Swansea Local Development Plan (LDP) Update – Examination Stage
The Council submitted the Swansea Local Development Plan 2010-2025 (the ‘LDP’) to the Planning Inspectorate and Ministers of the Welsh Government on 28 July 2017 for the purpose of undertaking an independent Examination of the Plan. Planning Inspectors Rebecca Phillips BA(Hons) MSc DipM MCIM MRTPI and Paul Selby BEng (Hons) MSc MRTPI have now been appointed to conduct the examination to assess the soundness of the LDP. Rebecca Phillips has been appointed as the Lead Planning Inspector and Paul Selby as the Assistant Planning Inspector.
The LDP Examination is a key stage of the Plan making process. It provides an opportunity for those that made representations to the Deposit LDP to have their objections/views heard by an independent Planning Inspector. On completion of the Examination process, the Inspectors will issue a Report to the Council giving recommendations for action, which will be binding on the Council to implement.
Please note that the first meeting of the Examination will be a Pre-Hearing Meeting (PHM) on 13th December 2017. This meeting will deal with any issues identified as requiring further investigation during the Examination. The content and merits of the Plan and the representations will not be discussed at the PHM.
The formal Hearing Sessions of the Examination will consider the content of the Plan and deal with the representations on the Deposit LDP that have been duly made during the public consultation process. The Examination Hearings will last for around 2 months with one or two breaks, starting from 5th February until the 23rd March 2018. After the Hearings have been formally closed, the Examination remains open until the Inspector’s Report is submitted to the Council.
All those who submitted duly made representations on the Deposit LDP have the right to appear before, and be heard by, the Inspectors at the Examination. Please note that copies of all Deposit Representations that were submitted to the Council during the consultation stage have been passed to the Welsh Government as part of the LDP submission process. If you made representations to the Deposit Plan, the Programme Officer will contact you in due course to provide further information about the examination, and to confirm whether you wish to appear at the examination and/or how you can submit written statements of evidence.
Confirmation of the currently scheduled times, dates and venues for key stages of the examination process are set out below. However, please note that these details may be subject to change. The Programme Officer will advise of any changes and will also keep the Examination Web pages up to date.
Indicative Dates for LDP Examination:
Pre-Hearing Meeting – 13th December – Guildhall
Hearing Sessions – Week Commencing 5th February to week commencing 19th March. – Civic Centre
Alternative Site Submissions
The following information is intended only for those that have submitted an alternative site as part of their objection i.e. a site that the submitter proposes should be allocated in the LDP as either an addition or alternative to the allocations in the Deposit.
The Council would like to remind representors who submitted ‘Alternative Sites’ that, whilst they have a right to be heard by the Inspectors at the examination, the Inspector cannot consider the inclusion of a site within the Plan if no Sustainability Appraisal has been provided.
The requirement for a SA was clearly stated on the Deposit Representation Form, an extract from which is provided below for reference.
“Proposing Alternative Sites
- If you want to add a new site, amend the boundaries of an existing site or delete an existing site, please attach a 1:1250 or 1:2500 scale plan clearly identifying the boundaries (red line) that you wish to be included in the Plan and, if relevant, provide details of its proposed use. On this Plan please also identify any land that is in your ownership using a blue line.
- If you are proposing to add a new site, then this representation form should be accompanied by a Sustainability Appraisal.This information must be consistent with the scope and level of detail as the Sustainability Appraisal conducted by the Authority. The Appraisal should use the same Sustainability Framework as set out in the Council’s Sustainability Appraisal Report of the Deposit LDP. It should also refer to the same baseline information in identifying the likely significant effects of the revised Policy or new site. Candidate Sites were subject to assessment against sustainability criteria to assess the suitability of the site. Please contact the Strategic Planning Team for guidance on the scope and level of detail required in the accompanying Sustainability Appraisal.”
It is the responsibility of the alternative site promoter to show that the proper procedures have been undertaken and to provide the necessary evidence to demonstrate that the Plan would be sound if the site were to be included. This includes ensuring that an alternative site is accompanied by a Sustainability Appraisal.
Therefore, if you have submitted Alternative Site representations and have not provided the required supporting Sustainability Appraisal material you are advised to provide this to the Council by 22nd November 2017. The Council will then submit the additional documents to the examination in order that the site may be fully considered by the Inspector.
It should be noted that the Council’s response to site alternatives is set out in the Deposit Consultation Report. The Council’s position is that further allocations are not considered necessary within the LDP to meet the evidenced need for future growth as (subject to refinements and necessary corrections) the allocations in the Deposit LDP are the most appropriate to deliver on the LDP Vision, Objectives and Growth Strategy.
Information on how to carry out an SA is set out in the SA Framework which can be found within the SA Report and accompanying appendices, this includes the Scoring Guide
Please contact the Strategic Planning Team if you require any further information.