THE people of Chesterton will be given a final chance later this year to influence the decision to put 2,500 new homes in their neighbourhood.

Contrary to previous reports that there would be no more opportunities for public consultation on the proposed housing allocation site in Chesterton, the district council made it clear this week that this was not the case.

A final draft of the Local Plan, which is being put together by Cotswold District Council (CDC) setting out planning policies in the district to the year 2031, will be open to public consultation sometime in the coming autumn.

The consultation period will be for at least six weeks, after which the plan will be finalised before being passed to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate to decide if it can be adopted as the blueprint for development for the next 15 years.

The exact date of the start of consultation by CDC will depend on when the draft of the plan is finished but is expected to be this autumn.

The autumn consultation will be the last chance for full public open consultation. After that the plan will be tied to the Planning Inspectorate’s examinations process.

Georgina Wood, principal planning policy officer for CDC, explained that changes to the Draft Local Plan would not be possible after it has been submitted to the government unless strong planning reasons were given.

“Unless people can show us that we have got it badly wrong, we will not be able to change it. We have gone so far down the road now," she said.

She added that people would have to apply to be involved in the examinations process.

“It is like a meeting that is held in public," she said, "but it is not a public meeting.”