A MAJOR planning blueprint which will govern development across south Worcestershire for much of the next two decades has been delayed.
The updated South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) will not be published for consultation in July as scheduled, because work on the key documents relating to development sites and the infrastructure needed to support them is yet to be completed.
More time is required to finalise the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) which is a crucial evidence document setting out how strategic infrastructure, such as roads and new schools, will be delivered to support proposals in the SWDP for the additional 14,000 new homes needed across Malvern Hills District, Worcester City and Wychavon District by 2041.
The Regulation 19 publication draft of the SWDP was scheduled for public consultation in July, with the submission version timetabled for independent examination later this year.
The impact of the latest delay to the SWDP is still being assessed and a new timetable will be drawn up for elected councillors to consider.
Coun Aaron Powell, chair of the SWDP Joint Advisory Panel, said: “We know that infrastructure and how it will be delivered is one of the key concerns of our residents.
“We are disappointed by this latest delay to the review of the SWDP but the Infrastructure Delivery Plan is a critical piece of evidence, to demonstrate the proposed strategic housing sites are viable.
“It is therefore better that we take the time now to make sure we are getting it right as we look to deliver a Plan that will have a profound impact on South Worcestershire over the coming years.
“We will identify the next steps in the review process and a timetable for them as soon as we can.”