Controversial housing developments in Wokingham could soon be subject to an extra week of scrutiny from residents thanks to new council plans.

Councillor Lindsay Ferris, in charge of planning at Wokingham Borough Council, signed off on proposals to change how residents are consulted over major housing plans, on Thursday, August 10.

The new “statement of community involvement” proposes that major planning applications be subject to a 28-day consultation period – up from 21. During consultations, the council cannot push ahead with plans or make decisions, but residents can still have their say once the period is ended.

Councillor Ferris said: “I’ve always thought that 21 days does not give residents very much time to comment, particularly on major developments.”

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The proposed changes will now themselves soon be put out to a six-week consultation before being finally approved by the council’s leading executive committee.

Ian Bellinger, the council’s service manager for growth and delivery, said the council hadn’t yet settled on dates for the consultation.

He added: “Larger planning applications are more complex to understand and therefore this provides residents and stakeholders with an extra week to consider that information and provide their responses to us.”

The decision comes after councillor Ferris announced last month that the council is set to begin work on its new Local Plan – which would set out where major housing and business developments could be built up to 2040.