Cllr John Riddle: We have a Plan which will create jobs and allow businesses to thrive

Our plan to shape the future of Northumberland will soon be ready to send to the Government after completing its latest stage.

Once approved by the Government, the Northumberland Local Plan will be used as a guide to determine development across the county for years to come by looking at the scale and locations of all developments, including new homes for the region.

The document has been almost two years in the making, ever since the Conservatives took control of Northumberland County Council in May 2017.

We set about cancelling the flawed core strategy we inherited from the previous Labour administration and focused on drawing up a new local plan fit for purpose setting out how land can be used for housing and industry in the future – creating thousands of jobs and opportunities.

This month, the plan passed its latest stage after the final public consultation was concluded. The consultation has seen large numbers of people offer their views from across Northumberland.

Now council officers will be working thorough all the comments, before our final plan is submitted to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, for approval in May.

And if everything goes to plan, it could be approved by 2020. More details on the timeline can be found on the Northumberland County Council website.

I want to thank all the officers for all of their hard work in getting the plan to this stage and everyone who participated in delivering this document.

I am confident we have a plan which is fit for purpose, delivers the right quantity and quality of housing in the right places and at the same time encourages growth and business to thrive in our wonderful county.