Work progressing on final Local Plan document

Release date: 4 February 2016

Planners at Cotswold District have reported that work is progressing well on the production of a full Local Plan, known as the Regulation 19 (Reg.19) or Submission Plan.  This draws together all the elements of previous consultation documents to form a single comprehensive version, which is scheduled to be considered by Cabinet on 21 April and full Council on 19 May, prior to a statutory six week public consultation exercise.   Any public comments made during the next –and final – consultation will have to be focused on the following tests of soundness set out in the National Planning Policy Framework:

Positively prepared.  Based on a strategy which seeks to meet objectively assessed development and infrastructure requirements;

Justified.   The Plan should be the most appropriate strategy when considered against the reasonable alternatives;

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.

More details about the tests and the exact dates of the consultation period will follow in due course.

The Council has already assured residents that all representations made regarding the emerging Local Plan will be taken into account when compiling the Reg. 19 document.  In particular, officers will produce a summary of the main issues raised during two public consultations (known as Reg.18 consultations) which took place during January/February 2015 and November/December 2015.  The former requested comments on the proposed development strategy and site allocations, and the latter requested comments on the proposed development management policies. This information will be made available to the Inspector as part of the Examination process, and will also be included in a special edition of the Council’s Cotswold News magazine which will be sent to all residents to tie in with the Reg. 19 consultation. 

Cllr Nick Parsons, the Deputy Leader at CDC and Cabinet Member for Forwarding Planning comments:

“When we begin the public consultation on the whole Reg. 19 Local Plan, residents will be able to view a summary of the main issues arising from the two 2015 consultations in our Cotswold News magazine.  The magazine will also make it plain how public comments have, or have not, brought about changes to the whole Plan.  I should add that the Reg.19 Plan has to be based on evidence and facts rather than anecdote and subjective opinions.   The fact that a large number of people may object to a proposal is not, in itself, a valid reason to bring about change.  The Council will be required to submit to the Planning Inspectorate all relevant paperwork, including summaries of the main issues raised under Regulation 18, and all representations made in response to the Regulation 19 consultation.  This will help to inform the subsequent public examination of the Local Plan following its submission to the Secretary of State towards the end of 2016.”

Cllr Parsons adds:

“Some people have criticised the Council because the Local Plan has not been approved yet. However, it is worth pointing out that, when approved, we will have a whole Local Plan for Cotswold District which is fully compliant with the National Planning Policy Framework.   In other words, it will include a development strategy, site allocations to deliver the strategy, and a full suite of policies to deliver the Plan’s objectives. There are very few approved plans which fall into this category. The vast majority of so-called ‘approved’ Local Plans are merely Core Strategies which still require extensive work to develop site allocations and/or development management policies.”

All the representations from the two Reg. 18 public consultations during 2015 can be viewed now at the following two links on the CDC website:

January/February 2015: http://cotswold.objective.co.uk/portal/fp/local_plan_2011-2031/lpr18/local_plan_reg_18_consultation_development_strategy_and_site_allocations_january_2015

November/December 2015: http://consult.cotswold.gov.uk/portal/fp/local_plan_2011-2031/lpr18/reg18_planning_policies?tab=info

 ENDS

Cotswold District Council
Trinity Road
Cirencester
Gloucestershire
GL7 1PX