The council has announced the submission date for the Hart Local Plan.
The news is contained in papers due to be considered by Cabinet on 7 June. The relevant paper can be found here.
They say the plan will be submitted during week commencing 18 June:
It is anticipated that the Hart Local Plan Strategy and Sites 2016-2032 Submission Version (the Submission Plan) will be submitted to the Secretary of State in the week commencing 18 June 2018. Once submitted the Submission Plan does not supersede the Hart Local Plan 1996 – 2006 (Saved Policies). The saved policies will still comprise the Development Plan for Hart.
This is in line with earlier commentary from the Joint Chief Executive at an earlier council meeting.
Impact of submitting the Hart Local Plan
Although the submitted plan doesn’t yet form the development plan for Hart, it should have some weight in determining planning applications (and one hopes, planning appeals):
The Submission Plan gains some weight in decision-making. Paragraph 216 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)) states that decision-takers may also give weight (unless material considerations indicate otherwise) to relevant policies in emerging plans according to:
The stage of preparation of the emerging plan (the more advanced the preparation, the greater the weight that may be given).
The extent to which there are unresolved objections to relevant policies (the less significant the unresolved objections, the greater the weight that may be given).
The degree of consistency of the relevant policies in the emerging plan to the policies in NPPF (the closer the policies in the emerging plan to the policies in the Framework, the greater the weight that may be given).
The council’s comentary says:
The Submission Plan is at an advanced stage of preparation. Therefore, it should be given weight in the decision-making process and so upon submission to the Secretary of State it should be used in the determination of planning applications. Furthermore, as it reflects approved Council policy, applications that are determined in accordance with the Submission Plan should not be considered as representing “departures” where approval would otherwise require referral to Council for determination.
We can only hope that the submission of the Local Plan helps in fending off the unwelcome appeal against the decision to refuse planning permission for 700 new houses at Pale Lane.