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 last year 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 have recently published their Matters, Issues and Questions (MIQs) in advance of the forthcoming hearing sessions. These are the key issues and questions that the Inspectors will use to help inform discussion during the Hearing Sessions. The MIQs have been published on the Examination Webpages - Charnwood MIQs.pdf.

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.  The key deadlines associated with the forthcoming sessions can be found in the published guidance notes, which are available on a guidance note within the Examination website section

 Documents submitted for the examination are:

  • The pre-submission version of the plan that was consulted upon in July and August 2021
  • The representations that were received during the consultation
  • Statements of common ground with a number of organisations that made representation
  • The evidence used to inform the preparation of the plan
  • Topic papers that explain how the Council prepared certain parts of the plan.

Public hearings and who can make representations

As part of the examination process, public hearings will be held in Loughborough in June and July.

They 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.

The public hearings are scheduled to start on Tuesday, June 28 and run up until Friday, July 22. They will take place in the Victoria Room at Loughborough Town Hall.

Read the full timetable of sessions

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.

It is anticipated that the Council will be asked to vote on the adoption of the Local Plan by end of the year.

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.

Visit the examination process web section

Other handy links

Read the Charnwood Local Plan 2021-37 summary

Read the Charnwood Local Plan 2021-37 (pre-submission) full document

Read the Government’s information on the examination process

Charnwood Local Plan FAQs

Last updated: Wed 8th June, 2022 @ 15:21