Council backs proposal to suspend local plan

Dorset Echo: Council backs proposal to suspend local plan Council backs proposal to suspend local plan

A MOVE to suspend a proposed local plan for West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland has received further backing, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s management committee had already agreed to suspend the plan for six months after the concerns of government inspector Paul Crysell.

Now members of West Dorset District Council’s executive committee have followed suit by backing the move.

Spatial and community policy manager Hilary Jordan said the inspector had essentially given the council three options following the concerns he raised about the figures used for the housing assessments in the plan.

It could either carry on in the hope that the plan would proceed, suspend it for six months to carry out more work on housing figures to address the concerns raised or withdraw the plan completely and start again.

Mrs Jordan warned that if the authority progressed with the plan despite concerns raised and it wasn’t adopted, it could take even longer for the council to get an approved plan in place.

She said: “From our point of view we want to adopt the local plan as quickly as possible but clearly if we push ahead and have it found unsound that will give us the longest route to adoption.”

The committee agreed that the best route was to suspend the plan for six months so work could be done to ensure the plan had a chance of being successful.

Council leader Robert Gould said: “Obviously this is a very important area of work, it’s obvious we need to do the work to progress this plan to the point that we can adopt it at the earliest possible date.”

Councillor Sarah East added: “This way will hopefully get the plan adopted as quickly as we possibly can.”

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