Examining Development Plan Documents ... - Planning Portal

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Examining Development Plan Documents ... - Planning Portal

Introduction1. In June 2007 we produced our first LessonsLearnt document. This Learning from Experience –2009 document seeks to update the 2007 materialin the light of the experience we have gainedfrom examining approaching 100 DevelopmentPlan Documents (DPDs) submitted between June2007 and August 2009, discussions with a widevariety of interested parties and over 90 visitswe have carried out to local authorities as partof an Early Engagement project. The documentdoes not aim to be comprehensive or concentrateon procedural matters – which are covered inthe Inspectorate’s Examining Development PlanDocuments: Procedure Guidance (August 20092nd Edition) 1 and the CLG Manual 2 hosted bythe Planning Advisory Service (PAS) – itconcentrates on matters that commonly arise andwhich seem to us to be of general interest.Procedural and AdministrativeMatters2. The Procedure Guidance issued by theInspectorate has been well received and evidentlyprovides adequate guidance as few proceduralproblems have been encountered.Authorities are required to supply a statement ofthe issues raised in the representations; but thereis no need to summarise all the representationsunless the Inspector requests this.3. Under Regulation 30(1)(e) of The Town andCountry Planning (Local Development)(England)Regulations 2004 (as amended) 3 authorities arerequired to supply a statement of the issues raisedin the representations. Most authorities have donethis in a succinct way but a few have producedvery extensive statements that go into far moredetail than is necessary. This approach is likelyto have unnecessarily extended the time betweenpublication and submission. The important pointis that the critical issues are identified and brieflyarticulated. There is no need to summarise therepresentations (unless the Inspector requeststhis), which will always be supplied to theInspector.Authorities must be diligent about keeping theGovernment Offices fully informed of changes totheir programmes on a regular and timely basis.4. Local Development Schemes (LDSs) have notto date proved to be useful to the Inspectoratefor planning the use of our resources. LDSs wereseen in the 2004 reform of the development plansystem as a key project planning tool. The factthat they have proved to be unreliable is a problemnot only for the Inspectorate and the Governmentbut also for authorities’ own stakeholders andcommunities who are entitled to regard the LDSas an accurate record of what and when DPDsare to be produced. It follows that the databasekept by Communities and Local Government(CLG), which is based on the LDS dates andupdated by the Government Offices, has notproved to be adequate for our inspector resourceplanning purposes. It would help considerably iflocal authorities were diligent about keeping theGovernment Offices fully informed of changes intheir programmes on a regular and timely basis.There is in addition the clear expectation thatlocal authorities provide “real time” informationon their web sites in relation to the progress ofcore strategies 4 .Footnotes1View the Planning Inspectorate’s Procedure Guidance:http://www.planning-inspectorate.gov.uk/pins/appeals/local_dev/dpd_procedure_guide_aug09.pdfAlso note the Planning Inspectorate’s Examining Development Plan Documents: Soundness Guidance (August2009 2nd Edition):http://www.planning-inspectorate.gov.uk/pins/appeals/local_dev/ldf_testing_soundnessaug09.pdf2View the CLG Plan Making Manual:http://www.pas.gov.uk/pas/core/page.do?pageId=1097983View the 2004 Regulations:http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2004/uksi_20042204_en.pdfView the amending 2008 Regulations:http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2008/pdf/uksi_20081371_en.pdfView the amending 2009 Regulations:http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2009/pdf/uksi_20090401_en.pdf4See Planning Policy Statement 12: Local Spatial Planning (PPS12) paragraph 4.54:http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/pps12lsp.pdf4 Local Development Frameworks

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