Published: Tuesday, 5th April 2022
A Local Plan for west Norfolk has taken another step closer this week as the draft document has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for review.
Submission of the Local Plan to the Planning Inspectorate is a significant milestone in the process. The Inspectorate will undertake independent ‘examination in public’ (EiP), which will take place over the remainder of this year.
Councillor Richard Blunt, cabinet member for development and regeneration, said:
“The Local Plan is a fundamentally-important document that has been more than 5 years in the making. It forms the basis of our aspirations for the borough – to deliver economic growth, support businesses and, of course, provide good-quality, sustainable housing for the people of west Norfolk.”
The Local Plan is a key document for the borough as it allocates land for development and sets out a range of policies for delivering sustainable development up to 2036, including environmental impact, flood risk and provision of affordable housing.
The process of creating the new Local Plan began in autumn 2016 and it has already gone through a number of processes, including research and consultation.
Consultation on the final draft took place in 2021. Since then the council has been working to prepare the plan for submission to the Planning Inspectorate to ensure it can proceed towards adoption, hopefully in the spring or summer of next year.
The Planning Inspectorate will examine the plan against four criteria:
- Is it ‘positively prepared’? Does it seek to meet the area’s objectively-assessed needs; and is it informed by agreements with other authorities, so that any unmet need from neighbouring areas is accommodated where it is practical to do so and is consistent with achieving sustainable development?
- Is it ‘justified’? Is it an appropriate strategy, taking into account the reasonable alternatives, and based on proportionate evidence?
- Is it ‘effective’? Is it deliverable over the plan period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic matters that have been dealt with rather than deferred, as evidenced by the statement of common ground?
- Is it ‘consistent with national policy’? Does it enable the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the framework?
Cllr Blunt added:
“Preparing the Local Plan has been a significant undertaking, achieved through the collective efforts of borough council staff, councillors and consultees – I thank all for their contributions. I now look forward to taking the Plan through its final stage so we can adopt it next year and start to enjoy the benefits it will bring forward for the borough.”
Further information regarding the Local Plan Review and examination is available through the Borough Council’s Planning policy and Local Plan web pages (https://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/homepage/19/planning_policy_and_local_plan), or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.