CDC: all Local Plan representations will be taken into account
Release date: 21 December 2015
Cotswold District Council has clarified in its Cotswold News magazine (which was recently sent to all residents) that all representations made regarding the emerging Local Plan will be taken into account before the whole document is made available for a final, statutory, round of public consultation during Spring 2016, under Regulation 19 of the Planning Act.
Cllr Nick Parsons, the Deputy Leader at CDC and Cabinet Member for Forwarding Planning explains:
“It is important to emphasise that we have produced two public consultation documents this year to deal with separate parts of the emerging plan. The first – made public at the start of this year – was the Development Strategy and Site Allocations, and comments were sought at that time. The second document, containing draft Development Management policies, was subject to a round of public consultation which began in early November and came to an end on Monday 21 December. All consultations were conducted under Regulation 18 of the Planning Act, which enables local planning authorities to seek comments informally on emerging proposals.
“Some people seem to have assumed that we would respond directly to their representations following the first round of consultation earlier this year. However, there is no legal requirement to do this; these representations are available to view on our website should anyone wish to see them: http://cotswold.objective.co.uk/portal/fp/local_plan_2011-2031/lpr18/local_plan_reg_18_consultation_development_strategy_and_site_allocations_january_2015
“Likewise, anyone wishing to view the representations that we have received in response to the most recent consultation in November/December 2015 can access them at the following link on our website: http://consult.cotswold.gov.uk/portal/fp/local_plan_2011-2031/lpr18/reg18_planning_policies?tab=info
“Prior to the final public consultation on the whole Local Plan in Spring 2016 we will produce a summary of the main issues arising from the two 2015 consultations in a special edition of our Cotswold News residents magazine. This will also make it plain how public comments have, or have not, brought about changes to the whole Plan. I should add that any representations which have sought to address valid planning issues - and included robust evidence in support of their case – could potentially result in changes to the Plan. The 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 pass - 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 during Autumn 2016.”
Cllr Parsons added:
“We have had criticism about the Local Plan not being approved yet. However, it is worth pointing out that – once 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. The number of approved plans which fall into this advanced category can be counted on the fingers of two hands at the moment. 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.”