NEXT STEPS on the Local Plan

Published: 04 February 2021

NEXT STEPS following the Swale Borough Councillors' vote in favour of the Local Plan is public consultation. This is known as Regulation 19 and is the opportunity for people to comment on the Local Plan’s soundness and/or legal compliance.
IT IS ESSENTIAL WE ALL KNOW HOW TO OBJECT TO THE DEVELOPMENTS IN SELLING. There is a defined process set out in law and no other opposition or comments on the plan will ever be considered. The process is all about why the proposed Local Plan does not meet certain tests of soundness.
We need to focus our energy and objections in the right way to have any chance of overturning the Swale Local Plan.
• The tests are of soundness are set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Plans are sound if they are:
o Positively prepared (provide a strategy which, as a minimum seeks to meet the area’s objectively assessed needs and is consistent with achieving sustainable development)
o Justified (an appropriate strategy, taking into account the reasonable alternatives, and based on proportionate evidence)
o Effective (deliverable over the plan period)
o Consistent with national policy (enabling the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the NPPF)
Comments must be made in writing with the period of the consultation between 9am on Monday 8th February and 5pm on Tuesday 23rd March 2021.
As said before, SELLING PARISH COUNCIL will arrange an initial OPEN PUBLIC MEETING (by Zoom online). Please check our website and this page for the dates of this and other meetings and activity.
• As the comments are submitted, they are verified by the planning policy team and the main issues raised are summarised. This work begins as soon as the comments are submitted.
• The main issues raised will be reported back to Members of the Local Plan Panel. This is likely to be during July. Members could, at this point choose to re-assess their position in light of the representations made.
• If Members of the Local Plan Panel/Cabinet are satisfied that the main issues raised do not demonstrate the plan is unsound, the Council will proceed to the submission stage (Regulation 22) currently programmed for August/September 2021
• For submission, the Council must provide all of the representations received along with all the evidence and other technical and supporting documentation. It is an extensive list and includes a summary of the main issues raised and a brief response from the Council. This is usually the precursor for the issues discussed at the Examination.
• Once an inspector is appointed, they will draw up a list of issues to be discussed at the examination hearing sessions.
• The examination will be managed by an independent programme officer.