Comment ID 1148
Document Section Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028 Introduction Sustainable Development Policy SD1: Sustainable Development View all on this section
Respondent Perrin Construction Ltd View all by this respondent
Agent Bell Cornwell (J Terry)
Response Date 10 Aug 2012
Do you consider the DPD is Legally Compliant? No
Do you consider the DPD is Sound? No
If you have responded that the DPD is unsound, Do you consider the DPD is unsound because it is:
  • Not Positively prepared

It is a requirement of the NPPF that Local Plans should be prepared with the objective of contributing to the achievement of sustainable development (paragraph 151). The Planning Inspectorate has suggested that all Local Plans should contain a policy which clearly sets out this objective and have prepared a model policy for this purpose.

Policy SD1 has been based on the Model Policy but does not replicate it exactly. Whilst the model policy is just that – a model, it has been carefully prepared for inclusion in Local Plans to ensure their compliance with the NPPF. It is not clear why SSDC have sought to alter the wording of the model policy. However in doing so the policy has been watered down and it is questionable whether it is sufficient in its current form to be either legally compliant or sound.

In particular the following reference has been omitted from the first paragraph: ‘It will work proactively with applicants jointly to find solutions which mean that proposals can be approved wherever possible and …’and in its place the following has been inserted at the end of the policy: ‘Where necessary the Council will work with applicants to improve proposals so that they are capable of being approved.’

To be legally compliant, the Plan must reflect the requirements of the NPPF.

To be sound the Plan must be found to be positively prepared and consistent with national policy.

This replacement wording is not consistent with the national model policy and it removes the positive element - the assurance that the Council will work proactively with applicants to find solutions so that proposals can be approved wherever possible. The replacement merely says that the Council will work with applicants in certain instances. That is not sufficient.

What changes do you suggest to make the DPD legally compliant or sound? Policy SD1: This policy should be replaced with the model policy.
If your representation is seeking a change, do you consider it necessary to participate at the oral part of the examination? Yes
If you wish to participate at the oral part of the examination, please outline why you consider this to be necessary: To adequately consider the issues of compliance.