However, officers say the letter, which is thought to contain the planning inspector’s initial reaction to the local plan (and possibly his early view on proposed levels of housing and industrial land)  cannot be made public until late this Thursday because of instructions from Mr Thickett.

EDDC’s local plan has been controversial since it was first published in 2010.

A senior planning policy officer confirmed to me a few minutes ago: “We have received a letter from the inspector who has requested that it be made available after we have had a few days to digest it and consider its contents. It is anticipated that it will be available by the end of Thursday.”

Hundreds of houses are set to be determined at two planning committee meetings this week.