Chance to have your say on the future of the district

Chance to have your say on the future of the district

People living, working, running businesses and studying in the district are set to play a key role in shaping its future.

Canterbury City Council has started the process of reviewing its Local Plan, the blueprint it uses to earmark land for homes, jobs and open space for the next 20 years, and wants to hear people’s views on what issues it should consider as it thinks about how life will change or is changing already.

That will inevitably include what the potential long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic will be and how it will change the way people live their lives.

Councillors on the council’s Covid-19 Emergency Committee are being asked to approve the launch of a consultation that runs until the end of September when they meet on Thursday 25 June

Council Leader Cllr Robert Thomas said: “A number of strong themes were already emerging before the arrival of Covid-19 including the Local Plan’s role in tackling climate change and adapting to its effects, as well as how we use the plan to enhance people’s health and wellbeing.

“Now we also urgently need to think about how the coronavirus will shape our future including its economic impact on shopping, tourism and the key employers in the district and whether it has forced a fundamental shift towards home working which needs to be reflected in future plans.

“With all of this in mind we all need to consider what we want the future to look like and work together on developing that vision. So, if the consultation is approved, please tell us what you think. This is too important for you not to.”

Cllr Thomas added: “Every Local Plan is faced with the difficult task of balancing competing needs. We need more homes and to create jobs but how do we do that in a sustainable way while ensuring we have the right infrastructure and open space in place?

“How do we tackle climate change? We know that we need to reduce emissions to net zero as quickly as possible but how do we do that in a way that is sustainable?

“How do we make sure that we make sure we cope with the consequences of climate change like hotter summers, less rainfall but more severe weather?

“These are really difficult issues that can polarise people but we need to reach a broad consensus so we can all pull in the same direction and ensure the district’s future success.”

Published: 17 June 2020

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