The Government has appointed a senior planning inspector to hold a public examination of Wyre Forest District Council’s planning blueprint that will guide future development in the district over the next few years.

The Planning Inspectorate has appointed Inspector Mary Travers BA (Hons) DipTP MRTPI to conduct the examination into whether the council’s Draft Local Plan is ‘sound’.

It follows the formal submission of the Draft Plan to the Secretary of State on 30 April after full council gave its approval on 20 February.

The council has already appointed an independent Local Plan programme officer to support the inspector and the council will now begin liaising with them to discuss the inspector’s requirements. Ms Travers will decide on the timing of the public hearings part of the examination which is expected to take place later this year.

Obviously the council is mindful of the current social distancing guidelines and will be working with the Inspector to put in place safe arrangements for parties to engage with the examination process.

Councillor Fran Oborski, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Planning & Capital Investments said:

“I’m pleased by the speed with which the Planning Inspectorate has been able to confirm Ms Travers as the inspector to handle the Local Plan examination. And I’m glad that such a senior member of the Planning Inspectorate has been appointed.

“It is important to the council that we continue to progress the adoption of our Local Plan and I hope that the current pandemic will not delay that progress; to that end we will be advised by the inspector on the most appropriate manner in which to hold any face to face hearings so that everyone can observe or take part in the proceedings whilst observing government guidelines on social distancing should they still be in place at that time.”

The council has added a new page to its website where all the documentation relating to the Local Plan can be found and where the programme officer and the inspector will post all matters relating to the examination: https://www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/planning-and-buildings/planning-policy/local-plan-examination.aspx

The Local Plan is the strategic framework that will guide land use planning for the area. It is used to help determine decisions on planning applications. The new plan will run up until 2036.