CRAVEN residents are being given the last chance to influence the area's long awaited local plan.

The pre-publication draft Craven Local Plan - which outlines development preferences outside the national park for the next 20 years - went out for six weeks consultation today.

The plan, which has taken several years to put together and has cost Craven District Council more than a million pounds, includes a spatial strategy, draft policies, and employment and mixed use site allocations.

It also includes preferred site allocations for the building of 214 homes per year - a total of 4, 280 over the life span of the plan up until 2032.

It will be out for consultation until the end of July, after which further work will take place ahead of formal publication in September and submission to the secretary of state in December.

Following an in depth examination, it should, if approved by the secretary of state, be adopted by July next year.

Feedback gathered during the last consultation on the draft, which took place in April and May last year, together with extensive updates to the evidence base that underpins the whole plan has been taken into account in preparing the new version.

Paul Ellis, Craven District Council's director of services, said the consultation was a crucial piece of work and one of the final steps in developing the right local plan for Craven.

“We have taken on board previous comments from residents, businesses and organisations who provided us with valuable information.We have already carried out a huge amount of consultation to ensure a robust plan," he said.

He added: “This is the last chance for people to influence the content of the plan before it is formally published in September 2017 and we would like to hear their views. We are interested to hear what people like about it and any proposed changes – all suggestions are welcome.”

The plan sets out an objectively assessed need for 214 dwellings per year over the next 20 years. The total will take into account homes completed since April, 2012, as well as sites with planning permission or under construction, new sites allocated in the Local Plan for housing and through an allowance for small sites.

Once the plan is published in September, comments or representations can only relate to the tests of soundness and other legal requirements, rather than the content of the plan. These representations will then be dealt with by an independent inspector during the Examination in Public.

The new draft local plan consultation documents and a feedback form can be found on the council website at: The plan can also be viewed at the council offices, Belle Vue Square, Broughton Road, Skipton, and at libraries in Skipton, Cross Hills, Embsay, Settle, Bentham and Ingleton; and via the mobile library service. There will also be a drop-in session at the council offices on July 3 from 2pm to 6pm.