Local Plans present an opportunity to bring several strategic plans and regeneration ambitions together into one place and to secure the best quality outcomes and benefits for local communities. Local Plans are also a critical tool in guiding decisions about individual development proposals.
Local Plans should set out a clear vision and a framework for the future development of an area, addressing needs and opportunities in relation to housing, the economy, community facilities and infrastructure – as well as the basis for safeguarding the environment, adapting to climate change and securing good design.
At the final publication stage anyone can put forward a case or representations for changes they wish to be made to the plan which will then be considered by an independent Planning Inspector on behalf of the Secretary of State at a Public Inquiry or Examination. This gives a formal opportunity to advocate changes before the plan is finalised and adopt it for use in determining planning applications.
The Local Plan Examination in Public then takes places by a way of a number of scheduled hearings relating to different Local Plan matters. These will be arranged by a Programme Officer who will contact anyone who has made representations seeking to change the plan to give them an opportunity to attend a hearing session’.
The appointed Inspector may hold a pre-hearing meeting, the purpose of which is to clarify the critical issues to be considered and to explain the procedures to be followed. A series of Hearings will then take place over several weeks and sessions centred around planning matters or issues, which all participants attending will be expected to have submitted their response four weeks in advance. These are usually referred to as ‘Matter Statements’.
How can Camerons help?
Public Examination Hearings can be daunting for those who have not presented evidence or spoken in a public arena before.
Camerons has experience of arranging, giving evidence, responding to questions and appearing at Local Plan Examination, as a lead witness.
If you would like help making a local plan representation or discuss how to go about presenting a planning matter either by written representation or at Public Examination, please contact us and we can arrange a confidential discussion with you about how to best put your case.