Local Plan Updates – February 2020

Ashford –The Ashford Local Plan 2030 was adopted in February 2019.

Aylesbury Vale – Following completion of the examination hearings and the publication of the Inspector’s Interim Findings the Council has worked with the Inspector to agree the modifications to the plan that are necessary to make it sound. Those modifications were subject to public consultation which closed on the 17th December 2019. Aylesbury Vale will become part of the Bucks unitary authority on 1st April, but any consolidation of local plans will not happen immediately.

Basildon – Local Plan examination has been paused while Basildon Council and Essex County Council consider the effects of DEFRA’s direction on air quality for the A127 and the impact new development will have. Basildon Council likely to respond to DEFRA within weeks, and the plan can then go to EiP.

Bexley – Reg 18 consultation has now closed, and publication of the Draft Local Plan is planned for summer 2020. The Council is now consulting on the preferred approaches to the matters to be contained within the new Local Plan, and are inviting local people, businesses, landowners and developers to give their views on the proposed content.

Braintree – see North Essex Authorities (below)

Brentwood –Addendum of Focused Changes to the Pre-Submission Local Plan consultation is opened 15 October 2019 and ended on 26 November 2019. The addendum was approved by full council in January and the local plan is in the process of being finalised and likely to be submitted later this month. There are concerns over the lack of transport evidence and an over-reliance on Dunton Gardens for the numbers.

Broxbourne – The Council is currently consulting on main modifications to the Local Plan. The consultation closes at 5pm on Wednesday 19th February 2020.

East Cambridgeshire – Following receipt of the Inspector’s modifications, East Cambridgeshire District Council voted to withdraw the emerging Local Plan at its February 2019 Council meeting. The East Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2015 will remain the adopted Local Plan for the district.

Castle Point – The New Castle Point (Pre-submission) Local Plan and Policies Map is out for a public consultation from Monday 16 December 2019 to Friday 14 February 2020. The council provoked the ire of the Secretary of State earlier last year when it failed to pass the local plan. There were rumours that plan-making powers would be handed to Essex County Council, but this did not materialise.

Central Beds – Hearing Sessions closed on 25 July 2019. During the hearing sessions, several modifications required to make the plan sound were discussed. These have now been drafted and sent to the Inspectors. All the intended changes to the Local Plan proposed by the Council will be published in due course.

Chelmsford – Consultation on Main Modifications closed on Monday 19 September 2019. The Council is awaiting the final Inspector’s report, which is expected imminently, having been delayed by the General Election. Adoption of the plan is likely to take place within a few months.

Cherwell – Cherwell District Council published the proposed Main Modifications to the Local Plan, submitted to the Secretary of State in March 2018, which is currently under examination. A six-week consultation took place until 11.59pm Friday, 20 December 2019. Responses will be published in due course.

Chiltern and South Bucks – The Chiltern and South Bucks Local Plan 2036 was submitted for independent examination on 26 September 2019. Stage 1 Hearing Sessions will commence at 10.00am on Tuesday 17 March 2020 within the Gerrard Suite of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Beaconsfield, Oxford Road, South Bucks, HP9 2XE.

Colchester – See North Essex Authorities (below).

Dacorum – Latest LDS, which was approved on 25 June 2019, sets out the Council’s programme for preparing development plan documents up to 2022 when it’s hoped that the new Local Plan will be adopted. Publication of the proposed submission plan for representations (Reg 19) is expected to take place in May 2020.

Dartford – Regulation 18 public consultation was held in June/July. A full evaluation of proposals against environmental, social and economic indicators and the Sustainability Appraisal is out for consultation. Public responses are open and will run till midday on Friday 21st February 2020.

Dover – The council will be in the evidence gathering stage until June 2020. Consultation on draft Local Plan (Regulation 18) is expected to take place between June 2020 – July 2020 (min 6 weeks). Local Plan examinations are expected to take place in Jan 2022 with the adoption of the Local Plan in April 2022.

Elmbridge – The vision, objectives and direction for development management policies consultation 2020 is now open and will run until 23.59 on Monday 9th March 2020.

Epping Forest – The local plan is currently stuck due to disagreements between the council, Natural England and the Conservators of Epping Forest over mitigation for increased leisure use new development would need. Following the publication of Inspector’s interim findings, the council is preparing a timetable of further work and evidence required to address the plan’s soundness.

Epsom and Ewell – Final Issues & Options Consultation (Regulation 18 Part 2) is planned for May – June 2020.

Folkestone and Hythe – Consultation on the proposed amendments to the Core Strategy Review ran for seven weeks from 2 December 2019 until 5.00pm on 20 January 2020. The comments are currently being reviewed and a response will be published in due course.

Gravesham – The publication of the Pre-Submission Document, final Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment (Reg 19 and 20) is scheduled for September 2020.
Harlow – The council has received the inspector’s final report, delayed by the General Election, and is about to consult on the major modifications.

Hart – the Local plan is due to be adopted in March 2020.

Havering –Council is working with the Inspector to finalise matters for the consultation on the Main Modifications. Awaiting further information on when this will begin, it is likely to begin in Early 2020.

Hertsmere – The council is undertaking targeted public and stakeholder engagement in preparing the plan (Reg 18). Issues and options consultations are expected in March 2020.

London Plan – A panel of inspectors have been appointed to review the plan and examination hearings concluded in May 2019. The inspectors’ report was published on 8 October 2019. The Mayor has considered the Inspectors’ recommendations and, on the 9th December 2019, issued to the Secretary of State his intension to publish the London Plan. The Secretary of State’s final approval is awaited.

Maidstone –Maidstone Borough Council has adopted its local plan in October 2017. The council has started its review with a call for sites and will determine the ones which are suitable for development.

Maldon – The Secretary of State Approved the Maldon District Local Development Plan on 21 July 2017. A review is to be completed by 2022.

Medway – A public consultation was held on the development strategy between 16 March and 25 June. The responses will be used to inform the next stage. The publication of the draft Local Plan will be in summer 2020.

Milton Keynes – Plan MK, the local plan setting out how Milton Keynes will grow until 2031, was approved for adoption by full council in March 2019.

Mole Valley – Public consultation on the draft Future Mole Valley Local Plan is taking place between 3 February and 23 March 2020.

North Essex Authorities (Braintree, Colchester and Tendring) – North Essex Authorities submitted the new evidence to the Planning Inspector on 4 October 2019 and have been responding to various clarification questions from the Inspector. Examination hearings reopened on 14 January 2020 and ran for two weeks. The inspector’s further thoughts are awaited.

North Hertfordshire – Following the consultation on the Main Modifications and associated documents, the Inspector has arranged dates for further hearing sessions which will take place during week commencing 16 and week commencing 23 March 2020.

Oxford City – Hearing Sessions closed on 19th December 2019. The Inspectors’ Interim conclusions have been submitted to the Council. The inspectors’ interim conclusions found that the plan meets the requirements for legal compliance and have not found it necessary to devote hearing sessions. The schedule of Main Modification will be published and will be subject to consultation in due course.

Rochford – Rochford DC is working on evidence for its Reg 18 consultation, which will go to consultation later this year. It will produce a joint part 1 local plan with Southend to cover the cross-border matters, specifically a new garden community.

Runnymede – At the conclusion of Runnymede 2030 Local Plan Examination Hearings in November 2019, the Local Plan Inspector made it clear that ‘Main Modifications’ would be required to the Local Plan in order for it to be made ‘sound’ and move forward to adoption. The consultation on Proposed Main Modifications runs from Friday 10th January until 23:59 on Friday 21st February 2020.

Sevenoaks – Sevenoaks District Council has issued a letter to the Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick for the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, outlining its concerns about the Planning Inspectors’ conclusions with regards to the Local Plan examinations. The inspector felt that the council had not fulfilled its duty to cooperate with neighbouring authorities.

Southend-on-Sea – Issues and Options consultation closed on 2 April 2019, with preferred approach consultation estimated for Spring / Summer 2020. Southend is also undertaking a joint part 1 local plan with Rochford to cover the proposed cross-border garden community.

South Essex Joint Strategic Plan (SEP) – this is a strategic statutory local plan prepared jointly by Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford, Southend and Thurrock. Reg 18 issues consultation is expected to take place later this year.

South Northamptonshire – Consultations and modifications to the South Northamptonshire Local Plan Part 2, Regulation 19 Submission Draft concluded on Monday 18 November. Modification consultation responses were published on Thursday 9th January 2020.

South Oxfordshire – There are ongoing discussions between South Oxfordshire District Council and the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) about the holding direction from Secretary of State; Rt Honourable Robert Jenrick and the future of the emerging Local plan 2034. There are suggestions that plan-making powers could be handed to Oxfordshire County Council.

Spelthorne –The Preferred Options consultation ran from Tuesday 5 November 2019 to Tuesday 21 January 2020 and three public events were held to provide further information to residents and other interested parties. The consultation has now closed.

St Albans – St Albans Local Plan Inspector suspended the examination in public citing “serious concerns” about the document’s “legal compliance and soundness”. A full response from the Local Plan Inspector is expected in due course but it looks like the council will be back to the drawing board.

Surrey Heath – The Council is in the process of updating the timetable for the emerging Local Plan (Local Development Scheme). The next consultation on the emerging Local Plan will take place later this year.

Swale – The Council held Reg. 18 consultation between Oct – Dec 2019. The responses are now being considered.

Tandridge – The public hearing sessions for the Local Plan concluded on 28 November 2019. The Planning Inspector is now considering all information presented to him and he will respond to the Council in due course.

Tendring – See North Essex Authorities (above).

Thanet – The consultation on the Inspectors’ Main Modification closed on Monday 27th January 2020. The responses have now been published. The representations have been forwarded to the inspectors for their consideration.

Three Rivers – The consultation on the Potential Sites Document has now closed. All representations received will be reviewed. As a result of this consultation a further 27 sites were submitted and will be included in the Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment informing the emerging Local Plan.

Thurrock – Reg. 18 (Issues and Options Stage 2: Spatial Options and Sites) took place in July 2018. Reg. 19 was planned for September 2019 but has been delayed following the publication of the revised NPPF. The updated Local Development Scheme has not been published yet.

Tonbridge and Malling – The consultation on the Council’s Regulation 19 version of the Local Plan concluded at 4pm on Monday 19th November 2018. The Council conducted a post-submission consultation on certain examination documents, which concluded at 4pm on Monday 23rd December.

Tunbridge Wells – The Inspectors have set provisional dates for the stage 1 hearing sessions during w/c 18 May 2020. Due to the previously arranged work commitments of Inspector Berkeley, it has been necessary for a different Inspector to be appointed to complete the Examination of the Local Plan with Inspector Fleming. Inspector Louise Crosby MA MRTPI has been appointed to conduct the Examination with Inspector Fleming. This takes place with immediate effect.

Uttlesford – The inspector stopped the examination in public due to serious concerns over the soundness of the plan. She will write in due course with a full explanation, but it does appear that Uttlesford will also be going back to the drawing board, and with no 5YLS, several years of uncontrolled development.

Vale of White Horse – The Local Plan 2031 Part 2 was adopted by Full Council on Wednesday 9 October 2019.

Watford – The Council is consulted on the First Draft Watford Local Plan 2020-2036. The consultation ended on 8th November 2019. Public consultation for the Final Draft Local Plan is expected to take place in May 2020, with submission expected to take place in September 2020.

Waverley – The Preferred Options consultation represents the second key stage in the development of LPP2. It ran from Friday 25 May to Monday 9 July 2018. The responses are currently being reviewed with publication expected in May to mid-June 2020.

Welwyn Hatfield – The Stage 7 hearing sessions will be held on Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 March 2020 when the outstanding matters in relation to SP19 Birchall Garden Suburb/East of Welwyn Garden City, Southern Section, and Policy SP24 Symonds Hyde New Village will be discussed.

Woking – The Council submitted the Site Allocations DPD and its supporting documents to the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on 31 July 2019. The Secretary of State has appointed an independent Inspector GJ Fort BA (Hons) PGDip LLM MCD MRTPI to conduct the examination. The Inspector indicated provisional dates for the Examination hearing sessions, which were held in the weeks commencing 2 and 9 December 2019.

Wycombe – The Full Council considered the Inspector’s Report and adopted the Plan at special meeting on 19 August 2019.