WEARSIDERS can have their say on the future of Sunderland.
Council bosses have launched eight weeks of consultation on how the city develops over the next 20 years.
Residents, business bosses and community groups are being urged to have their say on the draft Local Plan and Settlement Break Review documents.
Key proposals in the drafts include 15,000 new homes, 81 hectares of employment and business land, improvements to public transport and new strategic business sites on land north of Nissan and at Vaux/Farringdon Row.
Draft documents can be viewed online at www.sunderland.gov.uk/development-plan, as well as at the civic centre and libraries across the city. Roadshows where people can talk to council staff about the plans start next week.
When finalised, they will guide planning policy and land use for new housing, employment and businesses as part of Sunderland’s Local Development Framework.
Councillor Mel Speding, the city council’s cabinet secretary, said: “The Government has outlined a national commitment to building new homes. We are required by law to have plans in place which meet the long-term development needs of our city. How we hope to achieve this is outlined in these draft documents.”
All local authorities that oversee planning applications and land use must prepare these documents, which then must pass through several statutory consultation stages before they become binding.
There has already been public engagement with groups and organisations representing the city and region, and the drafts are in line with the city’s Economic Masterplan.
Coun Speding added: “In this eight-week consultation period, we want to work with people to see how these housing and business development needs can best be met.
“Residents, businesses and community groups can all share their views and concerns on the proposals.
“A revised strategy is then presented to an independent planning inspector for final consideration.”
Documents are available for comments until 5pm on September 27.