What is a Local Plan?
A Local Plan is a strategy by local authorities that outlines its vision and future development strategy for housing, businesses and infrastructure in the borough, as well as the protection of our heritage assets and the natural environment. At the heart of Hounslow Council’s Local Plan is establishing how the strategy can benefit residents, businesses and communities for the long-term.
Our 2015 plan included a commitment for the Council to prepare area focussed reviews for the Great West Corridor and West of the borough, both of which incorporate future development opportunity areas identified in the London Plan. Work on plans for these areas has been undertaken alongside borough-wide site allocations which will help provide a clear steer for the location, type, and extent of future development that will come forward.
Why is Hounslow’s local plan being updated?
After an independent review of the Local Plan by the planning inspectorate in 2015, the Council were required to prepare two area-specific local plan documents.
These were progressed and submitted for examination, but in late 2022 the Inspectors examining the plans raised some potential procedural and legal issues.
The Council has therefore decided to progress the Local Plan review by combining the area based plans and borough-wide Site Allocations document with an updated version of the 2015 Local Plan. This single, comprehensive, updated Local Plan will help enable positive development in the Borough that meets the needs of communities, addresses climate change and enhances the built and natural environment.
The new plan will also complement London’s new capital-wide plan that was published in 2021, ensuring that it reflects and builds upon the vision, objectives and planning policies in the London Plan.
The combined Local Plan review is programmed to be adopted in 2025 and will be a central consideration in the assessment and determination of planning applications in the borough.
How does this affect West of the Borough and the Great West Corridor?
This does not undermine or affect our commitment to regenerating the West of the Borough and the Great West Corridor. We will continue to deliver regeneration across the borough, providing quality homes for residents, unlocking new job opportunities, and creating well-designed public spaces where communities can thrive.
Will residents be consulted?
The Council have been extensively consulting and engaging with residents and other stakeholders on the Local Plan documents since 2015. The plans have been refined over the course of time and amended where appropriate, based on resident and other stakeholder feedback.
Such consultation with residents will continue, with statutory consultation on the combined Local Plan expected to take place in late 2023/early 2024, before the plan is re-submitted for independent examination.
Is this costing the Council more money?
The Council considers that combining the respective Local Plan documents to be progressed and examined as one single Local Plan is the most efficient and cost-effective way to proceed with the Local Plan Review. It will enable us to build upon the work already completed on the Local Plan Review, and we can continue to rely upon much of the existing evidence base that has been prepared, which remains up-to-date.