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Local Plan progresses with answers for independent inspector

Cllr Paul Spooner, Leader of the Council, says: "Our new Local Plan is the best way to provide the homes, jobs, education, transport and other essential infrastructure to balance community needs across our borough. We have now responded to the set of initial questions received from the Planning Inspector, which is part of the usual process of developing a new plan and included topics such as housing numbers, meeting needs and the timing of delivery.

Cllr Spooner adds: "Protecting our local heritage and countryside is another critical part of planning for the future and the Inspector asked a range of questions about different aspects of the plan. Our responses give the opportunity to clarify the reasoning behind our plan, explain the positive steps taken to deliver the plan and restate fundamental policies such as developing on previously used, brownfield, land first. As the Inspector controls the independent examination of our submitted plan, he will ask further questions before the public hearings start on 5 June and request responses from the Council and those who objected to any topics he raises."

The questions we received from the Inspector at the end of March and our corresponding answers are available to view online on our Local Plan Examination page.

We submitted our Local Plan to the Secretary of State in December 2017. Alongside the plan, we also submitted all of the public consultation comments made in 2016 and the responses about the changes from last summer's consultation.

After a draft Local Plan is submitted, as well as managing the independent examination, the Inspector also contacts everyone who commented on the draft Local Plan at regulation 19 stage in 2016 and 2017 to see if they wish to participate in the public hearings.

When the Planning Inspector has completed the examination, he will produce his report and recommendations. We will then consider any changes that have been 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.

Published on Wednesday 11 April.