CRAVEN’S long awaited local plan has been submitted to the government’s secretary of state.

The document will provide the district - outside of the national park - with a wide ranging planning blueprint up until 2032.

It identifies the necessary development and infrastructure - such as roads and schools - needed to support growth. It also has sections on biodiversity, countryside and heritage, land and air quality, green wedges and public rights of way.

It will also be used to make decisions on future planning applications, and once officially adopted, will replace Craven District Council’s current local plan, which was adopted in 1999 and is now considered out of date.

It also sets out the council’s aspirations to build a minimum of 4,600 new homes during the lifespan of the plan - some 230 per year.

The plan, which has been several years in the planning, involving public consultations, drop-in sessions, and years of council meetings, will now undergo an independent examination by the government’s Planning Inspectorate.

It will involve public hearing sessions , likely to be held in Skipton and possibly in the summer, when people will have the further opportunity to respond to matters raised by the government inspector.

David Smurthwaite, the council’s strategic manager, said: “We are delighted that the Craven Local Plan has now been submitted. An enormous amount of hard work has gone into the plan by our planning policy team and they have done a great job in ensuring it is ready for submission.

“Many local authorities have struggled to prepare their local plan within the timescales set out by the government so we should be proud that we have achieved this.”

Copies of the Craven Local Plan can be viewed at the council offices in Belle Vue Square, Broughton Road and at libraries in Skipton, Settle, Bentham, Cross Hills, Gargrave, Ingleton, Embsay, and at the Supermobile Library, Cowling, at the Methodist Church Hall car park. It can also be viewed online at: