THE inspector appointed to examine the Malmesbury Neighbourhood plan has decided to have a hearing in public next month.

John Mattocks wants more clarification on several elements of the plan which has been produced by a steering group of volunteers and councillors from Malmesbury, St Paul Without and Brokenborough.

The committee has been lobbying the government to provide better protection for draft plans since being dealt a body blow by an Appeal Court ruling earlier this year that meant plans by Gleeson Strategic Land for a 180-home estate at Filands, that were not in the plan, could go ahead.

The Secretary of State’s decision on an appeal by White L:ion Land to build more than 70 homes on a site off Park Road is also expected imminently.

The Malmesbury Neighbourhood Plan – a blueprint for future housing and employment development - is the first in Wiltshire to reach the examination stage. It has to go to a public referendum before it can be adopted as part of the Wiltshire Core Strategy.

The hearing on September 18 in the town hall between 9.30am and 5pm.