New Local Plan: Issues and Options Document (and draft Sustainability Appraisal)

Latest News: Issues and Options Document (and draft Sustainability Appraisal) Now Open For Consultation until 5pm on 7 March 2018 – find out more below

New Local Plan logoWhat is the Issues and Options Document (and draft Sustainability Appraisal)?

The Issues and Options Document (and draft Sustainability Appraisal) forms the first part of the review of our adopted policy documents. It covers a whole range of issues on planning for new homes, new jobs and new infrastructure (such as schools, roads, play spaces), the challenges we face as a district and what our options are for addressing these challenges.

The potential impacts of the different options we have considered in terms of key sustainability issues are also set out in the draft Sustainability Appraisal with a view to avoiding and mitigating potential negative impacts.

The Issues and Options Document (and draft Sustainability Appraisal) is now open for public consultation for a period of 12 weeks, and your comments on both documents are now being invited from 13 December 2017 to 5pm on 7 March 2018.

What are we asking you to comment on?

We are asking you to comment on the questions included in the Issues and Options Document to help us understand your thoughts on how we might plan for the future of the district, and in particular whether you think the challenges and opportunities we have identified are the correct ones in developing our new Local Plan. We know you care about your area so we really want to know what your thoughts are.

Although the document is quite long, we encourage you to focus on those topics that really interest you. This consultation is a great opportunity for you to be involved in shaping the future of your local area.

How can I view documents?

You can view the documents that we are asking you to comment on below:

Issues and Options Document
Draft Sustainability Appraisal

You can also view paper copies (for reference only) at Rochford and Rayleigh Council Offices, Parish / Town Council Offices and all local libraries during normal opening hours.

How can I comment?

You can comment in any of the following ways:

•    Online: www.rochford.gov.uk/iao - this is the quickest way to send us your views. You will receive instant confirmation that we’ve received them and all you need is a valid email address.  
•    Email: issuesandoptions@rochford.gov.uk
•    Post: Planning Policy, Council Offices, South Street, Rochford, SS4 1BW
•    Fax: 01702 318181

We cannot accept anonymous responses, so however you send us your comments please include your contact details.

What events are taking place?

We will be holding 4 public drop-in events where local residents and businesses can ask questions and find out more information. These will be held at:

  • Rayleigh WI Hall, Bellingham Lane, SS6 7ED: 3pm to 9pm on Monday 15 January 2018
  • Hockley Old Fire Station, Southend Road, SS5 4QH: 3pm to 9pm on Tuesday 16 January 2018  
  • Rochford Parish Rooms, West Street, SS4 1AS: 3pm to 9pm on Tuesday 6 February 2018  
  • Rayleigh WI Hall, Bellingham Lane, SS6 7ED: 3pm to 9pm on Monday 19 February 2018  

How did we get to this point?

Early Community Engagement
We rolled out a programme of early community engagement in Summer/Autumn 2016 which included parish-level workshops and a survey. The issues, challenges and opportunities raised by residents and businesses at these workshops and from the survey have helped to inform the challenges and opportunities identified within the Issues and Options Document.

You can view the outcome of this early engagement here: Community Engagement Events and Survey 2016

Technical Background Documents
We have updated a number of our technical background documents, including an assessment of land for different uses (such as homes and businesses), the need for jobs, retail and leisure uses in the district, and infrastructure delivery. These technical background documents are independent, objective, follow government guidance and importantly don't set policy (but help to inform it).

You can view all our technical background documents here: New Local Plan Evidence Base

Planning Policy Sub-Committee (17 November 2017)
As a Local Planning Authority, before we consult we have to present our draft documents and plans to groups of Councillors – those that represent you and your community. The Issues and Options Document (and its Sustainability Appraisal), as well as several technical background documents, were presented to the Planning Policy Sub-Committee for debate on 17 November 2017.

In summary, Members of the Planning Policy Sub-Committee recommended to Full Council that the Issues and Options Document (and its Sustainability Appraisal) be formally consulted upon for a period of 12 weeks from mid-December. All the technical background documents were discussed, noted and will be published on the New Local Plan Evidence Base page

You can view the reports and minutes of this meeting here: Planning Policy Sub-Committee (17 November 2017)

Extraordinary Full Council Meeting (28 November 2017)

An Extraordinary Full Council meeting took place on 28 November 2017 to consider the Planning Policy Sub-Committee's recommendations. In summary, Members approved the Issues and Options Document (and draft Sustainability Appraisal) for a 12 week consultation starting from mid-December 2017.

You can view the reports and minutes of this meeting here: Extraordinary Full Council Meeting (28 November 2017)

What plans do we have now?

We already have seven adopted policy documents which will help to shape the district up to 2025. These documents together cover a range of topics including where new homes and jobs will be delivered, where children will go to school, and how our natural and historic environments will be protected. However, we need to review these documents to ensure that we continue to plan for the future beyond 2025, and take into account new national policy and the latest evidence. This will help to make sure that our plan is up-to-date, relevant and deliverable for our residents and businesses.

You can view our adopted policy documents here: Adopted plans