A LOCAL plan set to create 15,000 new jobs across Northumberland has been delivered to central government.

The Northumberland Local Plan was sent to Westminster for independent inspection by a Planning Inspectorate, seeking permission to implement it across the county.

By identifying areas to grow and diversify the economy, the plan has been developed with the goal of creating 15,000 jobs by 2046.

It also includes the main planning policies for Northumberland, mapping out where new homes are required and aiming to protect the green belt from major housing development.

The leader of Northumberland County Council, Coun. Peter Jackson, said: “We said that we would deliver a local plan by March, 2020 and this submission to Government is a key milestone in achieving that.

“Through the plan, we will ensure that Northumberland is a great place to live, work and visit, and that we truly address the future needs of our county. The plan sends a strong message that Northumberland has ambitious plans for growth, while also protecting everything that is special about the area.

“We are very optimistic about the prospects for our county and we will make sure that Northumberland works for everyone and for all of our communities.”

Bellingham county councillor, Coun. John Riddle, the cabinet member for housing, planning and resilience, said: “Through this plan, we are setting out clear policies on how we will meet the future economic and housing needs of the county.

“We know that having a plan in place is important to Northumberland communities, and we have put a number of measures in place to accelerate its production.”

Examination hearings by an independent planning inspector are expected to take place this September, with full adoption of the plan scheduled for March 2020.