THE first stage of drawing up a new Local Plan to shape the future of Hartlepool will take place next week.
Hartlepool Borough Council will launch a consultation plan asking people to have their views after the initial plan was ripped up after a series of rows.
The decision by the council to scrap the draft of the original Local Plan last October came after councillors felt that it didn’t meet the needs and aspirations of the local community.
Many councillors voiced concerns over a proposed gypsy and traveller site and vowed to revisit the issue to determine whether there is sufficient need and demand to provide a site at all.
The first step in producing the new Local Plan is to seek people’s views on the issues and options consultation document which will help shape the new document.
Consultation will run from May 23 until July 18 and a launch drop-in event for the local community will take place at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience on Wednesday, May 28, from 2.30pm-7pm.
Agreement to consult was recently given the green light by the council’s Regeneration Services Committee.
The report from Damien Wilson, the council’s assistant director (regeneration) said: “The issues and options stage is the first step in the production of a new Local Plan for Hartlepool.
“The aim of this stage is to seek public thoughts and open the debate on what kind of place residents, businesses and all other stakeholders want Hartlepool to be in the future. Specifically it will focus on the most appropriate locations for development to occur over the next 15 years.”
The issues and options document sets out strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats which need to be considered in the production of a new Local Plan for the borough and it also makes links to the Hartlepool Vision which the council launched recently.
Hartlepool Council will also be consulting the business community and all key organisations before producing a preferred options document in early 2015 which will be the first draft of the new Local Plan.
The final Local Plan is expected to be adopted in 2016
Copies of the consultation document will be available from the Civic Centre, all libraries and via www.hartlepool.gov.uk from Friday, May 23.
The council will also be using its own media outlets to promote the consultation as well as displays in the shopping centre and supermarkets.
For further information, contact Tom Britcliffe at Hartlepool Borough Council on (01429) 523532.