15 June 2018

Inspector finds NEA’s Local Plan unsound

Further to the additional hearing session conducted on 9th May in relation to the North Essex Authorities’ (NEA’s) Section 1 Plan, the Inspector has today issued his comments and advice on its soundness and legal compliance.

Whilst the Inspector was satisfied that the NEA’s had met their duty to co-operate and that the steps taken to remediate the “regrettable error” (of their failure to register Lightwood’s duly made representations) had not prejudiced Lightwood, he did concur with Lightwood’s argument that the Sustainability  Appraisal was not undertaken objectively or transparently and is therefore unsound. As a result, the Section 1 Plan cannot be adopted.

In order to make it sound and legally compliant the Inspector has suggested that either the Garden Communities proposals are removed from the Plan at this stage, the NEA’s carry out further work on the evidence base and Sustainability Appraisal or withdraw the Plan entirely and resubmit with the necessary revisions.

Read the Inspector’s letter


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