Earlier this month, Sevenoaks District Council was granted permission to bring a judicial review against a planning inspector's decision to reject its emerging local plan over a failure to meet the duty to cooperate. In a statement, the council said it "strongly rejected" the inspector's conclusion, which it said only emerged after the first round of the local plan hearings in October, seven months after the council had submitted the document. More.
Meanwhile, local Conservative MPs, Laura Trott MBE, Tom Tugendhat MBE and Gareth Johnson have jointly called on housing secretary Robert Jenrick to use his powers under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 to call in the draft local plan. Trott, who was David Cameron's special adviser when he was Prime Minister before becoming MP for Sevenoaks at last year's election, said: "It is obviously important that the need for housing is not only recognised but also met by the local plan. I fully support this. However, a local plan must also be robust so that local authorities can ensure the right type of developments happen in the right place, at the right time. Sevenoaks District Council has spent the last four years working diligently to achieve this."
Julia Thornton, the council's cabinet member for development and conservation, said: "Our MPs recognise we have produced a robust local plan to provide the right type of developments in the right place, at the right time. They share our concerns about the handling of the local plan examination. We're grateful for their support and we hope this moves the plan forward." More.
In other local plan news, a Surrey council's local plan, which includes proposals for the deallocation of green belt land to provide for a 1,700-home development, has been found sound by a planning inspector who concluded that the authority's green belt review was "robust". More.
LOCAL PLAN UPDATES
Oxfordshire Oxford City Council adopted its local plan on 8 June 2020.
Cambridgeshire: Cambridge city and South Cambridgeshire district councils have published proposals on the emerging Greater Cambridge Local Plan following the first consultation earlier this year on the joint strategy.