Local Plan

Examination: Local Plan

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The hearings part of the examination of the Central Bedfordshire Local Plan are expected to commence in Spring 2019.

Following his reading of the submission documents and written representations, the Inspector raised a number of initial questions with the Council in August and September 2018 to seek clarification on a range of issues for the examination of the Plan (see EXAM2 and EXAM4 in the list of examination documents below).

The Council responded in September and October with further information (see EXAM3 and EXAM5 and related annexes).

The Inspector’s response to this is set out in a letter dated 15 October 2018 (EXAM6).

The Council has now indicated that the further additional evidence in relation to heritage, landscape and transport and any consequent changes to the Plan and updates to the Sustainability Appraisal will be completed by the end of January 2019. Subject to this the examination hearings are expected to commence in Spring 2019.

Further updates, including a draft timetable for the hearings, will be published on this page in due course.

Any questions about the examination at this stage should be directed to the Programme Officer (contact details below).

The Planning Inspector

Planning Inspector; Mike Hayden BSc(Hons) DiPTP MRTPI has been appointed to undertake an independent examination into the soundness of the Central Bedfordshire Local Plan (the Plan).

The Inspector’s task is to consider the soundness of the submitted Plan, based on the criteria set out in paragraph 182 of the National Planning Policy Framework (the Framework). The relevant soundness criteria are whether the Plan is:

  • positively prepared (based on a strategy that 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 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)

The Inspector will take into account the representations submitted upon the Plan at pre-submission stage as far as they relate to soundness considerations. A number of informal debates will take place on the principal matters identified by the Inspector these are termed Hearing Sessions.

Following the closure of the Examination, the Inspector will prepare a report to the council with precise recommendations, these recommendations may include modifications to the Plan, if such a request is made by the council.

Guidance notes will be prepared by the Inspector to help people understand the process and will be available here in due course. Any queries people may have regarding the Examination process should be directed to the Programme Officer who will be happy to assist.

The Programme Officer

The Programme Officer, Ian Kemp, will act as the contact for any person who has an interest in the Examination and as a liaison between the Inspector, Council and Representors.

He is an independent Officer of the Examination and works on behalf of the Inspector to organise and manage the administrative and procedural elements of the Examination process. All statements will also be submitted through him.

Any matters that anyone wishes to raise with the Inspector should be submitted via the Programme Officer.

Contact details

Ian Kemp
16 Cross Furlong
Droitwich Spa

Telephone: 01527 861 711
Mobile: 0772 300 9166
Email: idkemp@icloud.com

Mr Kemp will be contacting all Representors with details of the Examination process in due course.

Hearing Sessions Venue and Timetable

A Programme for the Hearing Sessions together with Venue details and matters to be discussed will appear here once finalised.

Examination documents

The following is a list of documents submitted to the examination, since the submission of the Local Plan.

Evidence Base Documents

In preparing the Plan the council both refer to and were informed by a number of documents that together form the 'Evidence Base' for the Examination. These documents can be accessed on the Submissions to Government page.

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