22 June 2022
The Local Plan has entered its examination Phase and the hearings will be taking place in three stages as set out below;
Stage 1 – Legal and procedural requirements
Stage 2 – Housing Need and Supply, Green Belt Alterations, Spatial Strategy, Strategic Policies and Economy Policies
Stage 3 – Site Allocations & Delivery
The Stage 1 hearings dealing with legal and procedural compliance took place on June 23rd. Lightwood submitted detailed reps addressing the Duty to Cooperate and the Sustainability Appraisal on behalf of our landowners and attended the session to elaborate on these points.
Inspector Wilders has subsequently confirmed that, from what she has read and heard to date, the Examination may proceed to Stage 2.
At the latest hearing session, the Council confirmed the progress of additional studies to assess the Local Plan’s impacts on M25, junction 9a, including the identification of any necessary mitigation. It confirmed that, subject to those additional studies, it expected to submit, to the examination, an agreed Statement of Common Ground with National Highways in August 2022. This is critical evidence that underpins the delivery of the Plan, including its housing trajectory and viability.
In light of this expected submission, to make best use of Examination time and to ensure fairness to all parties given the weight of evidence submitted for stage 2 of this Examination, the Inspector has amended the draft Examination hearings time table delaying the stage 2 hearing sessions until after the summer break.