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Pre-submission publication consultation plan September 2019

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. The consultation on the Local Plan Pre-Submission Publication document (known as the Publication document) is being re-opened for further representations to be made and will run from 2nd September to 14 October 2019. All representations received will be submitted with the draft Local Plan to the Secretary of State for examination in public. (Note that all the consultation responses previously received by the Council during the Pre-Submission consultation held last year in Autumn/Winter 2018 will also be submitted to the Planning Inspector).

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.

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.

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 Statement of Community Involvement (2013) on our website.

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. 

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 Blakedown, 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.

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 7.2).

Drop-in Sessions

7.1 During the six 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 main towns of Kidderminster, Stourport-on-Severn and Bewdley. There will also be a drop-in session held in Blakedown. 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 Location of Drop-in Sessions

Date

Time

Venue

Wednesday 11 September 2019

3pm to 6pm

Blakedown Parish Rooms

18 Belbroughton Road

Blakedown

DY10 3JG

Wednesday 18 September 2019

3pm to 7pm

Corn Exchange

Kidderminster Town Hall

DY10 1DB

Thursday 19 September 2019

2pm to 4.30pm

Wribbenhall Parish Rooms

Bewdley

DY12 1DQ

Saturday 28 September 2019

10am to 1pm

Stourport Civic Hall

DY13 8UJ

7.3 Poster Displays

The Council will request that posters are 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

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. A publicity leaflet will be delivered to households throughout the district. The leaflet will detail the dates and times of the drop-in sessions and details of places where the Pre-Submission Local Plan Publication document can be viewed/downloaded.

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 10 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 7.2 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. 

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

10.1 The six week consultation of the Pre-Submission Publication will start on Monday 2 September 2019 and will close promptly at 5pm Monday 14 October 2019. No late responses will be accepted.

10.2 The consultation response form follows a similar structure to 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 is available on the council’s website. Please note 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
  • By downloading the form from our website
  • 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 Hub (Customer Service Centre) at Green Street, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY10 1HA.
  • 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.

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 at submission stage of the Local Plan.

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 February 2020. 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 Spring 2020 with adoption of the Local Plan taking place in late 2020. However, the timetable after submission is beyond the Council’s control and will be in the hands of the Government appointed Planning Inspector.

Specific Consultees

Wyre Forest District Parish/Town Councils

Bewdley Town Council

Broome Parish Council

Chaddesley Corbett Parish Council

Churchill and Blakedown Parish Council

Kidderminster Foreign Parish Council

Kidderminster Town Council

Rock Parish Council

Rushock Parish Council

Stone Parish Council

Stourport on Severn Town Council

Upper Arley Parish Council

Wolverley & Cookley Parish Council

 

Adjacent Parish Councils

Abberley Parish Council

Alveley and Romsley Parish Council

Astley & Dunley Parish Council

Bayton Parish Council

Belbroughton and Fairfield Parish Council

Clent Parish Council

Cleobury Mortimer Parish Council

Dodford with Grafton Parish Council

Elmbridge Parish Council

Elmley Lovett Parish Council

Hagley Parish Council

Hartlebury Parish Council

Highley Parish Council

Kinlet Parish Council

Kinver Parish Council

Lindridge Parish Council

Mamble Parish Council

Pensax Parish Council

Shrawley Parish Council

Upton Warren Parish Council

 

Other Specific Consultees

British Telecom

Birmingham City Council

Bromsgrove District Council

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

EE

Environment Agency

Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership

Hereford & Worcester Ambulance Service

Hereford & Worcester Fire & Rescue Service

Highways England

Historic England

Homes England

Malvern Hills District Council

National Grid

Natural England

Network Rail

NHS England

Office of Rail Regulation

Redditch Borough Council

Sandwell Council

Severn Trent Water

Shropshire Council

Solihull Council

South Staffordshire District Council

South Staffordshire Water Plc

Staffordshire County Council

Staffordshire Police Authority

The Coal Authority

Three

Vodafone and O2

Walsall Council

West Mercia Police

West Midlands Ambulance Service

Western Power Distribution
Wolverhampton City Council

Worcester City Council

Worcestershire County Council

Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership

Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups

Worcestershire Regulatory Services

Wychavon District Council

 

General Consultees

Organisations and individuals registered in the Planning Policy database including:

Agents

Business and Commerce Groups

Conservation Interest Groups

Developers

Housing Interest Groups

Individuals

Interest / Pressure Groups

Land Owners

Local Interest Groups

Registered Providers

Service Providers

 

Hard to Reach Groups

Age UK Bromsgrove Redditch & Wyre Forest

Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group

Friends Families and Travellers

National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups

Offmore Comberton Action Group

The Showman’s Guild of Great Britain Midland Section