Consultation launched on new evidence behind local plan
July 14, 2020
A consultation has been launched on new evidence presented as part of the local plan making process in Northumberland.
The Northumberland Local Plan sets out in detail how the county will develop in the future and, practically, forms the basis on how planning applications are decided.
After several stages of public consultation the plan is currently at the stage of being ‘examined’ by an independent inspector appointed by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate.
During public hearings in October 2019 and February this year the inspector has requested a number of pieces of further information and evidence from the council, and these are the subject of this current consultation.
All residents and organisations with an interest in the plan now have the opportunity to look at this information, and comment on it.
Consultation opened this week (Monday 13 July) and will run until 5pm on Monday 7 September – allowing eight weeks for people to look at the additional evidence and express their views.
The Northumberland Local Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government in May 2019, an inspector appointed later that year, and the first public hearings held during October 2019.
The new evidence relates to the chapters of the plan which cover: Delivering the Vision for Northumberland; Economic Development; Town Centres and Central Services; Housing; and Infrastructure and Delivery.
Cllr John Riddle, cabinet member with responsibility for planning at Northumberland County Council said: “I am pleased to see this consultation getting underway, which marks a further important step in securing a full and up to date local plan for the county of Northumberland.
“Now that the examination is underway, the timetable is very much in the hands of the inspector who has been appointed to examine its ‘soundness’.
“Covid-19 is inevitably having an impact on the examination process, but our planning team is working closely with the inspector in the hope that things can be progressed as quickly as possible.
“We have also put some additional measures in place to help people to engage with this consultation, and I urge those with an interest to take the opportunity to have a look at this latest evidence for the plan, and to express any views that they may have.”
As well as all information being fully accessible online, it is possible to request a USB stick containing a full set of the documents being consulted upon or, if necessary, paper copies can be posted. Libraries and customer information centres are currently closed, but hard copies of the consultation documents can be viewed, by prior appointment, at County Hall in Morpeth. All Covid-19 secure guidelines will be followed at these appointments.
Planning officers will also be available to explain the consultation by telephone or email, and the standard consultation period has been extended by an extra two weeks – providing eight week for people to look at the information and have their say.
You can find all of the additional evidence and how to respond on our website at https://northumberland-