Hart Council has announced in Hart News that it has slipped the Local Plan timetable yet again. Given the number of times this timetable has been amended we have to question the credibility of their project management. Hart Council is running the risk of the Government stepping in and writing the plan for them.
The revised timetable, shown in the image above is:
Refined Housing Options Paper* – Winter 2015
Full Draft Local Plan* – Spring 2016
Resubmission Plan* – late Summer 2016
Submit to Secretary of State – Autumn 2016
Examination – Winter 2016
Adoption – Spring 2017
* = documents subject to public consultation.
This is the latest in a long line of delays:
In October, 2013, when the earlier version of the plan was rejected by the planning inspector, the council said:
“Cllr Parker said that while the council operates under the interim strategy, it is working on an updated Local Plan.
“We expect to put this out for consultation early next year, and would look to submit it to an inspector next autumn ,” he added.”
In April 2014, the plan was to have a resubmission plan ready for consultation in October 2015.
In February 2015, the plan was to have a resubmission plan ready for Autumn 2015.
As late as April this year, the council was insisting that they were still on track to deliver a Resubmission Plan by Autumn 2015, despite our warnings that the project was slipping.
We are now in a position where the Local Plan has slipped two years within two years. It is difficult to come to a conclusion other than the project management is woeful and we run the risk of the Local Plan being taken out of local hands and handed to Government Inspectors. One has to ask why more councillors are not holding the Executive and the Officers to account and demanding a change of approach, such as our suggested 5-point plan.