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Councils plan together to ensure developments are environmentally positive

Cheltenham Borough Council, Gloucester City Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council have joined together for a fresh approach to plan-making.

The Cheltenham, Gloucester and Tewkesbury Strategic and Local Plan (CGTSLP) will draw together four core elements (formerly the Gloucester, Cheltenham & Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy - JCS, and the local plans for each of those areas), setting out a long-term vision for where developments should and shouldn't happen.

To set the programme for the CGTSLP, the three councils have approved their local development schemes (LDS). The LDS aims to ensure future documents which set out a planning policy framework for all three districts are robust and make a positive impact towards the national effort to address climate change.

The outline programme for the CGTSLP includes:

• A public consultation (Regulation 18) in autumn/ winter 2023 - this marks the start of the engagement stage of the plan, where it is decided what should be included

• A public consultation (Regulation 18) in spring 2025 - this outlines the preferred options

• A public consultation (Regulation 19) in spring 2026 - this provides an opportunity for representations on the 'soundness' of the plan, before it is examined by an independent planning inspector

• Submission of the Local Plan to the secretary of state (Regulation 22) in spring 2026

Cllr Rowena Hay, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, said: "Planning is at the heart of place making, strengthening the connection between people and the places they share. If we get this right, we will deliver connected and active communities that are embedded within a climate change-led approach and strengthen our economy.

"Like the previous JCS, the CGTSLP will set out the strategic development strategy; development requirements like jobs, houses and retail; joint strategic and generic policies, as well as locally specific policies. The CGTSLP will supersede the JCS in its entirety and ensure local plan policies are up to date."

Cllr Stephanie Chambers, cabinet member for planning and housing strategy of Gloucester City Council, said: "This partnership is a great example of an innovative approach which continues to reflect the changing local and national picture of collaborative cross-boundary working that will benefit everyone. We will see mutual benefits and efficiencies in each council's plan-making at a local level, ensuring expertise is shared and strengthened."

Cllr Richard Stanley, leader of Tewkesbury Borough Council, said: "This collaborative initiative demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the region's growth is sustainable, resilient and aligned with our shared values. By working together and building upon our strengths, we aim to cultivate thriving communities that stand the test of time, while safeguarding our natural heritage for generations to come."

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