The borough council’s Executive Committee has just approved a consultation document which sets out ‘Issues and Options’ relating to the next Local Plan (which looks ahead to 2032). In particular, “it seeks views on options for a number of topic areas”.
We’re struggling a bit with page numbering, but suffice it to say that the document is hundreds of pages long. One table that caught our Eye relates to the town centre; here’s an extract from it.
You’ll see that tentatively, the London Road Block (LRB) is seen as a possible site for three hundred and thirty six dwellings. For comparison, according to published information, the Atrium contains two hundred and seventeen dwellings. So, taking these figures at face value (always a rather risky thing to do), the indication is that in the LRB there could be half as many residences again as in the Atrium. That’s a lot!
Several years ago, the official Examination in Public – carried out by the national Planning Inspectorate – of the town centre Area Action Plan accepted that the London Road Block development could be six storeys high. We did submit an objection to that before the Examination, but we were a lone voice.
It’s far too early to draw much in the way of conclusions about the actual LRB development. But it seems that the council accepts that housing could be a substantial part of the eventual scheme.