Delayed draft Melton Local Plan to be considered next month

Jim Worley, Melton Council's head of regulatory services, hold a copy of Melton's draft Local Plan document at a public consultation event EMN-170706-145409001
Jim Worley, Melton Council's head of regulatory services, hold a copy of Melton's draft Local Plan document at a public consultation event EMN-170706-145409001

Councillors are finally set to consider the long-awaited draft Melton Local Plan next month more than three months after the latest delay.

Discussions on the plan, which will dictate development across the borough for the next 20 years, started way back in 2013.

The project has been dogged by a series of stalling issues but there appeared to be light at the end of the tunnel at the start of this year following extensive public consultations.

But, in March, Melton Council announced the draft plan had been delayed yet again due to ‘new information in relation to infrastructure costs’.

The council expected to finalise the draft for consideration by councillors by the end of April, but that deadline has long since passed.

The authority announced this week that full council will finally get to debate the draft at their meeting on July 4.

A council spokesperson said: “The meeting is where councillors and officers will review the recently compiled and updated evidence alongside the findings from the latest consultation, and decide upon the next steps and what changes to make to the plan.

“We are still on track and still have time to submit and get an adopted plan in place, albeit just slightly later than originally intended.

“This is due to changing evidence and the extent of representations received to consultations.”

The council had hoped to submit the final plan this summer so it can be examined by a planning inspector at a public inquiry.

But there are several steps for it still to go through before that stage.

Neighbourhood and Development Plans in 12 areas of the borough are also being consulted on as part of the overall plan.

The council has to calculate how much it can generate through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), a fund which will support some of the infrastructure outlined in the plan, such as open space andsports facilities.

Councillors also have to agree on the final plan before it is submitted, which is likely to be later this year.