Lib Dem Councillors have slammed Labour’s failure to reveal the locations of green belt development sites – despite the consultation period having officially started last Wednesday and are calling for the consultation period to be extended.
The consultation on the new Sheffield Plan (The Sheffield Plan: Citywide Options for Growth to 2034) had begun 11th November, but 6 days into the consultation the council have yet to publish the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA), which contains details of where the council is proposing to build houses, some of which is in the green belt or urban green space.
The Lib Dem group found out back in July that the council were considering 117 sites located in the green belt for development as part of the ‘Call for Housing Sites’. Liberal Democrat councillors have been asking for this list first by requesting it from the planning officers but when that was refused, Cllr. Steve Ayris submitted an FOI request, only to have that refused on the basis that the information was due for publication.
Councillor Penny Baker, Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Sheffield City Council said
‘Sheffield residents may or may not be aware that a consultation is currently taking place on the new Sheffield Plan, an important document that according to the councils own website ‘will guide the future of the city by setting out how and where development will take place up to 2034’. We are now 6 days into the already short consultation period, which will be running until 23rd December, and the council are still yet to publish details on their plans. How do they expect to people to be able to give their opinion when they are not fully informed? They're effectively telling us to give us opinions on how good their shiny brochure is, with very few facts available - on either sites or infrastructure!
‘This is simply not good enough. We've seen this time and time again and it shows the Labour council don't want to listen. If the recent consultations on busses and schools are anything to go on, it will be over before people are aware it is even happening. The council must publish the SHLAA immediately and extend the consultation period so the people of Sheffield can have their say on this important matter.’
To have your say on the consultation go to www.sheffield.gov.uk/sheffieldplan