Local Plan Updates – January 2021

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

Aylesbury Vale – The latest stage is the consultation on the Further Main Modifications, which is open from 15 December 2020 until 9 February 2021. These are a second stage of Main Modifications and are different to the ones consulted on in late 2019. The most substantive change from the Main Modifications was the allocation of a new site close to Milton Keynes to fulfil the Inspector’s requirement for new housing allocations in that area. It’s intended that the plan will be adopted as soon as possible during 2021, but the timeline will be dependent on how long the Inspector needs to consider the Further Main Modifications representations.  

Basildon – December 2020 – The Council has received the Inspector’s Initial Questions (IIQs).  The Inspector’s note confirms that the Local Plan Examination has now resumed, following a lengthy hiatus and the submission of additional evidence by the Council in response to the Ministerial Direction on Air Quality received from DEFRA in June 2019. At this time, the Inspector is seeking a written response to the IIQs from the Council only. 

Bexley – Reg 18 consultation has now closed, and publication of the Draft Local Plan is planned for Autumn 2020. The Council have now consulted on the preferred approaches and are looking carefully at all the views received, finalising the evidence, and preparing a Draft Local Plan. 

Braintree – see North Essex Authorities for section 1 of the local plan (below). The Section 2 Local Plan is currently subject to an examination by inspectors appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. 

Brentwood – The Inspectors have issued the following statement: ‘In response to the Council’s letter of 16 December 2020 (F53) regarding publication of the updated Transport Assessment, the Inspectors wish to ensure that participants have sufficient time to consider this evidence for the next hearing sessions in February. It is likely that some sessions including Matter 12a on Transport and Matter 6 may be moved to reserved days in Week 4. This will be clarified by the Inspectors in January when a revised Hearing Programme will be published.’ 

Broxbourne – Broxbourne Local Plan was adopted at the full council meeting on Tuesday 23rd June 2020 during a virtual meeting.  

East Cambridgeshire – 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. The Council is undertaking a Single Issue Review of its Local Plan which it adopted in April 2015. A formal consultation on the Single Issue Review is due in the first half of 2021.  

Castle Point – Castle Point Borough Council submitted the Castle Point Local Plan 2018 -2033 to the Secretary of State on 2 October 2020 for examination. This is in accordance with regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 (as amended). At this time, the Council is waiting to hear from the Planning Inspectorate as to which Inspector has been appointed to examine the plan. 

Central Beds – Further hearing sessions were scheduled and opened on Tuesday 8th December at 10am. The Local Plan hearing sessions have now closed.  

Chelmsford – The Chelmsford Local Plan 2013-2036 was adopted on 27 May 2020 during their virtual Extraordinary Council Meeting.  

Cherwell – Consultation was undertaken to inform a review of the adopted Cherwell Local Plan 2011-2031. The Council produced a Community Involvement Paper which was subject to a six-week period of public consultation. The consultation ended on Monday 14 September 2020. 

Chiltern and South Bucks – Following the Inspectors’ comments on a failure on the Duty to Co-operate, at its meeting on 21 October, Buckinghamshire Council resolved to withdraw the Local Plan. 

Colchester – See North Essex Authorities (below) for section 1 local plan update. Each authority will now work on their individual Section Twos of their Local Plans. Section One contains overall strategic direction for growth, while Section Two will cover more localised aspects. 

Dacorum – In the next stage in preparing the new Dacorum Local Plan, the council are consulting on the Emerging Strategy for Growth (2020-2038). This sets out the preferred approach to accommodating growth across Dacorum, the sites being proposed and the draft policies that will deliver these and control other development within the borough. Consultation on the Emerging Strategy for Growth (2020-2038) is now open and will run until 11.59pm on Sunday 7 February 2021. 

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 ran till midday on Friday 21st February 2020. The council are now using public input and technical studies to put together a full draft Local Plan.  

Dover – Cabinet’s decision to consult on the draft Local Plan (reg 18) was endorsed by the Scrutiny Committee on Monday 14th December 2020. The LDS 2020 has now been adopted by the Council. Consultation will commence on 20th January for a period of 8 weeks. 

Elmbridge – The Local Plan vision, objectives and direction for development management policies consultation 2020 is now closed. Work is continuing preparing the new Local Plan, however, due to the COVID-19 situation the production of this work is taking longer than envisaged. The council are currently considering feedback, gathering further evidence and drafting a plan. The new LDS plans to undertake Reg.19 draft plan in January/February 2021. 

Epping Forest – In October, the Inspector has published an update note on the Examination which can be viewed in the Examination documents. On the 11th of November 2020 the EFDC Consolidated and Updated Viability Evidence and the EFDC Updated Infrastructure Delivery Schedule Part B are now available in the Examination documents. The responses to the Inspector’s recent consultation can now be viewed.  

Epsom and Ewell – The date for the next round of public consultation has not been decided yet due to COVID-19. Once the consultation has been undertaken, the council will assess the feedback from residents, businesses and local organisations. The council expect to Review and finalise Local Plan in January 2021. The council is carefully scrutinising the suitability of all the sites that have come forward from landowners and developers, and as part of the forthcoming consultation will set out the analysis for local people to comment on.

Folkestone and Hythe – On the 6th of July the council received the Inspector’s report into the Places and Policies Local Plan on 26 June 2020.  The Inspector’s overall conclusion is that the local plan meets the government’s requirements and that it is ‘sound’ subject to modifications set out in his report. 

Gravesham – A Regulation 18 Stage 2 consultation is currently underway which runs from 23 October 2020 until 5pm on 31 December.  This follows on from the Stage 1 consultation, which closed on 11 July 2018. Once adopted, these documents will form part of the Development Plan.  

Harlow – 30 November 2020: Harlow Council has published responses to the new household projections consultation, the Inspector’s report on the examination and the final version of the Main Modifications schedule.  

Hart – The Hart Local Plan (Strategy and Sites)2032 was adopted on 30 April 2020 at the Council’s first “virtual” meeting. 

Havering – In August, the Council published Main Modifications for consultation, this consultation has now closed.  The Council will now record and consider the comments received. The Council proposed several additional ‘minor’ modifications (e.g. typographical errors, clarifications and factual updates) to improve the clarity of the Local Plan. None of these changes materially affected the policies of the Local Plan and they were outside the scope of the consultation. 

Hertsmere – A delay to the publication of a draft blueprint for development in Hertsmere has been agreed as uncertainty over the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues. The publication of the new draft Local Plan for the borough is now earmarked for Spring 2021. The council are currently ongoing stakeholder and development engagement. 

London Plan – At present, the text of new London Plan is to be informally agreed by the MHCLG and SoS. The following guidance is scheduled to be consulted upon mid / late September – December 2020, good quality homes for all Londoners, public London charter, circular economy statements, whole-life carbon assessments and ‘Be Seen’ energy monitoring guidance. The Mayor has formally approved a new London Plan, the ‘Publication London Plan’. It has been prepared to address the Secretary of State’s directions of the 13 March 2020 and 10 December 2020 to the Intend to Publish plan. It has been sent to the Secretary of State for his consideration. He has up to 6 weeks to decide whether he is content for the Mayor to formally publish the Publication London Plan or apply for a further extension of time. 

Maidstone –Maidstone Borough Council has adopted its local plan in October 2017. The LDS 2020-2022 (July edition) outlined that a preferred approaches consultation (emphasis on future growth strategies) was to take place in October 2020. Then consideration given to more detailed topic areas in February 2021. Preferred Approaches consultation (Regulation 18b) is expected to start in December 2020. By 31 December 2020, the Council will publish an Infrastructure Funding Statement on the website which will replace the current Regulation 123 List. 

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 – The consultation on the third stage finished in June 2018, with the stage four publication of the draft plan to be published in 2021. Subject to outcomes of an independent examination by a planning inspector, Medway’s Local Plan will be adopted in 2021. 

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

Mole Valley – The revised Local Development Plan was approved by cabinet in July. The Regulation 19 stage of the process is now expected to be early summer next year. It was delayed, having been originally scheduled for this autumn, to allow full consideration of all of the responses made to the Draft Local Plan consultation held in February and March and give MVDC enough time to respond appropriately to the concerns raised and amend the Plan accordingly. 

North Essex Authorities (Braintree, Colchester and Tendring The Inspector for Section 1 of the Local Plan has now issued his report finding that Section 1 is sound subject to modifications. The Planning Inspector’s modifications, which have been subject to a recent public consultation, included the confirmation of a new Garden Community on land near the University of Essex on the Tendring/Colchester border. Colchester, Braintree and Tendring Councils will accordingly now be able to proceed with the adoption process and examination of the authority specific policies and allocations in Section 2 of the plan. 

North Hertfordshire– The hearing sessions timetable has been revised to include an additional 3 days from 23 January – 25 January inclusive for Session 21 Air Quality and the continuation of Matters 6 and 7. Additional reserve sessions have also been programmed for 19 – 22 March in case these are needed. 

Oxford City – The Inspectors’ report was received on 15th May 2020 and the Plan was found to be sound with the recommended main modifications. At full Council meeting on 8th June 2020 the City Council voted to adopt the Plan. As current restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic remain in effect, it is not possible for the City Council to deposit at its offices or elsewhere hard copies of the Inspectors’ report and the adopted Local Plan. 

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.  The LDS suggests the plan will be adopted in Summer 2021. 

Runnymede – At the Special Full Council meeting of 30th July, the Runnymede 2030 Submission Local Plan was endorsed as sound and approved for submission to the Secretary of State alongside the minor modifications schedule. On 31st July in line with the Council’s adopted Local Development Scheme, the Runnymede Local Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State. 

Sevenoaks – Sevenoaks District Council has been granted permission to bring a judicial review against the Planning Inspector’s decision to reject the draft Local Plan. The High Court issued a notification on Tuesday 2 June 2020 granting permission for the review. On the 13th of November 2020 the Sevenoaks legal challenge was dismissed. Now Sevenoaks District Council has begun further legal action against the ruling asking the High Court to consider an appeal. 

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. Proposed submission Estimated: Spring 2021. 

South Essex Joint Strategic Plan (SEP) – this is a strategic statutory local plan prepared jointly by Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford, Southend and Thurrock. They are currently preparing an Issues Paper on a range of topics such as housing, employment and environment which they sought residents’ views on in autumn/winter 2020. These will inform the preparation of a Preferred Options document which will be the next stage in the Plan Making progress. They are aiming to consult on this in the second half of 2021. 

South Northamptonshire – On Wednesday 22 July 2020 South Northamptonshire Council resolved to adopt the South Northamptonshire Local Plan (Part 2) 2011-2029 at its meeting of Full Council. Building on the West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy (WNJCS) which was adopted in December 2014, it was prepared to help further guide planning decisions in the area and forms part of the Development Plan for the District, along with the WNJS and “made” neighbourhood plans. 

South Oxfordshire – The South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035 was adopted at a meeting of Full Council on 10 December 2020. It now forms part of the development plan for the district and replaces the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2011 and Core Strategy. 

Spelthorne – The Local Plan Preferred Options consultation (Regulation 18) ended on Tuesday 21 January 2020. This set out the Council’s draft policies and possible sites to allocate for development up to 2035. Since the consultation closed, officers have been reviewing all of the representations received and in due course amendments to the emerging Local Plan will be made where appropriate. The responses to this consultation will be used by the Council to assist in preparing its Publication Local Plan (Regulation 19), the next stage of producing the new Plan.  

St Albans – The Inspectors’ Post Hearing letter was received by the council, expressing serious concerns on the soundness of the plan. The proposal to withdraw the Plan went to the Cabinet, which met on the 19th November, who approved the withdrawal of the local plan.  

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. However, the future timetable is likely to be impacted by the Coronavirus situation. Consultation on the draft local plan was open from Monday 4th June until Monday 30th July. 

Swale – The Council held Reg. 18 consultation between Oct – Dec 2019. The responses are now being considered. The council has published the Local Development Scheme which sets out the timetable for preparing the next Local Plan which they are aiming to complete by 2022.  

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. Before the Inspector can finalise and issue his post-hearing feedback, the Council has been asked by the Inspector to respond to questions relating to the Garden Community. The council responded and the Inspector has responded via a letter (ID13). The Council has been asked by the Inspector to respond to further questions relating to the 2018-based Household Projections and The Town and Country Planning respectively. 

Tendring – See North Essex Authorities (above).  The Section 2 Local Plan is currently subject to an examination by Inspectors appointed by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. 

Thanet  At the meeting of the Council on 9 July 2020, Thanet District Council adopted the Thanet Local Plan (to 2031), with the Modifications recommended in the Inspectors’ Report. The Council also adopted the Thanet Landscape Character Assessment as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). The adopted local plan is available to be viewed on the website. 

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. The Additional Regulation 18 Consultation is set to start in November 2020 and Publication stage is set for June/July 2021. 

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 now been published, with a timetable which suggested hearings would take place until September 2020.  

Tonbridge and Malling – The Hearing sessions scheduled to take place during the weeks of 2nd November and 9th November were cancelled. The Inspectors’ letter to the Council explained that due to Duty to Cooperate and other legal compliance issues, the council need to reflect further on these issues before they write to set out their thoughts in more detail. Following the Inspectors’ letter of 19 October they have now written again to the Council.  

Tunbridge Wells – Consultation on the Draft Local Plan and the Sustainability Appraisal took place between 20 September and 15 November 2019. Response reports setting out all duly made comments have been published and will inform the Local Plan going forward. The latest LDS suggests there will be a Pre-Submission Local Plan consultation in March-April 2021.  

Uttlesford – Councillors have decided to withdraw the Local Plan and start work on preparing a new plan for the district at an Extraordinary Council Meeting (ECM) on Thursday 30 April.  The council will be carrying out extensive engagement on a wide range of different themes, starting with ‘Where you live’ from 11 November 2020. This programme of ‘mini consultations’ will be aligned to the Community Stakeholder Forum meeting schedule and is due to run until the end of May 2021.  

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 was expected to take place in May 2020, but due to the current pandemic, it will take place sometime later in the year, with submission expected to take place next year.  

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. The pre-submission consultation on Local Plan Part 2 began on Friday 27 November 2020 and will end on at 11.59pm on Friday 29 January 2021. 

Welwyn Hatfield – The consultation on various Examination Documents which ran from 2 September – 30 October has now closed and the responses can be viewed on the website. A Statement of Common Ground between the interested parties in relation to HS27 (Cuf1) can be viewed in the Examination documents at EX213.  A letter from the Council and technical noise report relating to allocation HS35 (Foxes Lane, Welham Green) are also available on the website. The Inspector has opened a consultation on the recent letter from the Council (EX215) and his reply (EX216) concerning Objectively Assessed Need.  

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 Inspector indicated provisional dates for the Examination hearing sessions, which were held in the weeks commencing 2 and 9 December 2019. Representations received during consultation on the Annual Monitoring Report (which closed on 9 March 2020) are available. The Proposed Main Modifications to the Site Allocations DPD, alongside a number of supporting documents, were consulted on from 18 September to 14 December 2020. The consultation has now ended and officers are processing responses. 

Wycombe – The Full Council considered the Inspector’s Report and adopted the Plan at special meeting on 19 August 2019. The council have now received the Planning Inspector’s report on the Wycombe District Local Plan. The Inspector’s report concludes that the Wycombe District Local Plan provides an appropriate basis for the planning of the Wycombe District, subject to a number of changes known as ‘Main Modifications’.