Consultation on modifications to core strategy

A Supplementary Planning Document is being prepared on renewable energy.
A Supplementary Planning Document is being prepared on renewable energy.

Public consultation is under way on some major modifications to a key planning document for Northumberland.

Consultation will run until Wednesday, July 27, on modifications to the core strategy of the local plan for the county.

This is the final stage before the strategy is submitted for review by an independent inspector, meeting the Government’s deadline for receiving the plan.

Last year, the council consulted widely on a pre-submission draft of the core strategy – the main planning policies for the county and a major part of the Northumberland Local Plan.

After listening to feedback, gathering further information and reviewing new government policy, these final modifications aim to ensure the plan is sound and robust.

Coun Allan Hepple, cabinet member for economic growth at Northumberland County Council, said: “We want to get this right and our submission of the core strategy towards the end of this year will still meet Government deadlines. I urge people to view the major modifications and to make any comments they wish to on their soundness.”

Copies of the consultation document are available on the council’s website, as well as in main council offices, libraries and information points. People are encouraged to submit comments online, but they can be accepted by email and post.

The county council is also seeking views on an extra document to govern planning policies on renewable energy.

The local authority is going to prepare a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to provide further detail on the policies for renewable energy in the emerging core strategy.

Earlier in the process, it was recognised that it was necessary to tackle onshore windfarms and turbines, but it is now proposed that the SPD should be expanded to cover the likes of solar farms. It will not deal with offshore wind as this is outside the planning authority’s remit.

The consultation sets out the council’s initial views on the scope and content of the proposed SPD and seeks feedback ahead of a draft. It too runs until Wednesday, July 27.