RESIDENTS of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are being asked for their opinion on huge wide-ranging proposals which will go towards shaping a blueprint for the future of the conurbation.

Proposals for development, climate change, employment zones, tourist sites, leisure, the green belt and much more, all form part of this stage of BCP Council's developing Local Plan.

However, the proposals are not a draft of the plan, but a range of options the council want feedback on.

'This is not THE Local Plan'

Cllr Philip Broadhead, BCP Council’s deputy leader said: "This is not the Local Plan, this is a document that will help us put together the plan.

Read more: 'Innovative' housing target plan to save BCP's Green Belt

"Absolutely everything from our employment land to the green belt is included – and the responses will form the draft local plan. "We are putting everything on the table so we know what people's views are.

"Every single site possible for development, all of them are in there.

"We think it is the right thing to do to get public opinion on everything.

"We're doing something quite innovative. It's important to say that just because it's in this document, it doesn't mean it will be in draft, that's why we're consulting. We want to hear from people."

He added: "It is a bold move that we have made but we think it is the right way to do it, so when we create the local plan, we do it in the full knowledge of what people want.

"We're not being prescriptive."

Read more: All the options on the table for BCP Council's Local Plan

What's in it?

The issues and options consultation will also consider housing numbers, with central government’s standard methodology stating that the BCP Council area needs to provide 2,700 new homes per year up to 2038.

This is double the current number which are currently developed, Cllr Broadhead told a Facebook Live audience on Wednesday lunchtime.

But the council are looking at an 'innovative' methodology which could see them building 1,600 homes a year if this number is accepted by the Government.

In the 66-page document which is live now, BCP Council say the main areas of growth will be focused on Bournemouth and Poole town centres, looking at commercial, leisure and cultural activity.

The document also says the Bournemouth International Centre will be enhanced as one of the 'best events venues in the world', with the seafront also seeing significant investment.

The objectives of the proposals include providing new and affordable housing, supporting economic growth and job creation, adapting the high streets and shopping areas, provide a safe and sustainable transport network, conserve and enhance protected habitats and biodiversity, and promote local character and the delivery of high-quality urban design.

The proposals will also work towards achieving carbon neutrality ahead of 2050 and inspire action to combat the climate and ecological emergency.

What happens next?

Following this consultation which continues until March 7, a draft local plan would be formed and go back out for resident feedback before submission to the secretary of state and examination by an independent planning inspector. It is likely the local plan would not be adopted until 2023 at the earliest.

We will be running a series of articles looking at the proposals by area and theme over the coming weeks in the Daily Echo and online.