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Medway Council prepares to reveal its draft Local Plan to highlight future housing and other development

The next stage in the council's masterplan for development is set to be approved.

On Tuesday cabinet members in Medway will be asked to give the nod to the publication of the draft Local Plan.

Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham
Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham

This is then due to be presented during a meeting of all councillors on Thursday, October 7, to be followed by a six-week public consultation.

The documents forming the draft will also look at transport and flood risks, as well as masterplans for town centres.

A key part of it will concern the future of the Hoo peninsula where the council is determining how to spend £170 million from the government's Housing Infrastructure Fund to support new road and rail improvements alongside around 12,000 new homes.

Following the consultation, the authority will consider any changes which are needed before sending the draft to the Planning Inspectorate in the spring for independent examination. It is expected the plan will be adopted in 2023.

Medway has carried out three previous stages of consultation, the last one taking place in 2018.

An artist's impression of the new station proposed for the Hoo Peninsula
An artist's impression of the new station proposed for the Hoo Peninsula

A report presented to councillors says: "It is anticipated the most contentious part of the plan will be the spatial strategy and proposed sites for development allocations.

"Much of the growth is proposed in the urban centres and waterfronts and on the Hoo Peninsula."

The government's Housing Delivery Test 2020 estimated Medway Council needs to build 1,662 homes a year, a figure which has been challenged by councillors.

The Local Plan will use a government-recommended methodology which calculates there is a need for 1,586 new homes per year in the Towns.

The rules imposed by the government on Medway also means there is currently a “presumption in favour of sustainable development” – meaning viable developments are more likely to be given permission.

The plan will detail housebuilding plans
The plan will detail housebuilding plans

Digital versions of the draft local plan and associated documents will be available on the council's website,

Copies for the public to inspect will be available at the council's HQ at Gun Wharf, Chatham, and in the Towns' libraries during the six-week consultation period.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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