Cabinet urged to back “quickest route” to Local Plan adoption”
Release date: 13 October 2016
When Cotswold District Council’s Cabinet meets on 20 October the Members will decide whether to conduct a six-week consultation period focusing on specific matters raised by representations submitted in response to the draft submission Local Plan.
Cllr Nick Parsons, the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Forward Planning, explains:
“We are grateful to everyone who commented on the submission draft Local Plan during July and August. Our forward planning team advise that it is possible to accommodate many of the constructive comments we have received by making minor modifications. However a small number of representations necessitate publishing changes that would have a more significant effect on the content of the Plan; these are known as Focused Changes.
“We have sought legal advice and have been advised that it would not be good practice to go to the examination stage without making certain Focused Changes and providing people with the opportunity to comment on them. Failure to resolve such issues before submitting the Plan is likely to prompt the examining Inspector to question its soundness, which would simply result in the examination being suspended until the proposed policy changes have been addressed.
“The purpose of the examination is to examine the soundness of the submitted Plan and its supporting evidence. Changes can be made during the examination to cater for the unexpected – such as legislative changes – but national guidance is clear that changes should not be made to rectify known omissions or errors because those should be made before the hearings start. If we do not do so it would inevitably result in the adjournment of the examination hearings possibly for many months. With this in mind, the quickest route to achieving the adoption of the Local Plan is to run a public consultation on the Focused Changes before the Plan is submitted for examination. The resulting changes would be appended to the Submission Draft and the whole lot would be examined together.”
Assuming Cabinet approves this course of action, details of the consultation period will be announced as soon as possible.
The representations made in relation to the Local Plan draft submission consultation which ended on 8 August 2016 are now available to view.