Hart District Council’s planning department is working on revising the process and timetable for producing the Local Plan, introducing a new consultation step, but adding further delay to the process.
Back in February, Hart changed the Local Development Scheme (LDS), so that they were due to produce a complete draft Local Plan prior to submission in Autumn 2015.
However, we now understand that the process and timetable will be revised so that:
- A revised “Housing Options Paper” will be produced in late October 2015 and will be consulted upon through to December 2015. We believe this will be a Regulation 18 consultation, but it will also be an opportunity for everyone to put forward alternative ideas as to how we should meet the assessed housing requirement.
- The council will then move quickly to produce a fully worked up Local Plan in early Spring 2016 which will also be subject to consultation. We believe this will be a final Regulation 19 consultation.
- Once the Local Plan has been amended to take account of the feedback received it will be submitted for inspection in the Autumn of 2016.
It is to be welcomed that the council is introducing this extra consultation step, but we are concerned that this revised timetable is getting very close to the time when the Government has said it might step in and write the Local Plan for councils that haven’t met the end 2016 deadline it has set.
This presents a real opportunity for our ideas on the council’s response to the We ♥ Hart petition to be incorporated into the consultation document due to be published in October 2015.