THE deadline on a vital part of Winchester planning blueprint has been delayed because the city council is snowed under with the work.

Planners are consulting towns and villages about where development will go in the years to 2031.

The council says the final date for submissions has slipped from July to October. The final adoption of the Local Plan has changed from December 2015 to July 2016.

A city council newsletter stated that the programme had “slipped slightly” due to the council’s high workload and limited staff resources.

Steve Opacic, head of strategic planning, said: “We’ve been running a lot of consultation exercises and had a large number of responses. I think it’s fair to say we did underestimate how much work would be involved with that.

There are fears the extension will mean a delay in affordable homes for places such as Colden Common where plans for 250 houses have been finalised for months.