Local Plan Updates – September 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 – On the 22 June 2020, the Council wrote to the Inspector regarding the current position with the Revised Publication Local Plan (RPLP) Examination and our proposed way forward with regard to the ongoing Basildon town centre masterplan consultation. The council considers that the draft Basildon town centre master plan is currently best used as an addition to their evidence base for the RPLP, and it would be sensible for this emerging masterplan to be incorporated into the Local Plan.

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 – 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.

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 – 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. The consultation has now closed.

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 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. A revised timetable and any further updates will be shared on the website in due course.

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. On 16 July 2020 the Inspector has wrote to the Council concerning the ONS 2018 based Household Projections.

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

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 – 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. 25 August 2020: Harlow Council has published a letter in response to the Inspector’s query about the Use Classes Order. 20 August 2020: Harlow Council has published a further letter from the Inspector regarding the Use Classes Order. 4 August 2020: Harlow Council has published a letter from the Inspector regarding national changes to the Use Classes Order.

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

Havering – The Council has published Main Modifications for consultation, which will run for 8 weeks from 17 August to 12 October. The Council is proposing a number of additional ‘minor’ modifications (e.g. typographical errors, clarifications and factual updates) to improve the clarity of the Local Plan. None of these changes will materially affect the policies of the Local Plan and they are outside the scope of this 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.

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 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 – 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 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 – 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. A Statement of Common Ground was published in June and has been formally agreed by all partners. 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 – 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. 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).

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 September, to ensure alignment with the National Planning Policy Framework (2012) the Inspectors have amended Question 8 of Matter 3 to: Do the decisions taken on Green Belt releases reflect the need to assist with urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land? Where is this evident?

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.

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’.