The council is asking the public how they see the borough developing in the future and how they think the council should address issues such as building schools, providing housing, protecting our parks and building a prosperous and attractive borough through planning.
The public consultation on Merton’s development plan document – the draft Core Strategy – will shape the borough’s development over the next 20 years. The consultation started on 7 September and runs until 16 October. The Core Strategy will be an important document for Merton setting out what can and cannot be built and what should be protected until 2030. Merton council is asking the public for their comments on the draft Core Strategy since it will largely determine the borough’s future.
The council’s Spatial Planning Policy Team will study all responses before councillors formally approve the draft Core Strategy. It then will be sent to the Government’s Planning Inspector in 2010 and at this time you will have another chance to comment on the strategy. The Inspectorate will study the Core Strategy polices and ensure that the council has listened to the views of local residents, businesses and stakeholders and followed national guidance. The Inspector will then make decisions on the acceptability of Merton’s Core Strategy.
The Core Strategy addresses a wide variety of issues with the aim of sustaining and improving the quality of life of residents and businesses in the borough. Three examples are:
More school places
One of the main challenges the strategy will address is how Merton accommodates an increasing school age population. The council wants young children in Merton to be educated close to home, but building classrooms on school grounds means cutting down on Merton’s open spaces. The strategy will set out how open spaces will be protected, and the exceptional circumstances, under which the council may authorise land to be developed for education provision.
Creating an environment conducive to business development through regeneration is vital to the borough’s prosperity. The council looks to use its Core Strategy to ensure that business is developed and sustained in the right places and that jobs are created, including looking at existing industrial areas.
Addressing climate change
The Core Strategy looks at ways the council can lessen the borough’s negative impact on the environment through new green developments, flood management, biodiversity and reducing CO2 emissions. It also looks at ways of improving air quality by enhanced public transport links and extensive cycle networks to encourage people to leave their car at home.
Merton Council cabinet member for planning and traffic management Councillor William Brierly said: “Involving the public in the development of our Core Strategy is, in effect, involving them in deciding how Merton evolves over the next 20 years. It’s all about empowering people to influence policy. This strategy will drive our long-term vision of Merton as a destination to be proud of with high quality buildings, a variety of shopping possibilities and beautiful open spaces, making it a highly desirable place to live, do business and spend your leisure time.”
To influence the future of Merton from 2011 to 2030 the council is encouraging the public to complete the online questionnaire at http://www.merton.gov.uk/planning or for a paper version of the consultation, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 8545 3814/3041
Merton Council is replacing its current planning policy called the Unitary Development Plan with the Local Development Framework (LDF). The LDF is a new form of development plan that will look forward 20 years and set out strategies and policies for the development and use of land in Merton. The Core Strategy will be an important document in the Local Development Framework and will set out what can and cannot be built and what should be protected in Merton until 2030
The results of the previous consultations together with research and government guidance have helped Merton Council prepare this draft strategy. The key stages in developing the Core Strategy are as follows:
Issues and options consultation – 2004
Preferred options consultation – 2007
Draft Core Strategy (current consultation) – 2009
Submission and representation – 2010
Examination – 2010
Adoption – 2011