RESIDENTS will finally be able to have their say on the way development, housing and planning policies are carried out for the next 15 years. 

The draft local plan has allocated room for 24,000 new homes, 72 hectares of employment land and detailed polices for construction in the three towns. 

Among the subjects residents can have their say on includes the traveller site at Branksome Triangle and development on green belt land. 

It also includes 33 individual ward policies, which councillors have had the opportunity to help shape and develop. 

Before a local plan can be formally adopted and brought into use, it must be subject to an independent examination by an inspector appointed by the secretary of state. 

BCP Council said it has undertaken “significant engagement” with residents, businesses, community groups, developers and planning agents. 

One planning agent, Bournemouth-based Ken Parke Planning Consultancy, has said the local plan “does not provide for the housing needs of the area”. 

But council leader Vikki Slade said it “provides a clear and sustainable vision for our area, whilst recognising and valuing the heritage of all three towns”. 

Cllr Margaret Phipps, lead member for local plan delivery, added: “It is vital our local plan stands the test of time and I’m confident that it will.  

“We’ve done all we can to engage people in the process, including all ward councillors.” 

Cllr Slade added: "Bringing forward a new local plan for the BCP area is a significant milestone and, once adopted, will provide clarity and consistency to our decision making." 

From Wednesday, March 20, the consultation will be available online at until 1pm on Friday, May 3 when it closes. 

Paper copies of the draft local plan and surveys will be available to complete and submit at the civic centre in Bournemouth, as well as Poole, Christchurch, Kinson, Boscombe and Broadstone libraries. 

All comments received during the formal consultation period will be passed onto an independent examiner from the planning inspectorate for consideration as part of the formal examination process. 

Once adopted, the BCP local plan will replace the three local plans currently serving Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.