A PLAN laying out the future for Christchurch and East Dorset over the next 15 years has been approved.

The Christchurch and East Dorset Core Strategy, the councils’ main planning document for the next 15 years, is sound and can be adopted, says an inspector.

The document which includes plans for housing at Roeshot Hill, development at Bournemouth Airport and further housing developments in East Dorset, was submitted last year to the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles.

As well as finding the paper sound, the inspector’s report says levels of consultation with residents were ‘appropriate’ and finds ‘there has been a rigorous and controlled approach to defining Green Belt boundaries’.

No further review of housing needs was required and the report also states that targets for affordable housing on greenfield and brownfield sites are justified.

The amount of employment land required has been assessed correctly and the vision and proposals for Bournemouth Airport are justified and effective, it added.

Cllr Margaret Phipps, portfolio holder for the environment at Christchurch said: “This is a really favourable outcome which clearly demonstrates that the councils’ approach of extensive public consultation and involvement, coupled with a significant evidence base, has resulted in a sound plan. This has happened in the face of considerable scrutiny both from objectors to the plan, and from the Inspector.”

Cllr Mike Dyer, lead member for the environment at East Dorset added: “The support from the inspector for our development strategy, in particular for the delivery of housing and employment land, means that the councils can resist any ad hoc development in the Green Belt and protect the character of urban areas.

“This is in stark contrast to several councils in the area who have either had to undertake an immediate review of their Core Strategies, or have been told to withdraw their Core Strategies for further work before going to the examination phase.”

The Core Strategy will now be taken to council meetings on April 22 in Christchurch, and April 28 in East Dorset for formal adoption.