Hefty bill for authority after government call

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A TOTAL of £170,000 is expected to be paid out by a council after it was forced to go back to the drawing board on a planning blueprint.

Councillors at East Hampshire District Council voted to suspend the adoption of the Joint Core Strategy, which is also being devised by the South Downs National Park Authority.

The document includes how many homes should be built in the area by 2026.

But when it was examined by a government inspector, he questioned whether the 9,720 homes met housing demand.

It means the council will have to adjust its housing figures.

The council is expecting to be in a position to have the document re-examined by a government inspector by September.

Officials hope the policy can be adopted by December.

But officers have warned that developers may appeal against council decisions in the meantime as there is no up-to-date Local Plan.

The cost includes the £60,000 spent on the public examination in November which highlighted the report’s weaknesses.

Some of the remaining costs will be spent on consultants.

The cost is being met by council reserves.