Published on 11th November 2011

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The Joint Core Strategy (JCS) is moving closer to consultation stage as Cheltenham Borough Council yesterday approved the publication of the ‘Developing the Preferred Option’ consultation document.

All councils are required to have a core strategy to deal with future development and Cheltenham Borough Council, Tewkesbury Borough Council and Gloucester City Council are working together to produce a Joint Core Strategy.

At a special council meeting on 10 November, Cheltenham was the second of the three councils to make a decision on whether to approve this key consultation document.

The consultation will be an important opportunity for the public to voice any concerns they have over the proposals, to challenge the evidence that the proposals are based on and to suggest alternative solutions to meet our future development needs.

The consultation document identifies a ‘vision’ for the JCS area, as well as the potential number of homes that will need to be provided across the area for the next 20 years. The document also indicates potential locations to deliver housing and employment needs.

Andrew North, Chief Executive of Cheltenham Borough Council and Chair of the Programme Board for the JCS, said: "This is the start of one of the most important and far reaching consultations we have carried out over many years. The JCS, which we hope finally to publish early in 2014, will set out the scale and location of housing and employment development for urban Gloucestershire and its rural fringe for the next 20 years and by doing so will profoundly affect the character of Cheltenham and Gloucester as well as land within Tewkesbury Borough. It should matter to everyone who lives, works, visits or cares about the area, so we want people's views."

The consultation has been produced using information from previous consultation exercises and a wide range of evidence, including population and household projections, Green Belt Review, Employment Land Review and a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment. The evidence base can be found on the JCS website.

Tewkesbury Borough Council has already given its approval and Gloucester City Council is next in line to consider the document at a council meeting on 24 November.

Councillor Steve Jordan, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, said “The Joint Core Strategy will be very important for Cheltenham and the wider area. Working together with Gloucester and Tewkesbury provides the best chance of developing a local plan that works for us all. I hope Gloucester City will also agree to start the consultation process and I would urge people in Cheltenham to make sure they express their views when they get the chance.”

If approved at all three councils, the document will then go out for public consultation from 13 December for approximately nine weeks.

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