A GOVERNMENT review into South Gloucestershire Council’s main planning blueprint has been suspended for six months.

Independent Inspector Paul Crysell has told the local authority that it needs to do more work on its Core Strategy, which details how the district will develop in the next 20 years.

In a letter to the council Mr Crysell, who has been appointed by the Secretary of State, said the authority should either withdraw its Core Strategy or the process, which would lead to it being formally adopted, could be suspended for up to six months.

He wrote: "I see no advantage in continuing with the examination at present because it would not avoid the need for additional information and is more likely to result in on-going delay and additional cost."

The Core Strategy, which has already cost the authority £46,812 to produce, includes housing figures, infrastructure such as schools and roads, as well as locations where industry and business can be encouraged.

A council spokesman said: "The council has given careful consideration to the Inspector's advice and has suggested to the Inspector that his option to suspend the examination for a period of six months to permit further consultation on key issues including the future of Filton Airfield would be the most appropriate course of action in the circumstances."

Mr Crysell has told the council it needs to do more work on justifying its housing figures, complete an assessment of the district’s green belt, provide more detail on its proposals for Filton Airfield, revise the strategy’s sustainability assessment, and re-consult on the revised document.

The council has said a six-week public consultation will be launched in December including all changes that have been made to the document.

South Gloucestershire Council’s Core Strategy should progress to public examination in March next year.

For more information on the Core Strategy visit, www.southglos.gov.uk