THE LOCAL Plan for housing in West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland has been held up as a government inspector will hold talks with council leaders next month.
Before a public examination can take place, the Government Planning Inspectorate wants to discuss concerns about the draft local plan – which will identify where new homes and employment opportunities can be built.
Councillor Robert Gould, Leader of West Dorset District Council 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 exploratory meeting will take place at South walks House in Dorchester on Wednesday 22 January .
Members of the public can attend the meeting, but cannot participate in discussion unless specifically invited to do so by the inspector.
Local authorities are required to draft plans for housing needs using figures from the National Office of Statistics (ONS).
“The message we appear to be getting is that the plan is not ambitious enough in terms of housing development” added Councillor Gould.
“We have applied nationally recognised figures from the ONS while still respecting the views of local people where possible.”