THE Devon Waste Plan will near the final stage of preparation later this month with the start of examination hearings.

The Plan was submitted to the Government for examination in April, and an Inspector will hold a series of hearings in July to consider whether the Plan is sound.

The hearings will start on Tuesday July 15 at County Hall in Exeter, and will end on Wednesday 23 July. The Devon Waste Plan will provide the policy for waste management proposals in the county to 2031.

It aims for the county’s waste to be managed more sustainably through reduced generation of waste, increased recycling, and the provision of further facilities to generate energy from the remaining waste.

These measures will ensure that the proportion of waste that is landfilled will reduce from around 45% to 5%.

Councillor Jerry Brook, Chairman of Devon County Council’s Development Management Committee, said: “Devon County Council started work on the Waste Plan in spring 2010, so the examination hearings are the culmination of four years of work.

"It has undergone three rounds of consultation to get this far and feedback from these consultation have helped shape the plan which the Planning Inspector will be examining. This final step will explore whether it is sound and legally compliant.

“It has to be remembered that the Plan is a planning document, which sets out a framework of policies and site proposals.

"Therefore it takes a “technology neutral” approach and does not specify what type of technology could be used because it has to look so far ahead.”

While participation in the hearings is limited to people who have already made representations on the Waste Plan, any person can attend and observe proceedings. Full details of the hearing programme, including the key issues identified by the Inspector, are available at