As noted in our last Update the Inspector appointed to examine the Borough Local Plan had sent a list of initial questions to the Council (in March), which included some significant concerns. The Council was slow in responding, and the Inspector was not fully satisfied with the answers given and raised some further questions. The Council has until today to respond to these further questions.
The Inspector has also issued a Guidance Note setting out the procedures to be followed during the Examination and a provisional timetable. Her current intention is for the examination to proceed in two stages:
Stage 1 For Stage 1, she has identified five Matters, each with a number of associated main issues and detailed questions, upon which the legal compliance and soundness of the Plan depends. These are set out in the Inspectors’ Matters, Issues & Questions (MIQs) – Stage 1, which was issued with the Guidance Note. Stage 1 hearing sessions are to take place on 26-28 June, with a reserve session on 3 July.
Stage 2 MIQs for Stage 2 will be published in due course, probably towards the end of July 2018. Stage 2 hearing sessions are likely to take place in late September and early October 2018. The merits of individual sites in the Green Belt will not be considered until Stage 2.
The right to participate in a hearing extends only to those who have proposed changes to the Plan which might be necessary for soundness and/or legal compliance; and the right is limited to the policies or matters which were the subject of the original representation. Anyone who has a right to be heard, and wishes to exercise that right, must contact the Programme Officer by 5pm on Friday 25 May 2018.
All the various papers referred to in this update can be found at https://www3.rbwm.gov.uk/blp under ‘Examination’; details of how to participate in the hearings are set out in the Guidance Note.
18 May 2018