Local Plan Support
Mineral & Waste Local Plans need to address all current and future waste management and/or minerals supply issues within the plan area, and must be consistent with the National Planning Framework and Planning Practice Guidance (in particular the chapters on waste and minerals).
At BPP Consulting, we are able to provide our expertise in all areas of planning including:
- Project and team management
- Evidence gathering
- Identification of issues and options
- Options appraisal inc. Sustainability Appraisal
- Site identification and appraisal
- Policy preparation
- Stakeholder and community engagement
- Giving evidence at examination hearings
The preparation of a local plan involves several key stages, all of which are prescribed in legislation, with advice on approaches set out in policy and guidance. These stages and our approach are set out below.
Issues and Options
All partners at BPP Consulting are experienced in identifying issues and preparing options for appraisal. Support is provided with the following in mind:
- Have all the key issues been addressed?
- What would each option achieve and could other options be considered?
- How would this translate into a policy?
- Is it clear how objectives will be delivered by the options and how deliverable are they?
- Are the options sufficiently well defined to allow meaningful appraisal?
- Sustainability Appraisal
- Deliverability Appraisal - establishing whether an option e.g. a proposed site is likely to come forward during the Plan period.
Draft policies and approaches
We have extensive experience of drafting statutory plans. The draft Plan will be used to consult the community & stakeholders on the proposed approaches to minerals supply and/or waste management, and so should be written in jargon-free, non-technical language. To ensure a clear audit trail, we generally recommend that draft Plans include a summary assessment of each of the options with details included in a background paper.
Proposed Submission Plan
The Plan that an authority proposes to submit for examination is the culmination of all the work carried to identify the minerals supply and/or waste management issues, and the best approaches to dealing with them. The Plan needs to have considered all the comments made by stakeholders & communities and should represent a broad consensus on waste management and minerals supplied in an area. Where it is apparent that it may be possible for representations on Plans to be withdrawn, appropriate advice can be provided on the approach to take; this may include consideration of an amendment to the Plan.
The examination of the Plan is likely to be a most intense period. Once an Inspector has been appointed, every effort needs to be made to ensure concise, helpful and robust answers are given to the Inspector’s questions - which can come thick and fast. At this time it is essential to maintain a cool, clear head. It may be necessary to gather further evidence and negotiate modifications to the Plan to ensure its soundness. The Inspector may even resume hearings to consider further evidence.
The final stage of plan-making process is the Adoption, which is generally the most straight forward, but must follow legislative procedures to avoid the risk of judicial review. Once the Inspector’s final report has been received, briefings for Members and senior officers are usually needed setting out the key points. At this stage there will be no opportunity to make any further main modifications to the Plan and thus it will merely need finalising for publication.
The methodology followed at BPP Consulting for identifying sites, involves developing a range of assessment indicators with regard to relevant guidance and policy objectives contained, in particular, in the following documents and reference sources:
- Relevant National Policy Statements
- National Planning Policy Framework and National Planning Policy for Waste
- Planning Practice Guidance
- Relevant adopted Local Plans
- The sustainability appraisal (SA) scoping report and SA framework.
Assessment indicators will also be developed with regards to other functional and operational criteria required to determine the viability of the site, e.g. shape, size, layout and access. For each assessment indicator, evaluation criteria will be developed for consistent application to all sites.