THE FINAL version of Otley's draft Neighbourhood Plan has been unanimously approved.

All 18 councillors attending this week's full meeting of Otley Town Council agreed that the document could move to the next stage.

The plan, plus related documents, will now come back to the council's Policy and Resources Committee in July for final approval before being passed to Leeds City Council.

There, it will be reviewed and independently assessed before coming back to be put to the people of the town in a referendum before its official adoption.

Town council Chair Councillor Ray Georgeson (Lib Dem, Danefield) said: "As the Neighbourhood Plan moves to the next stage of agreement, the town council wishes to place on record its appreciation for the huge effort put into its preparation by everyone involved.

"Those have included councillors and officers, our specialist advisers, members of the Steering Group and various working groups and, most importantly, all the Otley residents who took the time to attend meetings or provide responses to consultation events."

Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group Chair Councillor Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Prince Henry's) added: "I am pleased that after a lot of hard work by a lot of people we have now reached this important milestone.
"The Neighbourhood Plan is a reflection of local opinion and will become increasingly important in shaping development within the town."

Once adopted the Neighbourhood Plan's policies will have to be taken into consideration by future housing and commercial developers.