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Thousands comment on changes to new Local Plan

We received 9,500 comments from 3,300 individuals and organisations in the recent consultation on the updates to our new Local Plan.

Cllr Paul Spooner, Leader of the Council, says: "This summer we asked people to comment on the significant and minor changes we made to our Local Plan following last year's consultation. It was a great success, with responses focussed on the updates, and I would like to thank everyone again for their feedback.

"It's crucial that the Local Plan we submit for independent inspection balances community needs and tackles local issues. Our residents and future generations need a great environment, homes and jobs, along with vital transport and other infrastructure, and strategic partners must complete their supporting projects so we can deliver the new plan in full.

"We are still reviewing the letters, emails and online responses and remain on target to submit the plan to the Planning Inspector in December. Community involvement to help shape our borough's future is a critical part of developing a new Local Plan. Alongside the plan, we will also submit all of last year's consultation comments and the responses about the changes from this summer's consultation. Our continued progress brings us another step closer to implementing a new Local Plan that enables people to thrive, wherever they live or work in our borough."

Over 6,000 residents, businesses, community groups and stakeholders made 32,174 comments during last year's regulation 19 pre-submission public consultation in June and July 2016. These comments remain valid and will be submitted alongside the subsequent comments made about the changes to the plan during this summer's targeted regulation 19 consultation.

In November, the full Council will be asked to decide whether the plan, associated documents and consultation comments can be submitted for inspection.

After submission, and when the independent Planning Inspector has completed their examination of the plan, 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 at New Local Plan.

Published on Tuesday 29 August.