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Revised Timetable for Next Stage of Consultation on Reading’s Local Plan

  • Publication of updated national planning policy guidance means the next phase of consultation on Reading's Local Plan will now take place from November
  • When finalised, Reading’s Local Plan will guide decisions on planning applications up to 2041

THE Council has announced a change to the timetable for the next stage of consultation on a key planning document which will help determine future development in Reading.

Reading’s Local Plan is a crucial Council planning document which will guide decisions on planning applications up to 2041. It outlines Council policies on key issues like future housing need, affordable homes, associated infrastructure and how sustainable developments will help Reading drive towards its net-zero carbon ambitions.

Reading’s existing Local Plan is now five years old, and the Council has begun the process of undertaking what is known as a partial update. Following a period of public consultation between November 2023 and January 2024, the next round of consultation was originally planned for July to September. Consultation is now expected to begin in November instead.   

The consultation timetable has been postponed for four months due to the Government publication in December 2023 of a new version of its main national policy document - the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  Alongside several public Ministerial statements which have possible repercussions for Reading, it means the Council now intends to take some time to consider the wider implications before finalising its Local Plan.  

The Council will use the intervening period to assemble information which informs key local planning policy choices,  taking into account of the results of the most recent public consultation, including a number of requests by statutory agencies to expand the scope of the partial update to include a wider range of policy areas.


Councillor Micky Leng, Reading Borough Council’s Lead for Planning, said:

“Given the ever-changing picture in terms of national planning policy guidance, it would be absurd for the Council to rush to meet a self-imposed deadline on this partial update.

 “Reading’s Local Plan will play a hugely significant role in helping the Council, and its residents, to achieve their objectives in the coming years, whether in relation to house building, affordable homes, transport infrastructure and sustainable development. It is in that context, and against the backdrop of changes in national guidance and noises coming from Ministers, that we will now pause to take stock before presenting a full draft of the partial update in November for public consultation, which has fully considered all implications.

 “Reading Council is already well-ahead of other local councils, in that it is undertaking a review of its Local Plan earlier than required by law and, unlike many local authorities, it still has an up-to-date plan in place. Very good progress has already been made on the update and, even accounting for this small delay, the Council expects to adopt its updated plan during 2025, depending on the capacity of the national Planning Inspectorate to undertake the public examination of the plan.”

The Council’s updated programme in relation to its Local Plan will be discussed at the Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport Committee in June.