Local Plan Updates – June 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.  The council is now preparing responses, once processed, they will be sent for the Inspector to consider. He will then determine whether further hearings need to be held.

Basildon – Planning Policy Officers are continuing to work on various transport and air quality matters for the Basildon Local Plan examination.  Statements of common ground are also being prepared with organisations including the statutory authorities and developers.  The hearings for the Local Plan examination are not expected to take place now until Autumn 2020 at the earliest.

Bexley – Reg 18 consultation has now closed, and publication of the Draft Local Plan is planned for Autumn 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 – The Brentwood Local Plan was submitted in February 2020. The appointed inspectors, Yvonne Wright and Mike Worden, have sent the council an initial response with questions amounting to 15 pages, leaving the council to determine the timescale for responding, acknowledging that further work is required.

Broxbourne – The Local Plan Inspector’s final report on the soundness of the Broxbourne Local Plan 2018-2033 was published on 14 April 2020. This concluded that the Local Plan is sound with modifications. A report in respect of the adoption of the Local Plan will be presented to Council in due course.

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. A second review of the East Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2015 was undertaken in April 2020.

Castle Point – The Council is currently in the process of assessing representations received on the Pre-submission Local Plan during the consultation, which ran from the 16 December 2019 to the 14 February 2020.

Central Beds – Officers submitted additional evidence to the Inspectors on 15 May 2020, to address the concerns raised in their letter of 30 September. The submission consists of a Supplementary Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and 3 Technical Papers – housing, employment and transport. Alongside this there are 6 additional evidence documents that have informed this work – either commissioned by the council or provided by site promoters.

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

Cherwell – Consultation on the Proposed Main Modifications to the Partial Review of the adopted Cherwell Local Plan 2011-2031 closed on Friday 20 December 2019. Consultation on the Proposed Main Modifications to the Partial Review of the adopted Cherwell Local Plan 2011-2031 closed on Friday 20 December 2019. The Main Modifications with all the supporting documents relevant to their preparation were submitted to the Inspector on Tuesday 25 February 2020 following approval at Special Executive and Full Council meetings on Monday 24 February 2020.

Chiltern and South Bucks – Following the Inspectors’ initial findings on the Duty to Co-operate, the Council have requested that a Hearing Session is held not virtually but in person. The Inspectors are amenable to holding a Hearing but at this time are not able make arrangement due to the current restrictions.

Colchester – See North Essex Authorities (below).

Dacorum – Latest LDS, was approved on 21 April 2020 and sets out our programme for preparing development plan documents up to 2022. It’s hoped that the new Local Plan will be adopted in June 2022.

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 – 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 Local Plan vision, objectives and direction for development management policies consultation 2020 is now closed. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the councils original timetable has faced delays and setbacks. It was expected for Officers to be in a position to submit a draft local plan to Cabinet in June and to the full Council in July.  It included a final public consultation in September. Unfortunately, a number of external consultants have been furloughed in response to the pandemic.  As a result, they have not been able to submit their reports or inform the council when they will be able to submit them.

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.  Rumour is that an agreement will be reached this summer with main modification consultation expected by the end of the year and the plan adopted by April 2021.

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

Folkestone and Hythe – Folkestone & Hythe District Council (FHDC) ran a consultation on the Proposed Main Modifications from 13 January 2020 to 24 February 2020.  This was on behalf of Jameson Bridgwater MRTPI, the Local Plan Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State. The comments have been sent to the Planning Inspector who will finalise his report.

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 – Due to the coronavirus pandemic, libraries and other public buildings in Harlow – where documents relating to the Main Modifications consultation could be viewed – have closed until further notice. Harlow Council has published an explanatory note in response to queries from the Inspector on population and household projections. The main modifications consultation was extended until the end of May 2020.

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

Havering – Council is working with the Inspector to finalise matters for the consultation on the Main Modifications. This is currently scheduled to take place in January.

Hertsmere – The council is working to prepare evidence for reg 19, ready for the consultation to take place early 2021.

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. A response from the SoS with directions were received on 13 March 2020. At present, the text of new London Plan is to be informally agreed by the MHCLG and SoS.

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 undertake a stage one Reg 18 consultation in the autumn to determine the broad strategy for development in the borough. A key consideration is whether to rely on a new garden community and whether that is prudent considering recent outcomes on other local plans relying on new garden communities.

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. Subject to outcomes of an independent examination by a planning inspector, Medway’s Local Plan will be adopted in 2021.

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 took place between 3 February and 23 March 2020. The council are now analysing responses. The revised Local Development Plan will go to Cabinet in July.

North Essex Authorities (Braintree, Colchester and Tendring) – North Essex Authorities submitted the new evidence to the Planning Inspector in October 2019 and examination hearings ran for two weeks in 14 January 2020. The inspectors’ subsequently wrote to the the three councils involved stating that two out of the three garden communities were not viable for various reasons, the only one which was viable was the Colchester/Tendring garden community. The three authorities are now considering their next step – whether to withdraw the plan or make modifications so that part two can start.

North Hertfordshire – NHDC has set out its position concerning the Green Belt evidence informing the Local Plan following the recent judgement in Supreme Court. (Samuel Smilth Old Brewery and others v North Yorkshire County Council).

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.

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 – On 28th May 2020, the Council received the Inspector’s Report on the Examination of the Runnymede 2030 Local Plan. The Inspector’s report concludes that the Runnymede 2030 Local Plan provides an appropriate basis for the planning of Runnymede Borough, provided that certain main modifications are made to it.

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.

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 – The South Northamptonshire (Part 2) Local Plan Regulation 19 Submission Draft Modifications Consultation closed at 00:01 on Friday 3rd April 2020. All Responses received by the deadline will be forwarded to the Inspector for consideration in the ongoing examination of the Plan.

South Oxfordshire – Virtual hearing sessions will commence at 10.00am on Tuesday 14th July and will be conducted via Microsoft Teams.

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. However, the COVID-19 situation may mean that the production of the response document may take longer than anticipated.

St Albans – The Inspectors’ Post Hearing letter was received by the council, expressing serious concerns on the soundness of the plan. The council has produced a draft response in which they have considered all of the soundness issues are matters which can be resolved through the examination and modification processes; and the continuation of the examination is the only reasonable approach in order to allow the adoption of a new Plan as soon as possible.

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.

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 shortly which sets out the timetable for preparing the next Local Plan.

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 Council received the Inspectors’ Report on 23 March 2020, into the draft Thanet Local Plan. The report recommended Main Modifications to make the plan ‘sound’, these have been available to view since 3 April 2020 on the website. Following the Inspector’s report, on 15 April, a cabinet report was published which included draft version of the final local plan, with the Inspectors’ modifications included.

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. Publication is set to take place in summer 2020.

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 suggests hearings will take place until September 2020.

Tonbridge and Malling – The Stage 1 Hearing Sessions which were scheduled to take place during May and June have had to be postponed due to Coronavirus.

Tunbridge Wells – Consultation on the Draft Local Plan and the Sustainability Appraisal took place between 20 September and 15 November 2019. Response reports containing all duly made comments on the Draft Local Plan (i.e. made during the consultation period) are available for viewing.

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.

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.

Welwyn Hatfield – Due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) the Stage 8 hearing sessions scheduled for Monday 11 May to Friday 15 May have been postponed.

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.

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’.