Uncertainty surrounds whether a controversial plan for the Lake District will hit a key deadline.

The Local Plan 2020-35 was due to be lodged with a Government inspector in August for examination before it can be adopted as policy by the Lake District National Park Authority.

It sets out where new homes, businesses and lakeshore development might go across the park and will guide future planning decisions.

But national park members have expressed concern that the timetable might slip following 500 responses being received during a final pre-submission consultation, which closed last week.

Hannah Latty, team leader for planning policy, told a meeting at Murley Moss in Kendal on Tuesday that the response rate had been slightly higher than expected.

She said: “Hopefully it won’t affect the delivery timeframe but we do need to go through all of those responses in detail.”

She said if the points raised suggested minor modifications, the plan’s progress was unlikely to be delayed.

But if major changes are required, it may have to go back to a meeting of the park authority before it can be submitted to the inspector.

“It’s too early to say whether they are minor or major modifications,” she said.

“We are currently on track to submit the local plan in August. We really want to hit that August timeframe, not least because we have resources attached to that timeframe."

Mike McKinley, chairman of the national park, said there was no meeting of the authority in August.

Its September meeting is also going to be postponed as it clashed with a UK National Parks Conference, he said.

“If we then postpone the September meeting until October, that might well affect things,” said Mr McKinley, of Wasdale.

Ms Latty said it was hoped it could make the July meeting but that could not be guaranteed, as the situation was fluid and the responses needed to be considered.

Peter Allen MBE, the deputy chairman of the authority and head of its planning committee, said even if major modifications are required, it should be turned around for July.

Steve Ratcliffe, director of sustainable development, reassured the committee, that he had no concerns that the timetable would slip.

During its earlier development, the local plan attracted a huge response with 2,700 people making 4,700 comments, including a high number of responses from younger people.

The record response resulted in the LDNPA winning a UK national planning award for good stakeholder engagement and scooping the Editor’s Choice award.