The draft Local Development Plan (LDP) was submitted for independent examination on 13 May and two Planning Inspectors have been appointed to carry out the examination.
They have issued their Matters, Issues and Questions (MIQs) which will be the focus for the hearings and have also issued a timetable for the hearings which will commence between 27 September and 9 December 2021. Their MIQ’s can be viewed here:
A Programme Officer (PO) has been appointed by the council to assist the Inspectors and she will be the contact for those interested in participating in the hearings. It should be noted, only persons making representations to the Regulation 19 consultation (that took place from October to December 2020) will be able to participate in the hearings.
The Inspectors have issued some Guidance Notes. These are self-explanatory and can be read below. They have also published an intended timetable that relates to the MIQ’s:
As well as issues relating to each site that is within the submitted draft plan, one aspect that concerns me is Matter 2 – The duty to co-operate.
I have pasted a screenshot of the section below and you will see it asks whether the Council has complied with the duty to co-operate in the preparation of the Local Plan. There is also a reference to the unmet need for Birmingham housing needs and what neighbouring local authorities feel about our plan.
We can understand that developers will feel our housing allocations are not high enough but It is accurate to state that most neighbouring local authorities feel our housing numbers are not high enough either. There is a wealth of documents to evidence this. We feel they are and we hope the Inspectors agree with our view.
The next statement is a rare political one on this website.
We know all opposition groups on Solihull Council do not support the submitted draft plan, but they fail to come up with any answers to the need for housing in the borough. It is easy to object from the side-lines when you do not have the responsibility to provide housing. It is also easy to object to identified sites if you do not offer any alternatives. This draft plan has been worked on since 2016 so not one councillor can realistically claim there hasn’t been the time and the plan rushed.
Yes, there are issues on every site that is within the plan that need addressing, and if the Inspectors agree with them to remain in the final plan then the focus on the infrastructure requirements (highlighted in each site) will be essential.
Links to previous posts I have made can be found via this link: Solihull LDP – What Next? – Ken Hawkins (cllrkenhawkins.co.uk)
Further details can be found on the dedicated council web site at www.solihull.gov.uk/eip.