PLAN is one of those four letter words that while not offensive is also not gripping - but in truth it is very important.

Hambleton District Council’s latest draft plan is up for discussion, with new alternative sites and green areas added to the mix to be mulled over, considered and generally put under the microscope to see if it matches the reality of what people really want for the area.

Hambleton earned it’s recently won position as one of the top five rural areas to live in the country and it’s a lot to live up to - so the very important point is not to ruin it.

And that’s where the local plan - development framework, blueprint or whatever you want to call it - comes in.

Perhaps if we gave it another name, a more fitting description such as Argument and Vision for the Future for You and Your Family, that might help. Because in reality that’s what it is.

It may look like a dusty and tediou document using many words when just a few would do, but the important thing is that it will be binding and will decide where business, industry, housing, leisure and, often crucially, where nothing will be allowed to be built or developed in future years.

In the past many have discovered too late attention needed to be paid - for instance the allotment site in Bedale was earmarked for housing when most people thought it shouldn’t have been and a long and difficult battle ensued.

It is a long process and the latest consultation, which starts on April 21, offers up alternative possibilities.

It is vital that people know if there is anything in it they should know about and the best way to find out is to have a look at