January’s full council meeting was busy, as usual. But one item in particular stood out: Agreeing the City Plan, the twenty year vision for the city’s development. A once in a generation decision.
The plan, a huge collective piece of work by all parts of the council and partners, sets out the thinking for how all future development, whether offices, schools, homes or business space, will be planned and where.
Three years ago the previous Conservative administration had made an abortive attempt to pass a plan. It attracted hundreds of amendments from both Green and Labour councillors and was rejected by the government inspector before formal examination had even begun.
Now with a Green administration in place we took a fresh, far more inclusive approach. The plan had support from a very wide selection of environmental, business and other organisations in the city. As a result the new Green City Plan only saw very minor opposition amendments included, which did not change the fundamental policies we had proposed. What has now been submitted to the government inspectors is a robust strategy which balances the intense needs for housing and employment on limited land.
Critically the whole plan is built on the One Planet Living principles and enshrines high standards of sustainability. Meanwhile changes have been put in place to increase the amount of affordable housing that will be built, improved transport connections and allocations for new schools.
Every development proposals that comes forward from now until 2030 will be judged against this plan, ensuring that they will be built to Green ambitions. It’s a great, lasting Green contribution to our city’s future.