Local Plan Updates – January 2022

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

Aylesbury Vale – The Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan 2013-2033 was adopted by Buckinghamshire Council as a Development Plan Document on the 15th September 2021.

Basildon – The final set of post-submission modifications were approved at the Strategic Planning and Investment Committee on 11 January 2022. There will be a full council vote to approve them on 27 January 2022 and then these will go out to consultation prior to the Examination in Public.

Bexley – The Schedule of Changes, the Draft Local Plan, and its supporting documents, were submitted to the Secretary of State on 30 November 2021 for independent examination.

Braintree – The Planning Inspectors have now confirmed the Main Modifications they consider necessary to the Section 2 Braintree Local Plan to make it sound. A seven week public consultation is currently under way, concluding on Monday 24th January 2022.

Brentwood – The Main Modifications consultation closed on 11 November 2021. All representations to the consultation have now been processed and the final report from the inspector is now awaited.

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

East Cambridgeshire – The Council carried out a consultation on a limited partial update of its 2015 East Cambridgeshire Local Plan. It is currently carrying out a second consultation due to finish on 7 February 2022. The purpose of this is to seek views as to whether the right issues are covered and that all suitable options for accommodating change are considered. After the second consultation, the Council will make changes to the Single Issue Review document on the basis of the evidence gatherered. The Council will then proceed to more formal stage (proposed submission draft, Reg 19) consultation once the document has been updated, which is anticipate to take place in summer 2022.

Castle Point – The Local Plan hearing sessions closed on 29 June 2021. Since then the Inspector has issued a post hearings Letter, which was received by the Council on 29th September. In his letter, the Inspector concluded that, subject to main modifications, the Plan is likely to be capable of being found legally compliant and sound. The Main Modification Consultation is now open, closing on 4 February 2022.

Central Beds – The local plan was adopted on 22 July 2021.

Chelmsford – The Chelmsford Local Plan 2013-2036 was adopted on 27 May 2020.

Cherwell – Consultations were held on the Local Plan Review Options Paper and related documents concluded on 10 November 2021.  Results are yet to be published.

Chiltern and Bucks – Following the Inspectors’ comments on a failure on the Duty to Co-operate, at its meeting on 21 October, the new Buckinghamshire unitary council resolved to withdraw the Local Plan and await the new unitary local plan.

Colchester – As of December 2021, all representations to the main modifications consultation have been processed and are available to view on the Consultation Portal. The Council has also prepared a schedule summarising all of the representations to the Main Modifications which has been sent to the Inspector. The final report is now awaited from the inspector.

Dacorum – In July 2021, the Council’s Cabinet decided that the next stage of consultation for the Local Plan will take place once further information has been gathered. This work will further examine potential development in the context of constraints in the borough, particularly the Green Belt, the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Chilterns Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation. It’s hoped that the new Local Plan will be adopted in November 2022.

Dartford – Dartford Council carried out a consultation on the second Pre-Submission (Publication) Local Plan, concluding on 27th October 2021. The consultation also included changes to the Policies Map. The Plan was republished to make changes to take account of Natural England’s notification of the Swanscombe Peninsula Site of Special Scientific Interest. The council took the opportunity to make other refinements because of responses received on the first Pre-Submission Local Plan (published February 2021).  The new Plan will replace the existing adopted Core Strategy and Development Policies Plans. It will guide key planning and infrastructure decisions by setting out the location, type and amount of new development to 2037, and includes all the key policies to inform planning applications. The Council submitted the Pre-Submission (Publication) Dartford Local Plan on 13 December 2021.

Dover – The timetable for the local plan is set out in the Local Development Scheme (LDS). The LDS will be updated in 2022 to reflect an updated timetable. Regulation 19 Publication is planned to commence before the end of Q1 2022.

Elmbridge – The timetable for the local plan review, consultation and publication of a new plan is published is in the Local Development Scheme, which was agreed by Cabinet on 7 June 2021. The Council is currently preparing its draft Local Plan (Regulation 19).

Epping Forest – The Inspectors have received copies of all the representations submitted in response to the consultation on the proposed Main Modifications to the Local Plan. The Inspectors’ Final Report is expected to be available during the first quarter of 2022. The district had one of the lowest levels of housing delivery in the three years up until 2021, delivering just 35% of its need.

Epsom and Ewell – Housing Delivery Test Action Plan was published in July 2021. This is an updated action plan produced by Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (EEBC) following the publication of the latest set of national Housing Delivery Test (HDT) results in January 2021. The new delivery figures published in January 2022 show housing delivery amongst the lowest in the country and there is now a “presumption in favour of sustainable development”.

Gravesham – A Regulation 18 Stage 2 consultation ran from 23 October 2020 to the 31 December 2020.  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. The Council is now preparing a partial review of the Local Plan Core Strategy, Site Allocations and a Development Management Policies Document.  It was anticipated that the local plan would be adopted by December 2021.

Harlow – Harlow Council adopted its local plan in December 2020. It is about to carry out a partial review.

Hart – The Yateley, Darby Green and Frogmore Neighbourhood Plan submission version has been published for consultation from Wednesday 24 November 2021 to 4pm Wednesday 12 January 2022. The Local Plan was adopted on 30 April 2020.

Havering – The council adopted the local plan on 17 November 2021. In the housing delivery test published in January 2022, Havering achieved 46%, well below the 75% threshold.

Hertsmere – The consultation on Hertsmere’s draft (Reg 18) local plan was closed on 6 December 2021.  A finalised version (Reg 19) in expected later in 2022.  Hertsmere is hoping to deliver 760 homes every year until 2038.

London Plan – On 29 January 2021, the SoS approved the London Plan to be officially published. This was published on the 2 March 2021, therefore, the London Plan 2021 is now an official development plan document, and has been adopted.

Maidstone – The consultation on the draft for submission (Reg 19) document and Sustainability Appraisal closed on Sunday 12 December 2021. The Council is now processing and analysing responses ready for submission.

Medway – The draft local plan is expected to be published for reg. 19 consultation in early 2022.

Milton Keynes – Milton Keynes Council is currently reviewing and updating an Open Space Assessment. The assessment will review and update the findings of the Milton Keynes Open Space Assessment (2018) which informed formulation of policies in the Plan:MK and creation of Appendix C of the Plan. The local plan was adopted in March 2019.

Mole Valley – Mole Valley District Council published its latest Draft Local Plan (Reg 19) on 20 September 2021. The consultation concluded on 7 November 2021. The council intends to submit the Plan, and the comments we’ve received on the Plan, in February 2022.

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 including the removal of two of the three garden communities (Braintree and Marks Tey). However, the new garden community on land near the University of Essex, on the Tendring/Colchester border, will go ahead. Colchester, Braintree and Tendring Councils will accordingly are now proceeding with the adoption process and examination of the authority specific policies and allocations in Section 2 of the plan.

North Hertfordshire – The representations received in response to the main modification consultation have now been processed by the Council and available for interested parties to view on the online portal. Some representations were missing from the report published in July 2021. These representations were delayed at the Council’s mail processing centre but they have now all been processed. The Inspector will be reading and considering all the representations that have been submitted. As things stand, and depending on the points raised in the representations, it was his intention to issue his Final Report to the Council in early Autumn, but as yet it has not been published. In the housing delivery test figures published in January 2022, North Herts delivered just 49% of its housing need, well below the 75% threshold.

Rochford – The Council is still in the process of preparing a new Local Plan which will set the strategy for the District to 2040. The new Local Plan will replace a number of the adopted policy documents which form the local development plan for the District, including the Core Strategy. As things stand, preferred options document public consultations (Reg 18) is expected in spring 2022, with full adoption anticipated in Autumn/Winter 2023.

Runnymede – During the course of 2022 the Planning Policy team will be focussed on updating key parts of the evidence base which will underpin the review of the local plan. Updated evidence base documents will be published on the evidence base documents page once complete. The review is expected to be finished by 2023.

Sevenoaks – The Stage 2 Call for Sites closed on 20 January 2022. The Council is aiming to have a plan in place by 2023.

Southend-On-Sea – The council is refining its options for the local plan throughout 2021, and plans to consult on preferred options in Q3 of 2022. In the housing delivery test results published in January 2022, the council had the lowest performance in the country, delivering just 31% of housing need in the three years up until 2021.

South Essex Joint Strategic Plan (SEP) – The first meeting of the Joint Committee of the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA) was held at the offices of Castle Point Borough Council on Thursday 28 October 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. Bioabundance has launched a legal challenge against the plan, on the basis that it does not align with the 2008 Climate Change Act. Its second attempt was refused by a second High Court judge.

Spelthorne – Following the Preferred Options consultation, the Council has reviewed the representations received and is seeking to amend the Local Plan strategy. The next stage of the Spelthorne Local Plan (Regulation 19) has been delayed however it anticipates consultation on the Publication Local Plan (Reg 19) to take place from February to March 2022.

St Albans – Due to several factors, including budget and staffing issues resulting from the additional workload from the new sites, the Council has revised its LDS. St Albans Local Plan is now unlikely to be adopted until autumn 2025 at the earliest, with regulation 18 consultation taking place in the first half of 2023.

Surrey Heath – The council plans to publish the final version of the local plan between May/June 2022, with the planned adoption being July 2023.

Swale – Following the consultation on preferred options, Swale Council is now considering all the comments received and preparing a summary of the main issues. This will be used to support the Local Plan and the Sustainability Appraisal and be used to develop the next stage of the Local Plan, the drafting of a Pre-Submission Local Plan. Swale will then carry out further consultation on this Plan (Reg 19). At this time, they expect this consultation will take place in spring 2022.

Tandridge – In addressing matters raised in the Inspector’s responses ID16 and ID19, the Council employed highway consultants to undertake a study of the capacity of J6 of the M25. The study ran into unexpected difficulty and the outcome was delayed. The study has just been completed, including sharing the results with National Highways and Surrey County Council Highways as key stakeholders and getting their inputs to the conclusions. An agreed position has now been reached between all parties which will be incorporated in a Statement of Common Ground.  A special meeting of the Planning Policy Committee was arranged for the 5th January 2022. Following this meeting, the Planning Policy Committee, on 20th January 2022, will be asked to decide on a formal response to your ID16 and ID19.

Tendring – A 6-week public consultation on the Main Modifications and associated documents was closed on 31 August 2021. All representations received during the consultation have been forwarded to the Inspectors, who will take them into account in coming to their final recommendations on legal compliance and soundness of the Section 2 Local Plan and the modifications that will need to be made to the Plan before the Council can proceed to its formal adoption. A Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) is an essential part of the ‘evidence base’ that is needed to inform and underpin decisions on allocating sites for housing in Local Plan, the most recent SHLAA was published in October 2021.

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 Local Plan Regulation 18 Preferred Policy Options and Sites for Potential Allocation was finished in August 2021. The timetable for processing the huge number of responses is likely to take longer than originally expected. As a result, the council is aiming for the next stage of consultation (Regulation 19) to happen in November / December 2022.

Thurrock – Officers are working to prepare a Draft Local Plan for Senior Officer and Members to review in June / July. This version of the document will include the Vision, Spatial Strategy, Strategic Growth Areas and Sites, and Development Management Policies. Subject to endorsement from senior Officers / Members, the plan will then need to be considered by Full Council to be released for public consultation.

Tonbridge and Malling – The council published the LDS in November 2021 and the call for sites was opened in December 2021 and will close on 7 February 2022.

Tunbridge Wells – The examination process of the Local Plan will begin in March/April 2022, with the adoption expected in January 2023.

Uttlesford – Policies are being drafted and to inform the formal consultation on preferred options in early 2022. The Preferred Option consultation will make clear the other options considered and why the preferred option was chosen, together with the evidence underpinning the Plan to ensure a transparent and inclusive process. This will take place before the proposed Submission Plan is consulted on in early 2023. The draft (Regulation 18) Local Plan is scheduled for consultation in March 2022.

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

Watford – On 10 December, the Inspector issued supplementary questions on viability.  On the 12 January 2022, the Council have submitted a schedule of modifications to the Policies Map, together with a revised Policies Map which includes these modifications. In the housing delivery test results published in January 2022, Watford had delivered only 48% of its housing need in the preceding three years, well below the 75% threshold.

Waverly – The Development plan was submitted to the secretary of state again in December 2021.  The council is hoping to adopt the plan September/October 2022.

Welwyn Hatfield – The Council will be considering its response to the Inspector at a series of Council meetings over the next few weeks the first of which is Cabinet Planning and Parking Panel on 13 January 2022.

Woking – The Council adopted the Site Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD) on 14 October 2021. The DPD now forms part of the development plan for the borough, and will be used to assess any planning applications that are submitted. The Site Allocations DPD supports the delivery of the Core Strategy, and allocates land for housing.

Wycombe – In July the High Court dismissed a legal challenge to the adoption of the Wycombe Local Plan submitted by a local residents group, Keep Bourne End Green (KBEG). KBEG subsequently applied for permission for the case to be heard in the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal has now refused permission to appeal against the High Court’s decision to uphold the Local Plan. The judgment states that the decision is final and cannot be reviewed or appealed. This brings an end to the legal challenges lodged against the Wycombe District Local Plan.