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Exploratory discussions to take place over draft Local Plan
12:41pm Thursday 2nd January 2014 in News
An exploratory meeting to discuss options for next steps in the development of a draft Local Plan for Weymouth, Portland and West Dorset will take place at South Walks House in Dorchester on January 22.
A Government Planning Inspector has requested the exploratory meeting so that council representatives can address his initial comments and concerns before a public examination of the draft plan can take place.
Although open to the public, the meeting is not being held for objections or concerns about content in the plan to be raised but for the councils to address specific issues highlighted by the inspector, including housing targets. People cannot participate in discussion unless specifically invited to do so by the inspector.
Leader of West Dorset District Council Robert Gould said: “It is extremely frustrating that completion of the joint Local Plan could be delayed by this intervention.
“We have followed the process properly in a professional manner with our partners at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council “We have taken the views of local people into account following substantial public consultation and changed the plan accordingly to reflect these views where possible.
“The message we appear to be getting is that the plan is not ambitious enough in terms of housing development, but we have applied nationally recognised figures from the ONS while still respecting the views of local people where possible.”
Contents of the plan still stand, with a way forward to be discussed at the January talks.
The Local Plan sets out a long term planning strategy for the area up to 2031 to meet future housing, employment and leisure needs.