Spotlight on planning blueprint

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MAJOR plans for the future of Hartlepool will be formally examined by a Government-appointed inspector at the end of this month.

Formerly known as the Core Strategy, the Local Plan lays down the main planning framework for the borough for the next 15 years.

It has been prepared by Hartlepool Borough Council after an extensive period of public consultation and includes details of the aspirations for future development and what kind of changes will be needed to achieve these and how they will be brought about.

But before it can be adopted by the council, the Local Plan must be subject to a public examination by a planning inspector acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

The inspector will examine the Local Plan to check that it is sound and complies with all legal requirements and will consider any outstanding objections to it.

The examination will be carried out by Government planning inspector Kevin Ward and will take place on weekdays from Tuesday, January 29 to Friday, February 8.

It will be held in the Conference Facility in Hartlepool College of Further Education, in Stockton Street, and members of the public are welcome to watch the proceedings. There will be two sessions per day, starting at 10am and 2pm.

Among the matters which Mr Ward will examine are the overall provision which the Local Plan makes for new housing, the provision for delivering new housing, the overall supply of land for housing, the approach to the overall housing mix and affordable housing and provision of gypsy and traveller sites in the borough.

The findings will be published in spring this year.

Subject to Government approval, the proposed Local Plan would then be put before the full council for approval and adoption later next year.

For more information contact Jim Riddle, programme officer for the examination, on 07740 493307 or email jimriddle@tiscali.co.uk