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Pre Submissions publication consultation plan

1.0       Background

 

1.1 
It is a cornerstone of the planning system that communities and stakeholders should be able to influence the matters addressed in planning policy. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) published in July 2018 reinforces the importance of community involvement in paragraph 15: “The planning system should be genuinely plan-led. Succinct and up-to-date plans should provide a positive vision for the future of each area; a framework for addressing housing needs and other economic, social and environmental priorities; and a platform for local people to shape their surroundings.” In accordance with Regulation 19 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012, the Wyre Forest District Local Plan Pre-Submission Publication document has been published to allow representations to be made before it is submitted to the Secretary of State. Consultation on the Local Plan Pre-Submission Publication document (known as the Publication document) will run from 1st November to 17th December 2018. All representations received will be submitted with the draft Local Plan to the Secretary of State for examination in public.

 

1.2 
At this publication stage, the full Sustainability Appraisal report is also available for consultation. This report includes a non-technical summary setting out the key stages in the Sustainability Appraisal process and the main findings.

 

2.0       What is the Local Plan Review?

 

2.1
The Pre-Submission Publication document is the latest stage in the preparation of the Wyre Forest Local Plan Review which sets out the long-term vision and strategic context for managing and accommodating growth within the district until 2036. The aim of the Local Plan is to set out:

    • The areas where development will take place;
    • The areas that will be protected; and
    • Policies that will be used to determine planning applications.

 

2.2 
Under the planning system most development needs planning permission. The principal basis for making those decisions is the development plan; the Local Plan once adopted will form the main part of it for Wyre Forest District, replacing the currently adopted Local Plan.

3.0       Adopted Statement of Community Involvement Requirements

3.1      
The District Council first adopted its Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) in 2006. Following changes in legislation the SCI was updated, revised and adopted in February 2013. The SCI sets out the Council’s policy for involving the community in the planning process. It also details how the Council intends to involve all sections of the community and provides guidelines and minimum standards to involve the community, interest groups and stakeholders in the production of Local Development Documents. The statement provides guidance on: 

    • How people will have the chance to make representations on the draft Local Plan, and the process for considering and responding to their views.
    • The Examination in Public.
    • How the District Council will keep the community informed on progress and outcomes.

 

3.2      
View the Statement of Community Involvement (2013) 

4.0       The Duty to Cooperate

4.1      
The duty to cooperate was created in the Localism Act 2011, and amends the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. It places a legal duty on local planning authorities, county councils in England and public bodies to engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis to maximise the effectiveness of Local Plan preparation in the context of strategic cross boundary matters.

4.2      
In order to fulfil the requirements of the Duty to Cooperate, all neighbouring authorities and consultation bodies covered by the Duty to Cooperate will receive a consultation form to complete which will allow any concerns to be raised.  This will provide an audit trail to demonstrate that the Duty has been fully considered and complied with.  Where cross-boundary issues are identified, officers will offer to meet with each of the neighbouring authorities or organisations concerned to discuss the issues and how the Plan can best address them. In line with NPPF requirements, Statements of Common Ground will be prepared where necessary. 

5.0       Targeting Consultation and Methods

5.1      
The District Council will actively seek to engage all community groups within the Wyre Forest District. Local planning authorities are required to consult specific bodies which they consider may have an interest in the proposed Local Plan document and other consultation bodies which it considers are appropriate. A list of the specific consultees for Wyre Forest District is set out in Appendix A to this document.     

5.2      
It is proposed to consult in a variety of ways. Examples include drop-in sessions in Kidderminster, Stourport-on-Severn, Bewdley and in other areas, mini poster displays in a wide range of accessible locations throughout Wyre Forest District, a press release to be circulated to the local newspapers and radio stations as well as a leaflet distribution to householders within the District.  All Town and Parish Councils will be sent a consultation notice and be asked to display it on their notice boards.

 

6.0       Involving Harder-to-reach Groups

6.1      
Within the District there are groups which are hard to reach through consultations. The District Council recognises that these groups in particular may have different levels of access to information and therefore may find it harder to get involved in the decision making process. In particular, the District Council will employ the following methods for engaging hard to reach groups: leaflet distribution to households within Wyre Forest District, drop-in sessions at public locations (detailed at 6.2).

7.0       Drop-in Sessions

7.1      
During the seven week public consultation on the Local Plan Pre-Submission Publication a number of drop-in sessions will be held. These will be staffed at highly accessible public locations in the three main towns of Kidderminster, Stourport-on-Severn and Bewdley and in other areas. Display boards will be erected at the drop-in sessions and copies of the Pre-Submission Publication document will be made available for public viewing along with other materials, such as evidence base documents. Staff will also be on hand to answer any queries raised by the public.

7.2       Drop-in Sessions

Date

Time

Venue

Friday 16th November 2018

3pm – 7pm

Cookley Village Hall

Saturday 17th November 2018

10am – 2pm

Offmore Evangelical Church Hall, Kidderminster

Tuesday 20th November 2018

5:30pm – 8pm

Heronswood Primary School, Spennells, Kidderminster

Friday 23rd November 2018

3pm – 7pm

Areley Kings Village Hall

Saturday 24th November 2018

10am – 2pm

Stourport Civic Hall

Tuesday 27th November 2018

3pm – 7pm

St Georges Hall, Bewdley

Thursday 29th November 2018

3pm – 7pm

Kidderminster Town Hall

Friday 30th November 2018

3pm – 7pm

St Oswalds Church Centre, Broadwaters Drive, Kidderminster

 

7.3      

Poster Displays

Posters will be displayed at the following locations throughout the duration of the Local Plan Pre-Submission Publication consultation:

    • Kidderminster Library
    • Stourport Library
    • Bewdley Library

KIDDERMINSTER

    • Wyre Forest   Town Hall
    • Wyre Forest Leisure Centre
    • Tesco Superstores
    • Sainsburys
    • Morrisons
    • Asda
    • Iceland
    • Hodge Hill Garden Nurseries
    • Barnetts Hill Garden Centre

STOURPORT

    • Stourport Civic Hall
    • Tesco
    • Co-op
    • Lidl
    • Cooks Garden Centre

BEWDLEY

    • Bewdley Museum
    • Bewdley Leisure Centre
    • Co-op
    • Tesco

 

RURAL AREAS

    • Wyre Forest Discovery Centre
    • Cookley – Tesco and/or Post Office
    • Blakedown Post Office
    • Chaddesley Corbett Post Office
    • Wolverley Stores
    • Fairfield Shop
    • Upper Arley Post Office
    • Rowberry Farm Shop
    • Far Forest Post Office/stores
    • Colliers Farm Shop and/or Clows Top Post Office

8.0       Awareness raising – Media

8.1      
To coincide with the launch of the consultation on the Local Plan Pre-Submission Publication press releases will be organised for the local newspapers, such as the Kidderminster Shuttle. An eye-catching publicity leaflet will be delivered to households throughout the district. The leaflet will detail the dates and times of the exhibitions and details of places where the Pre-Submission Local Publication document can be viewed/downloaded.

9.0       Publishing on the Web

9.1      
An interactive version of the Pre-Submission Publication document will be made available to enable electronic representations to be made. The interactive consultation response form can be filled in via the On-line portal or downloaded and emailed to LPR@wyreforestdc.gov.uk. The Council strongly encourages responses to be submitted using the on-line response form via the Council's interactive consultation system. (See section 9 below for full details on how to comment).

9.2      
The evidence base documents will also be made available on the Council’s website and copies will also be made available at the consultation drop-in sessions (see 6.2 for venues).

9.3      
The District Council will also use social media (Twitter and Facebook) to promote the consultation period and the drop-in sessions. 

 

10.0    How to Comment on the Local Plan Pre-Submission Publication document

10.1   The seven week consultation of the Pre-Submission Publication will start on Thursday 1st November 2018 and will close promptly at 5pm Monday 17th December 2018. No late responses will be accepted.

10.2    The consultation response form follows the same structure as the standard response form issued by the Planning Inspectorate. This is so consultation responses are set out in the way the Planning Inspector will consider comments at the public examination. The consultation response form will be made available on the Council’s website: www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/localplanreview. We will only accept responses submitted using the consultation response form.

10.3    The Council strongly encourages responses to be submitted using the on-line response form via the District Council’s interactive consultation system. Consultation responses will only be accepted if submitted in one of the following ways:

    • Via the On-line portal

www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/localplanreview

    • By downloading the form from our website: www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/localplanreview
    • By collecting a hard copy from main reception at Wyre Forest District Council, Wyre Forest House, Finepoint Way, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY11 7WF or from the Customer Service Centre (The Hub), Town Hall, Vicar Street, Kidderminster, DY10 1DB.
    • Forms should be emailed to: LPR@wyreforestdc.gov.uk or posted back to Planning Policy Team, Wyre Forest DC, Wyre Forest House, Finepoint Way, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY11 7WF.

Please note that representations made at this stage in the process cannot remain anonymous, but details will only be used in relation to the Wyre Forest District Local Plan Review. Your response will be made available to view as part of the Examination process.

10.4    The purpose of the consultation is to allow interested parties to make representation on the soundness and legal compliance of the plan. The District Council’s statement of representation procedure sets out the procedure for making representations to the plan.

10.5    The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (para 35) states that to be sound a local plan must be:

    • Positively prepared – providing a strategy which, as a minimum, seeks to meet the area’s objectively assessed needs, and is informed by agreements with other authorities, so that unmet need from neighbouring areas is accommodated where it is practical to do so and is consistent with achieving sustainable development;
    • Justified – an appropriate strategy, taking into account the reasonable alternatives, and based on proportionate evidence;
    • Effective – deliverable over the plan period, and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic matters that have been dealt with rather than deferred, as evidenced by the statement of common ground; and
    • Consistent with national policy – enabling the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the NPPF.

11.0    Formally Processing Comments – Procedures

11.1   
All consultation response forms submitted to the District Council online, by email or post will be acknowledged within five working days of their receipt. After the Pre-Submission Publication consultation period ends, the Planning Policy Team will consider all of the consultation response forms received during the consultation period and may, as a result, update the Submission version of the Local Plan. A consultation summary report will also be produced detailing the key issues raised from the consultation response forms received. This will be presented to and considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet. The consultation summary report will be made available for public viewing on the Council’s website.

11.2 
The Council will then submit the Submission version of the Local Plan for examination by an independent Government appointed Planning Inspector. The Submission version will be approved by a meeting of the full Council which is expected to happen in July 2019. Consultation response forms received for this Local Plan Pre-Submission Publication document and the updated evidence base studies will be passed to the Planning Inspector. It should be noted that only those who make a representation seeking a change to the plan within the advertised publication consultation period will have the right to appear at the Examination.

11.3   
The Council anticipates that an examination in public will be held on the Local Plan in late 2019 with adoption of the Local Plan taking place in 2020. However, the timetable after submission is beyond the Council’s control and will be in the hands of the Government appointed Planning Inspector.



Wyre Forest District Council