The examination process of the draft Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) has been delayed after planning inspectors requested additional information.

Two independent planning inspectors are currently testing the work done by the local authorities to ensure that the JSP is fit for purpose.

They have requested additional information from the councils in relation to Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Habitat Regulation Assessment (HRA), as well as requesting clarification and further evidence within other technical work areas, including transport.

The councils will therefore run a six-week consultation process in November and December this year to give people the opportunity to see the information that will be provided and to make comments on it.

Feedback will be passed to the inspectors to consider as they prepare for the next phase of their assessment of the JSP.

This will mean that the Public hearings part of the Examination process which had been anticipated to take place this autumn is now expected to take place around mid-May 2019.

Speaking on behalf of the four West of England councils, Bob Goodman, Cllr from Bath and North East Somerset ,said: “We are really pleased the inspectors are working constructively with us and that we have a broad timetable to work with.

“We want this process to be thorough and take into account all the relevant information, scrutinise that information and make their views known.

"The more people understand about this process the more they will be able to have an input.”

The four West of England Councils, Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, will give residents, communities and other stakeholders an opportunity to comment on additional information to be provided to the Independent Planning Inspectors who are currently examining the draft Joint Spatial Plan (JSP), which will guide the region’s growth until 2036.The JSP was submitted to Government in April this year for an examination process to confirm that the policies and plans drawn up over the past three years meet statutory requirements. On behalf of the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government,