Local Plan Updates – May 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 – Following the decision of Full Council on 3 March 2022 to withdraw the Basildon Borough Revised Publication Local Plan 2014 – 2034, the council is in the process of preparing a programme of work to prepare a new Local Plan for the borough. This will be reported to the next available Strategic Planning and Infrastructure (SPI) Committee, to be held after the local elections in May. This report will feed into the development of a new Local Development Scheme for adoption by the Council shortly after being approved by SPI

Bexley – The Planning Inspectorate has appointed an inspector to hold the independent examination the Local Plan. The Inspectors will consider the soundness and legal compliance of the Plan, its compliance with the Duty to Cooperate, and all representations made on the Regulation 19 Draft Local Plan. The hearing sessions will commence on Tuesday 10 May 2022 at 9.30am.

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 was concluded on Monday 24th January 2022. 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.

Brentwood –  At the Extraordinary Council meeting on 23 March 2022, the Council voted to adopt the Local Plan. There will, however, be an immediate review

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 gathered. The Council will then proceed to more formal stage (proposed submission draft, Reg 19) consultation once the document has been updated, which is anticipated to take place in summer 2022.

Castle Point On 3rd March 2022 the Council received the Inspector’s report into the examination of the Local Plan. This report concludes the examination process, and determined that the Local Plan is sound subject to the modifications listed in the report.  The next stage in the process will be for the Council to consider the Inspector’s report. At full council in March, however, the members voted almost unanimously to not adopt the local plan.

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, instead, 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 the representations to the Main Modifications the Local Plan is currently being examined by Inspectors appointed by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Dacorum – In July 2021, the Council’s Cabinet decided that the next stage of consultation for the Local Plan would take place once further information had 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 – A revised LDS went to Cabinet on the 1st November 2021, setting out the intended dates for the consultation on the Regulation 19 (pre-submission) version of the Dover Local Plan expected in Quarter 1 2022. However, since this time issues have been raised that mean the Regulation 19 Publication will be delayed.

Elmbridge – Following the agreement of Elmbridge Cabinet on 16 March 2022, the latest Local Development Scheme (LDS) 2022 – 2025 has been published setting out the timetable for the preparation of the new Local Plan and Supplementary Planning Documents including the Local Design Code.

Epping Forest – The previous update gave an estimated timeframe for the Inspector’s ‘report of the first quarter of this year. The Report was supposed to be available by the end of March, but as yet remain unpublished. The delay is down to the original inspector being on maternity leave, but only she can sign off the final report. The delay does not indicate there is any issues with the local plan and the final report is expected within the next few months.

Epsom and Ewell – As of February 2022, the Local Plan is still being reviewed.  However, Epsom and Ewell are updating some of their key datasets.  This includes the information in relation to their Land Availability Assessment.  

Gravesham – A Regulation 18 Stage 2 consultation ran from 23 October 2020 to the 31 December 2020.  This followed 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, as yet there are no further developments.

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

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

Havering – The council adopted the local plan on 17 November 2021. In the housing delivery test published in January 2022, Havering achieved only 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. The council did, however, effectively shelve the local plan at a meeting at the end of January with no current plans to bring it or any revision of it forward.

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.  Representations resulting from the Local Plan Review Regulation 19 Draft for Submission Consultation 2021 were published on Friday 11th March 2022.

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

Milton Keynes – The local plan was adopted in March 2019. 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.

Mole Valley – On Monday 14 February 2022, Mole Valley council submitted their Local Plan 2020-37 to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for independent examination. This follows the Extraordinary Cabinet and Council meetings on 3 February 2022 when the majority of members approved submission of the Plan.

North Essex Authorities (Braintree, Colchester and Tendring) – Part one of the local plan has been adopted, and Part Two is down to individual councils (Braintree, Colchester and Tendring). The Inspector removed 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, is set to go ahead.

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 2021, 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. The council has said it will carry out a full review of the local plan by the end of 2023.

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 the early summer of 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 the Government’s deadline of the end of 2023.

Southend-On-Sea – The council was refining its options for the local plan throughout 2021, and plans to consult on preferred options (Reg 18) 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. They are currently preparing an Issues Paper on a range of topics such as housing, employment and environment.

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 tried to launch 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. It anticipated the consultation on the Publication Local Plan (Reg 19) will place in Spring 2022 and will include the submission version of the Local Plan and the draft Framework.  Once both documents have been reviewed by the Task Group, they will be considered and agreed by the Environment and Sustainability Committee before a public consultation takes place, likely in May 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 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 – On  11 March 2022, as previously agreed at Planning Policy Committee on 10 March 2022, the Council  is now exploring the work required following the Inspector’s letter in ID20 and on 24 March, the Inspector has sent a letter in response to our letter TED54.

Tendring – Section 2 of the Tendring District Local Plan 2013-2033 and Beyond was formally adopted on 25th January 2022. This includes the new garden community on the Colchester border.

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).

Three Rivers – The consultation on the Local Plan Regulation 18 Preferred Policy Options and Sites for Potential Allocation 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 – Thurrock Council was hosting online public consultations in February and March 2022 and will move on to the next stage later this year.

Tonbridge and Malling – Are in the beginning stages of a sustainability appraisal, to be carried out during the plan preparation process, and consulted on at key stages. They have completed the scoping report.

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, originally scheduled for Spring, but now Summer 2022.

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

Watford – Examination hearings were held between 18 January and 9 February 2022. The proposed main modifications and changes to the policies map3 are now being subject to further sustainability appraisal and habitat regulations screening. When the relevant reports have been finalised they will be published.  This should happen after the May elections.

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 – Welwyn Hatfield have more time to agree next steps on their plan after a Government inspector agreed to a delay until after next month’s local elections. The inspector had originally threatened to throw out plans if the council did not confirm its next steps at the end of March, but councillors will now have three more months to agree a way forward on the proposals.

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.