BCP COUNCIL’S local plan has been submitted to the secretary of state for examination.

The plan, which is the first for the entire conurbation since the local authority’s formation in 2019, will be examined by independent examiners.

Two planning inspectors, appointed by the secretary of state for levelling up, communities and housing, will consider the documents submitted to determine whether the plan is sound and legally compliant.

A six-week consultation was held on the plan, with the council submitting all responses on June 27.

The local plan sets out the council’s ‘ambitious’ strategy for growth over the next 15 years, including allocating sites for 24,000 new homes and 72 hectares of employment land.

It also includes 33 individual ward policies, with all ward councillors having the opportunity to help develop.

This includes proposals for a potential traveller site at Branksome Triangle, as reported.

Each local plan must be subject to an independent examination, with this process expected to take 12 months.

The council hopes to adopt its first local plan for the area in 2025.

BCP Council has also submitted its draft Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule alongside, after this too was consulted on earlier this year.

Cllr Margaret Phipps, lead member for local plan delivery, said: "The draft BCP local plan provides a clear and sustainable vision for our area, whilst recognising and valuing the heritage of all three towns.

“We consider the draft BCP local plan and CIL Charging Schedule to be sound, however it is right that we acknowledge that following feedback from recent consultations, concerns have been raised with some elements of the Plan.

“BCP Council values the consultation process and the time taken by residents, businesses and wider statutory stakeholders to give us their opinions.

“These views will be considered by the Independent Planning Inspectors during the extensive examination process, and we’ll be working closely with the independent planning inspectors to consider whether modifications are needed to the plan to address some of the concerns raised.”

Cllr Phipps added: “The submission of the draft BCP local plan for examination by the secretary of state is the culmination of a number of years of work by the planning policy team alongside three detailed public consultations.

“I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to take part in the consultation process or chat with us at one of our information events.”

To view the local plan and for more information including the dates of public hearings, as well as every submission, visit the BCP Council website.