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Submitting our new Local Plan and independent examination

We are on target and aim to submit our draft Local Plan to the government's Planning Inspectorate in December.

On Monday 20 November the Executive will consider the Submission Local Plan. At its meeting the next evening, the full Council will be asked to decide whether the plan, associated documents and consultation comments can be submitted to an independent inspector for examination.

Cllr Paul Spooner, Leader of the Council, says: "We have reached a critical point in developing our new Local Plan that provides the framework to tackle local issues and balance community needs across our borough. Subject to Council approval, we aim to submit the plan and associated documents for independent examination by the Planning Inspectorate next month. Alongside the plan, we will also submit all of last year's public consultation comments and the responses about the changes from this summer's consultation.

"We have carefully considered the thousands of comments made in 2017 from individuals and organisations. Their feedback has been invaluable in clarifying various details about the significant and minor changes we made to the plan after our consultation in 2016. Following this latest feedback, there are no further major changes to the plan that we aim to submit to the Planning Inspectorate. However, it is still vital that strategic partners also complete their supporting transport and other infrastructure projects, so we can deliver the new plan in full and give our residents the great environment, homes and jobs they need.

"After a draft Local Plan is submitted, the appointed Planning Inspector then controls and manages the independent examination, which includes a set of public hearings. Our plan is about the future of our borough and enabling people to thrive, wherever they live or work, and I would like to thank everyone again for taking the opportunity to get involved."

As well as controlling and managing the independent examination of the plan, the independent Planning Inspector will contact everyone who commented on the draft Local Plan to see if they wish to participate.

When the Planning Inspector has completed their examination, they will produce their report and recommendations. We will then consider any changes they may have recommended and the full Council will be asked to decide whether to adopt the new Local Plan. We hope this final stage for the plan will be achieved by the end of 2018.

We will keep you updated with the latest progress and you can find out more on our New Local Plan web page.

Published on Thursday 9 November.