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Local Plan examination – update

The council has received the Planning Inspector’s initial findings following the examination of the proposed new Local Plan at hearing sessions that took place earlier this year.

The letter setting out the initial findings is published in our Examination of the Local Plan page.

The Inspector is not seeking comments from participants but invites the council to consider the issues raised and the suggested ways forward.

It is noted that, in principle, the Inspector finds the proposed strategy to be reasonable and appropriate and the initial findings recognise that the Local Plan is positively prepared in seeking to meet housing needs despite large areas of Green Belt and AONB.

The Inspector has raised concerns regarding the adequacy of the evidence base in relation to the new settlement at Tudeley Village, as well as in relation to aspects of the growth at Paddock Wood. However most of the other changes required to the Plan are seen to be relatively straightforward and can be dealt with through the main modifications process.

We will now consider the initial findings, including the three broad options for the way forward that are set out in the letter.

Commenting on the Inspector’s letter Councillor Hugo Pound, Cabinet member for Housing and Planning said:
‘The council has made significant progress towards delivering its Local Plan, having submitted a draft plan and completed the hearing sessions in the summer. The Inspector has now written to the Council to provide advice on the way forward. The council will consider all of the points raised by the inspector before making decision on how to progress the Plan to adoption.’

The Local Plan and all the supporting evidence for it can been seen in our New Local Plan page.

These pages which will be updated in due course, including the next steps for the examination.

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