THE St Helens Local Plan has moved a step closer to adoption after Labour councillors agreed to submit it to the Government for independent examination.

St Helens Council agreed to submit the plan back in December 2019, but it was delayed in March after the Labour cabinet instructed officers to undertake a review after entering a long-term partnership with the English Cities Fund (EFC) to regenerate the borough.

A report on this review was due to come back to cabinet in the summer, but this was delayed due to the coronavirus crisis.

The report has now been published and went before cabinet on Wednesday afternoon, where Labour councillors agreed to submit the plan to the Secretary of State in October.

Once submitted to the Government, the Secretary of State will appoint an independent planning inspector to examine the plan and documentation.

The planning inspector will then decide when the public examination will be conducted. Once known, details of the timescales will be shared online.

The submission draft of the Local Plan was subject to a public consultation in 2019, with the council receiving approximately 2,000 responses.

These responses have been collated and will be submitted to the inspector together with the Local Plan and supporting documents, should councillors decide to submit the plan.

Anyone who submitted a response during the Local Plan submission draft consultation will receive an email or letter from the council notifying them when the plan has been submitted to the planning inspectorate for examination, unless a request was made to not be notified.