheffield and sets out how and where development will take place up to 2039. The Council’s vision is for Sheffield to be an economically stronger, fairer, more inclusive and sustainable city with thriving neighbourhoods and a distinct urban and rural identity.

It focuses on elements such as:

  • Neighbourhoods – Creating secure and connected neighbourhoods across the city with thriving district and local centres.
  • Climate – Improving standards for new development to help realise our 2030 net zero ambitions.
  • Housing – Identifying priority areas for development, 35,530 homes to be built, including providing affordable homes where they are needed.
  • Employment – Creating 43,000 new jobs and developing homes within easy reach of employment areas.
  • Green spaces – Green Belt land and valuable green spaces are to be protected.
  • Development - Allocating land for development allows the Council, utility companies and other service providers to plan new infrastructure more effectively.
  • Transport – Creation of calmer, people friendly neighbourhoods, reducing congestion where possible and improving active travel routes.

Why do we need a Local Plan?

Sheffield needs an up-to-date Local Plan to meet the city’s needs in the future. The Local Plan addresses the needs and opportunities for housing, jobs, and important infrastructure and provides the basis for safeguarding the environment and adapting to climate change.

At a national level, Government has set out legislation and policy that requires Councils to meet the needs of its residents, businesses, visitors, and partners. As noted, one mechanism to help meet these needs is to create a statutory development plan. Government requires these plans to be reviewed regularly and kept up to date.

What happens now?

Following today’s decision, the same report outlining consultation feedback on the Draft Local Plan will be presented to Full Council on 6th September for consideration.

If approved at Full Council, the Draft Plan, with the amendments, will be submitted to the Government who will then appoint a planning inspector to examine the plan. Objections to the Plan will be considered by the Inspector who will invite objectors and other relevant organisations to attend public hearings. These are likely to start in early 2024.

Following the hearings, the Inspector will publish their report, including recommendations on any modifications that they consider are necessary. Further public consultation will take place on the modifications before the Inspector finalises their report and the Council decides whether to adopt the plan.

The Council hopes to receive the Inspector’s final report by autumn 2024 and adopt the plan by December 2024.

Cllr Ben Miskell, Chair of Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee, said:

“The Draft Local Plan will help guide the future of our city and sets out an ambitious and exciting vision for Sheffield - a more close-knit city, making use of existing unused brownfield land, ensuring quality homes are built in the right places, delivering more accessible, adaptable, affordable and sustainable housing, and promoting active travel, all whilst protecting the green character of our city.

“It also reflects the needs and aspirations of every person in the city, no matter who they are, where they live, or what stage they are at in their life. It would mean that Sheffield finally has a plan for where new homes will be built for our children and our grandchildren, where employment sites can be located and help the city meet its climate commitments.

“The Sheffield Plan sets out policies and guidance for how and where growth will take place, and how we will use growth to improve the quality of life and provide opportunity for everyone.”