The long-running Local Plan saga is almost over after the Planning Inspector found Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council's latest proposal to be "sound and legally compliant".

The Local Plan saga has rumbled on for more than a decade, with talks originally taking place back in 2012, before a plan was submitted in 2017.

Issues around housing targets and building on land around Brookmans Park and Cuffley have seen the plan pushed back and back.

The problems went as far a national government, with letters written by the council being sent to former Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, as well as levelling up, housing and communities secretary Michael Gove, to clarify concerns the council was having.

In January, Welwyn West's Conservative councillor Sunny Thusu claimed the Local Plan had been "hamstrung by the inflexibility of the inspector", but just days later, a plan was finally agreed at a full council meeting.

The final report of the Planning Inspector has now been published, and concludes that the Local Plan is sound and legally compliant, subject to a set of agreed changes.

"The Local Plan is a blueprint for managed growth over the next decade," said Councillor Jane Quinton, executive member for planning and regeneration at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.

"The pursuit of a sound Local Plan has been long and challenging, but we are pleased that we have now reached a point where the council can consider its adoption."

There are still the final few hurdles to overcome before the plan is officially adopted, with a decision on the adoption of the Local Plan to be considered at the council’s Planning and Parking Panel on October 5, Cabinet on October 10, and Full Council on October 12.

The Planning Inspector’s full report can be viewed at