Examining Development Plan Documents ... - Planning Portal

planningportal.gov.uk

Examining Development Plan Documents ... - Planning Portal

60. In relation to climate change and sustainableconstruction policies a number of authorities arenot taking adequate account of the advice in thesupplement to PPS1 21 , particularly paragraphs 31-33. Any local requirements need to be justified onthe basis of specific local evidence and viabilityconsiderations. These requirements are frequentlynot met.The Examination and ReportLate changesExtensive public participation should ensure thatit is less likely that matters raised at publicationstage have not been the subject of previousrepresentations.61. The publication of the draft DPD should beinformed by earlier extensive public participationto ensure that what is published is what thecouncil believes is sound. This makes it less likelythat matters will be raised at this stage that havenot been the subject of previous representations.However, revised pre-submission proceduresgive local authorities the opportunity to makenecessary changes to the published version ofthe plan before it is submitted for examination 22 .There is currently limited experience of whetherthis revision has largely eliminated the problemof authorities wishing to make changes to thesubmitted plan.The evidence base should be comprehensive andcomplete on publication.62. A problem that sometimes still arises is arequest for the hearing part of the examination tobe delayed while additional evidence is gathered.This arises when authorities fail to heed the advicethat the evidence base should be comprehensiveand complete on publication. The Inspectorattempts to be as helpful as possible when theserequests arise but a delay of more than about 6months is unlikely to be acceptable as it suggeststhat the justification for the plan is so defectivethat the document should be withdrawn.Assumption of soundness63. Under the PPS12 (2004) guidance there was apresumption that the DPD as submitted was sound.This presumption led to some confusion and wasshown to be unlawful in the Blyth Valley and SurreyWaste judgements 23 . It has now been replaced inthe latest PPS12 with the assumption that the localauthority has submitted what it considers to be asound plan. This change has usefully reinforced theimportance of the frontloading process and alsoclarified the point that the examining Inspectorstarts from a strictly neutral point of view anddoes not apply any presumption in favour of thelocal planning authority.The reportThe fact check stage is intended to deal onlywith matters of fact and clarification; it is notappropriate for an authority to challenge anyrecommendations that it may not like.64. The format of DPD reports, in whichrepresentations are no longer dealt withindividually, has not created problems that we areaware of and has had the benefit of significantlyshorter reports that focus on the critical issues.A minor concern is that a few authorities havesought to use the fact check stage to challengethe basis of some of the recommendationsmade in the report. This is not appropriate asthis stage is intended to deal only with mattersof fact or clarification. Clarification of an unclearrecommendation should be sought but not thefact that an authority does not like, or may havedifficulty with, the recommendation.Conclusions65. As at August 2009 136 DPD examinationshad been completed (since 2004). Some 70% ofthe DPDs examined have been found sound. Thisshould provide reassurance to those authoritieswho have yet to submit DPDs and it is hoped thatthis document, detailing what we have learnedfrom our experience, will assist to boost theconfidence of authorities yet to submit.Footnotes21View Planning Policy Statement: Planning and Climate Change - Supplement to Planning Policy Statement 1:http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/ppsclimatechange22View the CLG Plan Making Manual section ‘Changing your plan after publication’:http://www.pas.gov.uk/pas/core/page.do?pageId=10988223View Blyth Valley Borough Council v Persimmon Homes (North East) Limited, Barratt Homes Limited & MillhouseDevelopments Limited:http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2008/861.htmlView Capel Parish Council v Surrey County Council:http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2009/350.html14 Local Development Frameworks

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines