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People given extra time to share their ideas on city’s future

Published on Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A PUBLIC consultation to help shape the direction of planning and development in Leicester over the coming decades has been extended to allow more people to take part.

Back in July, Leicester City Council launched the public consultation to get people’s views on its latest Local Plan, which will guide the city’s planning policies and land use up to 2031.

The consultation was due to end on October 31, but has now been extended to November 30 to allow more people to share their ideas in greater detail.

A number of people attending public engagement meetings as part of the consultation had asked for more time to submit their ideas.

The next public exhibitions will take place at the Highcross shopping centre, on Wednesday, November 15, and Thursday, November 16, next to the Post Office unit off the High Street entrance. 

The exhibitions will run from 9am to 5pm, and officers will be on hand to give information and explain how people can comment on the proposals.

The consultation is the very first stage of the process which is expected to last about 18 months. The views given will be used to form the first draft Local Plan, which will then go out for further public consultation. 

So far, the city council has had almost 700 responses to public exhibitions in Highcross, along with over 180 responses on the Citizen Space website and 115 formal responses to the online consultation. 

More than 2,000 people have so far viewed the information on Twitter, along with about 3,000 on Facebook and 500 on Instagram.

Six community ward meetings have taken place, along with meetings with the health authority, local sports and business groups and community groups. Over 50 letters have also been received. 

Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “We are extending this consultation to allow even more people to have their say.

“We’ve had a sizeable response already, both online and from the numerous events which have taken place across the city to enable people to find out more, and have their say.

“The message we’ve been given is that people want more time to take part.

“It is important that we include as many views as possible as part of the Local Plan consultation, so it makes sense to extend the deadline to ensure people have adequate chance to get involved.”

The city council has to draw up Local Plans every few years, to set out how it will adapt to ongoing changes such as population growth, the need to provide new jobs, houses and schools, and other infrastructure needed to support a thriving, growing city.

It will explore subjects such as where and when new housing should be created, including social housing and student accommodation. It will also look at employment needs, including encouraging investment, job creation and using existing employment land.

Transport needs will also be explored, including tackling congestion and improving air quality.

The greater Leicester area is one of the fasting growing in the country, with a population of about 650,000, of which 350,000 live within the city council area. 

People can take part online on the Citizen Space website, at consultations.leicester.gov.uk

Copies of the reference materials are available to view at city council-run libraries, the Town Hall and customer service centre in Granby Street.

Paper copies of the consultation questionnaire are also available at those sites. 

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