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Thursday November 15 2018

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In Full . . .

How to navigate planning maze

Posted on October 30 2018 at 3:58:20

Example

The Village guides you through the readathon that is the Bromsgrove District Plan Review Issues & Options consultation.

The Issues & Options consultation being held by Bromsgrove District Council (BDC) runs until November 19, and if you want to have your say then you’d better start soon, as it’s a mammoth task.

The Village thought the process would take the form of an online questionnaire with boxes to tick on how strongly you agreed or disagreed with various statements or policies.

However, this is not the case – you will need to read and understand a lot of information before responding. It took your Editor two hours to get through the two main documents and jot down responses, and a further hour to type these up properly.

What you need to read

The main documents are the Issues and Options Consultation Document and the Green Belt Purpose Assessment Methodology, which between them contain about 90 questions.

For a better overview, you also need to look at the Site Selection Methodology (which explains how potential development sites would be assessed), the Sustainability Appraisal Report (the likely social, economic and environmental effects), the Sustainability Scoping Report (addressing key sustainability issues) and the Policy Review Table (how development would conform to the National Planning Policy Framework), although there are no specific questions in these.

If you’re reasonably computer-literate, you can view all the documents online or download them as PDFs to read on screen.

If you’d prefer a paper copy (by far the easiest option, as you could then underline certain sections, make notes or fold down pages to help you remember which bits are most relevant to you), there are copies available in the locations below – but unfortunately these can only be read in situ as there are not enough for people to take away (the council says this is due to cost, which is not surprising given that it would take a forest’s-worth of paper to print out).

BDC have told us that some parish councils have copies which could be loaned to residents.

* Bromsgrove District Council (Customer Service Centre), Parkside, Market St, Bromsgrove, B61 8DA
* Bromsgrove Library, Parkside, Market Street, B61 8DA
* Alvechurch Library, Birmingham Road, Alvechurch, B48 7TA
* Barnt Green Parish Council, 80 Hewell Road, B45 8NF
* Wythall Library, May Lane, Hollywood, B47 5PD

How to respond

BDC says it prefers residents to respond via the official comments form on its website, although The Village was surprised to learn that people are expected to fill in and submit one form per question. . . meaning that, if you wished to answer most or all of the questions, you’d have to send a form up to 90 times. Ditto if you’re planning to download, print out and fill in the paper version.

If this seems like a lot of effort, you could instead choose to include all your responses within one long email – remembering to specify to which question each answer pertains (this is what The Village chose to do).

If you are using the online form, it’s a good idea to type your responses somewhere else first, save them and then paste them in, in case the BDC website crashes while you’re in the middle of typing (as it is wont to do!)

Online form: http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/districtplan

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Post: Strategic Planning, Bromsgrove District Council, Parkside, Market Street, Bromsgrove, B61 8DA

More information

BDC is holding events where people can ask questions or talk to officers:

* Weds Oct 31, 10am–3pm Bromsgrove Leisure Centre, B60 1AY
* Thurs Nov 1, 10am–3pm Bromsgrove Library, B61 8DA
* Sat Nov 3, 10am–1pm, 2–4pm Wythall Library, B47 5JW
* Weds Nov 7,  8.30am–8pm  Bromsgrove District Council, Parkside, Market Street, Bromsgrove B61 8DA
* Sat Nov 10, 10am–1pm, 2–4pm Alvechurch Library, B48 7TA
* Mon Nov 12,  3–8pm Wythall Community Association, Silver Street, B47 6LZ
* Tues Nov 13, 7.20pm Tutnall and Cobley Parish Council, Tardebigge Community Hall, B60 3AH

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