The completion of the area’s planning blueprint by the end of the year has been listed as a priority by Craven District Council.

It has just approved a four-year Council Plan, beginning in April.

Among its priorities is the finalisation and adoption of the Local Plan, which lays out development and protection sites for the next ten years.

The development plan, which has so far taken two years, is nearing its pre-publication draft, which will be subject to further consultation before final adoption.

Meanwhile, the council plan, approved by last week’s policy committee, was a slimmed down and more accessible document, councillors were told.

Deputy leader Coun Richard Foster (Con) said the plan was more concise but contained everything that the council would concentrate on in the next four years.

Skipton West councillor Coun Paul English (Lib Dem) urged caution over the development of the South Skipton employment zone site being listed as something that the council should facilitate.

The site – between Waltonwrays Cemetery and Sandylands Sports Centre – is currently the subject of a planning application by Henry Boot.

It has submitted proposals for a Sainsbury’s superstore and an industrial park.

Coun English said he did not want the impression to be created that it was a done deal ahead of it being debated by the council’s planning committee.

“I don’t want to add ammunition to a developer’s bow,” he said.

Chief executive Paul Shevlin reminded councillors that the Council Plan was not a planning document and that any development would be subject to planning approval.

Coun Simon Myers (Cons) added that it was his understanding that council policy was that there should not be retail on the site, but that retail could be an enabling element.

“I would not want the planning committee to be given a steer in any way,” he added.