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Progress continues as hearings dates set for Sheffield’s Local Plan

A landscape picture of Sheffield with buildings visible in the distance and a row of trees in the foreground, above is a blue sky scattered with white and grey clouds
The Sheffield Skyline

The future of Sheffield’s Local Plan and how it will shape the city over the next 15-20 years has progressed following the announcement of the dates for three public hearing sessions.

The Draft Local Plan was endorsed at a meeting of the full council on Wednesday 6 September 2023 following two rounds of public consultation on the proposals. It was then submitted to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate for them to assess the proposal through a series of public hearings.

Those hearings will now take place from Tuesday 25th June within Sheffield Town Hall. The opening, stage one, hearing will consider the duty to co-operate, legal compliance and strategic matters.

Stage two hearings are due to begin on Tuesday 24th September and will consider viability, site-specific policies, site allocations and housing supply. Stage three hearings will then begin on Tuesday 5th November and will look at development management policies. Stage two and three hearings will be held within Sheffield Town Hall and Howden House.

Members of the public who commented on the draft Plan in 2023 will be able to take part in the sessions either in person or by submitting written statements. The deadlines for those submissions can be found on the Local Plan Services website.

The Inspector’s preliminary report is expected to be received by the council in early 2025 and there will be a further round of public consultation on any modifications recommended by the Inspectors before their report is finalised. It is expected that the plan could be adopted in spring 2025.

Cllr Ben Miskell, Chair of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Committee, said: “It’s fantastic that our Local Plan is continuing to progress through the steps it needs to. If the Inspector is happy with our proposal, it will provide us with a much-needed guide for the future of our city.

“I’m looking forward to hearing from the Inspector and what their opinion is of our plan which would provide Sheffield with a guide for where new homes can be built, where employment sites can be located, and help the city meet its climate and nature recovery commitments.”

What is the Local Plan?

The Sheffield Local Plan sets out the framework that will guide the future of the city and where development can 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 identify.

The plan 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.