The Kingston Society has submitted its response to the Draft Local Plan – the document that sets the course of the borough’s future development until 2041. (Our response document is here and will download as a PDF)
Local plans are prepared by the Local Planning Authority (LPA). The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that the planning system should be genuinely plan-led. Succinct and up-to-date plans should provide a positive vision for the future of each area and a framework for addressing housing needs and other economic, social and environmental priorities.
Examining local plans
Once the Local Planning Authority has finished preparing and consulting on a local plan it must be submitted to the Secretary of State who will appoint an Inspector to carry out an independent examination. This process is dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate.
The examination will assess whether the plan has been prepared in accordance with legal and procedural requirements and if it is sound. The four tests of soundness are set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
The Inspector will consider the evidence provided by the LPA to support the plan and any representations which have been put forward by local people and other interested parties. In most cases the examination will include hearing sessions which are held in public. The Inspector will determine the appropriate format for those sessions, which could be in-person/physical (‘real’), ‘virtual’ video or telephone conference, blended events or a ‘blended’ mix of formats for each or different sessions (i.e. a mix of in-person and virtual).
At the end of the examination the Inspector will send a report to the LPA recommending whether or not they can adopt the plan. In most cases the report will recommend some changes that are necessary to allow the plan to be adopted. These are known as ‘main modifications’.
In carrying out the examination, the Inspector will be conscious of the benefits of having a robust and up to date plan adopted as quickly as possible and will apply the principles of openness, fairness and impartiality.
Full details of the examination process can be found here