People are being given more time to comment on plans about how Leicester and Leicestershire could grow in the future.
The draft Strategic Growth Plan has been out for consultation since 11 January. The consultation was due to close at the beginning of April, but the closing date for people to give their views has now been extended to Thursday 10 May 2018.
The plan has been developed by a partnership formed by Leicester City and Leicestershire County councils, the seven local borough and district authorities and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).
It puts forward proposals for the new housing and transport improvements that would be needed to attract jobs and investment to Leicester and Leicestershire from now until 2050.
Since the consultation was launched, additional evidence has been published that people responding to the consultation might wish to read and consider. As a result, the consultation period has been extended.
The new evidence includes reports on sustainability, habitats and transport impacts, all of which can be found on the Strategic Growth Plan website.
The final version of the Strategic Growth Plan will provide strategic direction and help shape the Local Plans that the city, borough and district councils are or will be preparing or reviewing.
It will also be used to support bids for Government funding to deliver the infrastructure needed to support growth.
The plan estimates that Leicester and Leicestershire needs 96,580 new homes and 367-423 hectares of employment land from 2011-2031. Some of these homes have already been built or have planning permission.
Beyond 2031, the plan identifies the need for a further 90,500 dwellings and additional employment land, which is why further land needs to be unlocked. Local Plans will deal with the detailed allocation of which sites will be brought forward.
Cllr Trevor Pendleton, chair of the Strategic Growth Plan Members’ Advisory Group, said: “Because we have added new evidence to the website, we want to give people the chance to look over this information thoroughly before they respond to the consultation. That’s why we have extended the deadline for responses.
“We’re asking people whether they agree with the priorities the Government is asking us to concentrate on, such as delivering new housing, focusing growth in key areas and identifying essential transport infrastructure that will be needed in the future.
“It’s important to stress that no decisions have yet been made, but we do have to plan ahead and identify areas for future growth, which would then be built into our Local Plans at the appropriate time.
“We know that some of these proposals will be controversial, but that’s why we’re having this consultation – to gather people’s views.”
Cllr John Boyce, Leader of Oadby & Wigston Borough Council, welcomed the draft Strategic Growth Plan: “The challenge for Leicester and Leicestershire is to build enough housing for our children and grandchildren. The plan sets out a strategic approach to this challenge. A properly planned approach will protect the Borough whilst ensuring the challenge is met. I look forward to receiving the views of our residents.”
To take part in the consultation, please see the website: llstrategicgrowthplan.org.uk.