POSSIBLY the last consultation into the Craven Local Plan before it can be formally adopted is due to get underway next week.

The six week consultation will run from Tuesday, February 19, to April 1 and will look at a number of ‘main modifications’ recommended by Government planning inspector Matthew Birkinshaw following last year’s examination in public stage.

If everything goes to plan, and no further changes are necessary, the wide-ranging planning document, which will run until 2032, will go to a full meeting of Craven District Council for approval and formal adoption as early as May or June.

During the consultation period only representations will be allowed on the proposed ‘main modifications’, the updated ‘sustainability appraisal’ and ‘habitat regulation assessment’.

Other aspects of the plan are no longer being consulted on, and representations will not be considered by Mr Birkinshaw.

Council leader, Cllr Richard Foster, said: “We have held a huge amount of consultation on this local plan during its development and this is a chance for people to have their say on a number of main modifications. Our planning policy team has worked extremely hard alongside the inspector to develop these main modifications to ensure the soundness of the plan.”

A series of public hearing sessions were held at the council offices in October when the inspector led the discussion on a range of matters, with contributions from the council and interested individuals and groups who had submitted representations. At the outset, Mr Birkinshaw said the plan would either be adopted as it was, rejected completely, or as was more likely, that he would recommend modifications before it could be adopted.

Any representations received during the consultation will be passed on to the inspector who will then decide whether the plan can be declared sound, subject to the modifications consulted on. He can also decide to hold more hearing sessions.

If he concludes the plan is sound, he will send a draft final report to the council. The council will carry out a fact checking of the report, and following that, the inspector will issue his final report, which will go to the council.

There will then follow a six week period when the report will be published on the council’s website, and made available at the council offices and libraries for people to view, after which it can be formally adopted by the full council.

Information about the consultation will be available online from Tuesday at: cravendc.gov.uk/planningpolicyconsultations and also in paper form at the council offices at Belle Vue Square and in Craven libraries. The planning policy team can be contacted on 01756 706472 or by emailing localplan@cravendc.gov.uk