We have been developing the Charnwood Local Plan 2021-37 for several years.
It provides a robust strategy for growth which simultaneously safeguards the environment and builds healthy communities here in Charnwood.
It sets out the location of land and infrastructure needed for the development required to support the growth of the borough up to 2037.
The plan identifies how the borough will meet increased Government targets for new homes, as well as providing employment land and critical infrastructure.
We have developed the plan using objectively assessed evidence which runs to thousands of pages. We have also held four consultations with the latest final public consultation held in 2021 when there were around 800 comments made.
We submitted the Charnwood Local Plan 2021-37 to Government at the end of 2021 and the examination process has now started.
Examination of Charnwood Local Plan 2021-37
Now the Charnwood Local Plan 2021-37 has been submitted to Government, it has entered the examination phase.
Independent planning inspectors have been appointed by Government to scrutinise the plan. More details are available about the inspectors.
They will assess whether the plan has been prepared in accordance with legal and procedural requirements and if it is ‘sound’.
There are four tests of soundness:
- Positively prepared – the plan should be prepared based on a strategy which seeks to meet objectively assessed development and infrastructure requirements, including unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities where it is reasonable to do so and consistent with achieving sustainable development;
- Justified – the plan should be the most appropriate strategy when considered against the reasonable alternatives, based on proportionate evidence;
- Effective – the plan should be deliverable over its period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic priorities;
- Consistent with national policy – the plan should enable the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the Framework.
How does the examination process work
The Inspectors will consider:
- evidence provided by the Council to support the plan
- any representations which have been put forward by local people and other interested parties.
The Inspectors publish their Matters, Issues and Questions (MIQs) ahead of public hearing sessions. These sessions began in June and were continued in October. Further sessions are planned.
The MIQs are the key issues and questions that the Inspectors will use to help inform discussion during the hearing sessions. The interested parties who previously commented on the Regulation 19 Consultation will have been contacted by the Programme Officer, who will have informed of the MIQs, the draft programme and the deadlines associated with taking part in the hearing sessions.
Public hearings and who can make representations
As part of the examination process, public hearings will be held. The public sessions are open to the public to attend.
People who have made a representation to the draft local plan will be invited by the Local Plan Programme Officer to respond to the Inspectors’ key matters (questions) and invited to say if they want to attend the hearing sessions to give further evidence if required to do so by the Inspector.
Essentially, this means you cannot simply attend the hearings and speak. There has been an extensive process to make sure representations can be made throughout the development of the plan and its examination.
What happens after the hearings take place
At the end of the examination, the Inspector will send a report to the Council recommending whether or not we can adopt the plan.
In most cases, the report will recommend some changes that are necessary to allow the plan to be adopted. These are known as ‘main modifications’.
We will have to carry out further consultation on the modifications
After that, the Council can adopt the local plan.
Once the plan is adopted, it means the borough is better protected from unplanned development as we would have an Adopted Local Plan in place and a five-year housing land supply.
Both the Local Plan and having a five-year housing land supply further strengthen Neighbourhood Plans.
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Last updated: Tue 28th February, 2023 @ 13:04