People in Middlesbrough are being encouraged to have their say on the town’s long term blueprint for development.
Middlesbrough Council has produced a draft Local Plan, identifying which parts of the borough are suitable for development like housebuilding and how green spaces and heritage sites should be protected.
Once in place, it will be used to guide decisions on individual planning applications.
Without a Local Plan, Middlesbrough Council is less likely to be able to influence the type of new development in the town, and where it happens.
People living and working in Middlesbrough now have the opportunity to voice their views on the draft plan during a six-week public consultation, which begins on February 1.
Cllr Theo Furness, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “The Local Plan is an important document which gives us control over which parts of our town are developed, and how that development looks.
“We’re legally required to prepare a document covering a long-term period up until 2041 – which allows us to ensure we have the right housing mix to support our residents as the make-up of the population continues to change. This includes bungalows and adaptable properties for our growing older population, affordable homes, flats and larger family houses.
“It’s also important to stress that development at any of the sites identified in the draft plan would still need to gain planning permission in the normal way and wouldn’t necessarily all happen as soon as the plan is adopted.
“I’d urge everyone to have their say as part of the consultation.”
The draft plan identifies that 400 new homes are required each year, which means that by 2041, 7,600 new homes would need to be built in Middlesbrough.
This would support the Council’s ambition for 350 new jobs to be created every year.
The draft plan prioritises housebuilding on brownfield land - but some greenfield sites are included.
This is because brownfield land is less economically viable and often complex to develop, while Middlesbrough’s tight boundaries mean there isn’t enough available brownfield land to provide the number of homes needed.
Government policy dictates that the housing needs of the Gypsy and Travelling community must be met when land for new homes is identified, in a way that facilitates a traditional and nomadic way of life while respecting the interests of settled communities.
A formal assessment found that 14 additional pitches will be needed above the numbers available at the current site at Metz Bridge.
No privately owned land was identified, therefore land at Teessaurus Park has been proposed in the draft plan.
Any site built on the land in the future would need to go through a full planning and consultation process.
Access to the River Tees and a local wildlife site at the north of the park would be retained – as would access to the dinosaur sculptures, whether at the current site or a suitable alternative space in Middlesbrough.
The consultation will run until March 15, and drop-in events will be held across the town.
Views collected during the consultation will be analysed and amendments will be made where appropriate, before a new, six-week consultation is launched on a revised document.
It will then be submitted to the Secretary of State and examined by an independent planning inspector.
If approved, it would be adopted in May 2025.
You can access the draft document online by visiting www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/localplan or in person at Middlesbrough House or any of our libraries and community hubs.
Officers can be contacted by email on email@example.com or by calling 01642 729487.