Local Plan Submission 2017
Published: 14 December 2017
If following the District Council’s meeting on 14 December 2017 the new version is published, a further six-week consultation is required. However, please be aware that this consultation is more technical in nature and relates to the way in which the plan has been prepared.
At the end of this consultation, the Planning Inspector will assess content of the plan (its strategy, policies and proposals) against the 'tests of soundness', which are shown below.
Commenting on the tests of soundness
Local Plans are required to meet the tests of soundness. This means they should be: positively prepared; justified; effective; and consistent with national policy.
Making representations on the publication stage Local Plan
If you consider the plan to be 'unsound' and submit comments, you will be asked if you want to take part in the Examination - you can choose to appear in person or rely on your written representation. Also, be sure to ask if you want to be told when the Examination is to be held.
More details on the consultation, the deadline for comments and the procedure to be followed will appear on the District Council’s website in due course.
Questions to ask when preparing your response are as follows:
1) Is the plan positively prepared? Does the plan seek to meet the local needs for housing, land for businesses, community facilities, infrastructure (e.g. for transport, water, energy), education, shops, facilities for sport and leisure etc., which have been identified through the studies which make up the evidence base (see 'What might be included in the evidence base for Local Plans' under Step 2)?
2) Is it justified? Is the chosen strategy the best one compared with the alternatives considered? Is it clear how the Sustainability Appraisal has informed the plan (the Sustainability Appraisal report should set this out, and can help you to compare alternative options)? Has the plan been prepared with participation of the community? Is it clearly founded on evidence - backed up by facts?
3) Is it effective? Is there information on how the plan will be delivered during its life time (e.g. an 'implementation plan')? Does this say whether other delivery partners (e.g. strategic rail and highway authorities, the Environment Agency, water companies) are signed up to the plan? Is there an indication of when sites will come forward? Is it clear how the plan will be monitored? Is it flexible - able to deal with changing circumstances (e.g. what if a big site doesn't come forward for development when expected)?
4) Is it consistent with national policy as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework?
We are grateful to the CPRE for their advice in this regard. To view the full article, visit https://tinyurl.com/y8a4mcrk
For reference, the Town Council’s detailed submission to original consultation on the contents contained in the draft Local Plan may be viewed at https://tinyurl.com/zjw83ep