It is currently subject to a six-week consultation on some proposed main modifications – and this will close at 5pm on Wednesday, August 4.
Part of the formal ‘examination’ by Government appointed planning inspectors, this consultation is expected to be the final stage before the Northumberland Local Plan can be formally ‘adopted’.
The proposed modifications include some technical matters and also some changes that have already been proposed by the council during the Government inspection process.
They include a commitment to undertake an early update of the plan in relation to assessment of the need for open space, sport and recreation facilities and the justification for protected open space sites, and removing the safeguarded land allocation for employment at Prestwick Pit near Ponteland and retaining this as Green Belt.
In addition to these main modifications the council is also inviting comments on a number of matters.
They are as follows: a schedule of proposed modifications to the Local Plan policies map, Sustainability Appraisal of the main modifications and policies map changes, Habitats Regulations Assessment of the main modifications and policies map changes, additional evidence published by the council through the examination since the last consultation held during July to September 2020.
Cllr Colin Horncastle, cabinet member responsible for planning at Northumberland County Council, said: “This is the final opportunity to have a say on the issues being consulted on at this time and I urge people to take this opportunity, should they wish to. I very much look forward to getting the Northumberland Local Plan. finalised and adopted.”
Full details of the consultation and how people can have their say is available at www.northumberland.gov.uk/localplan
All of the comments on the consultation documents will be passed to the inspectors for their consideration, following which the lead inspector will set out her final conclusions on the soundness of the plan.
Once it is found to be ‘sound’, it can be formally adopted by the council and then used to assess planning applications and guide the location of future development in the county up to 2036.