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Borough Local Plan examination may not restart until next year

Last chance to have your say on Borough Local Plan

The Borough Local Plan examination may not resume until spring 2020, a council letter has revealed.

The delay represents a long gap from when its examination started mid-2018.

The Royal Borough’s head of planning, Jenifer Jackson, wrote to the plan’s inspector, Louise Phillips, earlier this month to update her on extra work the council has done for the document – which will require a consultation to take place later this year.

The Borough Local Plan (BLP) will guide developments in the borough up to 2033.

After the examination started last year, the council and Ms Phillips agreed to a lengthy ‘pause’ of the plan so the council could carry out more work.

Ms Jackson has written to Ms Phillips to update her on how the plan interacts with the Hurley and Walthams Neighbourhood Plan, which helps with new buildings in that parish, and gave detail on  flood risk assessments of the sites picked for development in the BLP.

In her letter, Ms Jackson said that Ms Phillips had indicated the council ‘should consult on the output of the work detailed above’.

“In the council’s response I detailed a possible timetable for that consultation to take place, mindful of the all-out local elections taking place in the Borough on 2 May 2019 and the need to gain member approval to any consultation,” Ms Jackson wrote, adding that the council is taking legal advice on what type of consultation should be carried out.

She added that another update will be given by May 24.

“I am not able to advise, at this point in time, what form that consultation will take,” she wrote.

“I would hope that the council will be in a position to consult in autumn this year with the potential to resume the examination in the spring 2020.”

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