Withdrawal of key Northumberland planning document goes ahead

County Hall in Morpeth.
County Hall in Morpeth.

The Northumberland Local Plan Core Strategy has been withdrawn so that a review of some aspects of the key planning document can take place.

As we reported a fortnight ago, despite it being submitted to the Government for independent examination in April, the new Conservative administration wants to take another look at the plan which will govern development up to 2031.

A motion to the council asking for a review of the housing and employment numbers and strategic land-use allocations within the strategy was carried by 39 votes to 22 at last Wednesday’s full meeting.

Council and Conservative leader, Coun Peter Jackson, said: “Ultimately we want to improve control of development within our county, not create a free-for-all which encroaches on our green belt.

“We are a council that listens and it is vital we get this right.”

But opposition councillors accused the Tories of playing politics and said that it would be a free-for-all for developers for as long as there is no plan in place.

Advice has been sought from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the report states that a local planning authority can withdraw a submitted plan at any time prior to adoption, at which point it would publish a statement about this and send notification to consultation bodies.

The work will be done as quickly as possible, so that the strategy can be resubmitted as soon as is practicable.