Local Plan Updates – October 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 – September 2020 – Following ongoing discussions with Historic England the council has completed three heritage impact assessments for allocations H7(a&b), E6 and H20 due to the need to explore further the heritage issues for these site allocations.  

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 our Draft Local Plan.  

Braintree – see North Essex Authorities (below)  

Brentwood – In September 2020, the Council responded to the Inspectors initial questions on the Spatial Strategy and other general matters which comprised a request for a composite Policies Map. Additionally, the Council has responded to the Inspectors questions on changes to the Use Classes Order (F4). This is accompanied by a Retail Study update addendum. The Council responded to the Inspectors initial questions on the Green Belt.  

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

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 – 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 – The consultation has now closed. The consultation ran for eight weeks from 18 June to 12 August. The Inspectors will now consider the representations, before advising what the next steps will be.  The Council’s reply to the Inspectors’ letter concerning the 2018 based household projections is now available and can be viewed in the examination documents.   

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

Cherwell – Consultation is being undertaken to inform a review of the adopted Cherwell Local Plan 2011-2031. The Council has produced a Community Involvement Paper which is subject to a six-week period of public consultation. The Paper and related documents are published below and comments are invited. The consultation ended on Monday 14 September 2020.  

Chiltern and South Bucks – At its meeting on 21 October, Buckinghamshire Council resolved to withdraw the Local Plan. Cllr Warren Whyte, Cabinet Member for Planning and Enforcement, issued a press release about the impending Council decision. 

Colchester – See North Essex Authorities (below).   

Dacorum – Latest LDS, was approved on 21 July 2020 and sets out our programme for preparing development plan documents up to 2023. It’s hoped that the new Local Plan will be adopted in November 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 – As a result of the current situation regarding COVID-19, the proposed consultation on the draft Local Plan (reg 18) which was planned to take place in June and July, will be postponed. Currently considering the impact of the situation on the timescale and scope of the consultation and are continuing to monitor the government’s advice on the situation. Hope to carry out the consultation later in the year or early in 2021.  

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.   

Epping Forest – The Council’s response to the Inspector concerning the 2018 based household projections and the accompanying report from ORS was received in September. In October the Inspector published an update note on the Examination which can be viewed in the Examination documents  

Epsom and Ewell – The next round of public consultation is expected to begin in October. The council will assess the feedback from residents, businesses and local organisations. The council expect to Review and finalise Local Plan in January 2021. 

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 – The publication of the Pre-Submission Document, final Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment (Reg 19 and 20) is scheduled for September 2020.   

Harlow – 8 September 2020: Harlow Council has published a new report relating to housing need. A consultation on this report has started and runs until 12pm on Friday 25 September 2020. Local Plan consultees will receive a notification about this. Related correspondence with the Inspector has also been published.  

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

Havering – The consultation document MMCO10 was not initially published in full and has now been replaced with the full document. The council are therefore extending the consultation period for this document and the Main Modifications that it relates to (Main Modification 6 which modifies Policy 3 Housing Supply). To enable more time to consider this document and to make comments on it, the closing date for comments on this has been extended to 05 November 2020.  

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 –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. 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.   

Maidstone –Maidstone Borough Council has adopted its local plan in October 2017. The revised Local Development Scheme 2020 – 2022 was approved by Full Council on 15th July 2020 and took effect the same day. The LDS 2018 – 2022 outlined that a preferred approaches consultation was to take place in February to March 2020. However, due to the number of responses to the Call for Sites exercise and the significance of responses to the scoping, themes and issues consultation, there will now be a staged approach to the preferred approaches consultation. The first stage is to consult on the key growth strategies in October 2020. Then consideration is given to more detailed topic areas in February 2021.  

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 – 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 council received the Inspector’s letter inviting responses on 2018-based household projections on the 9th of September 2020. Inviting responses on the question: Do you consider that the publication of the 2018-based household projections represents a meaningful change in the housing situation from the situation that existed when a letter was produced on 27 June 2018.  

North Hertfordshire – The Inspector, together with Inspector Birkinshaw and Inspector Hockenhall who are examining the Central Bedfordshire Local Plan, have written to the Councils concerning the 2018 Household Projections and Luton’s unmet housing need.   The March hearing sessions which were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic have now been re-scheduled to begin on Monday 28 September 2020 

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.    

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.  

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. The scoping report in July 2020 states that the 2004 Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act and related Regulations require that all Plans be subject to Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). Preparation of a Scoping Report addressing what should be in the SA/SEA forms an early stage of this process. A five week statutory consultation is required with Natural England, Environment Agency and Historic England. The consultation on the South Essex Plan Scoping Report prepared for the Councils by Land Use Consultants (LUC) covers the period 3rd July-7th August.   

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 – Following recent examination hearings, the Planning Inspector has now asked South Oxfordshire District Council to prepare a ‘Schedule of Proposed Main Modifications’ to the plan. The schedule reflects the modifications, or changes, that the Inspector considers necessary to make the plan sound before it can move to the adoption stage. The council are now carrying out a six-week consultation on the Proposed Main Modifications. The consultation runs until midnight Monday 2 November 2020.  

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 individual consultation responses have now been published online.  

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. On the 3rd of September 2020 the Inspectors replied to the Council’s letter sent on 2 July which followed receipt of the Inspectors’ post hearings letter.  

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 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. 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).   

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. 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 – In consultation with the Council the Inspectors have decided that the hearing sessions in October and November will be held virtually. In August, the latest housing need update, taking account of the 2018-based Household Projections has been published. In 28 September 2020 The Inspectors’ Agendas for the first week of the Hearing sessions were made available on the Hearing sessions page.   

 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. The next stage of consultation on Local Plan Part 2 is expected to be the consultation on the Pre-Submission version, which is due in November/December 2020.   

Welwyn Hatfield – The stage 8 hearing sessions were held on Wednesday 26 August and Thursday 27 August. On the 11th September the Inspector wrote to the Council following receipt of their letter and report on the 2018 household projections.   

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, are being consulted on from 18 September to 16 November 2020.  

 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’.