OPDC Local Cunning Plan Submission Explained

A Local Plan for an area sets the vision and framework for how it will develop over a twenty-year period.

The Local Plan for Old Oak and Park Royal, along with the London Plan (produced by the Mayor of London) and any neighbourhood plans, combine to form the overall development plan.

Since February 2016, OPDC have undertaken three rounds of public consultation with the community, local businesses and other stakeholders. These consultations have generated over 11,000 comments from you, which we’ve used to inform the development of the Local Plan.

On 4 October 2018 we submitted our Local Plan to the Planning Inspectorate for independent examination which will be carried out on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The final stage of creating a Local Plan

The independent examination is the final stage in the Local Plan process before it can be adopted as part of the legally binding development plan for the area.

The Planning Inspectorate, a government body who employ independent Planning Inspectors, will appoint an inspector to lead the independent examination of OPDC's Local Plan. The Planning Inspector will assess whether the Local Plan has been prepared in accordance with the legal and procedural requirements such as the Duty to Cooperate and whether it is 'Sound'. This will include consideration as to whether the Local Plan is:
  • Positively prepared – the plan should be prepared based on a strategy which seeks to meet objectively assessed development and infrastructure requirements, including unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities where it is reasonable to do so and consistent with achieving sustainable development;
  • Justified – the plan should be the most appropriate strategy, when considered against the reasonable alternatives, based on proportionate evidence;
  • Effective – the plan should be deliverable over its period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic priorities; and
  • Consistent with national policy – the plan should enable the delivery of sustainable development and must be in general conformity with the Mayor’s London Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework and National Planning Practice Guidance.

A key part of this stage in the process: Hearing sessions

Hearings sessions will be held for the Planning Inspector to examine the soundness of the Local Plan (as outlined above). Issues and questions identified by the Planning Inspector will determine the timetable of the hearings and who they will invite to attend. Those asked to attend hearings are called participants. Participants will include members of OPDC staff and selected stakeholders who submitted responses to the two most recent public consultations (held in 2017 and 2018).

Participants will provide responses to the Planning Inspector's issues and questions, these are called Hearing Statements. The Hearing Statements will be published on the website once made.

Hearing sessions are chaired by the Inspector and are open to the public but only participants identified by the Planning Inspector will be able to contribute during these meetings.

Expected timeframe

The expected timeframe is as follows:
*The timescales are indicative as each examination differs dependent on the complexity of the Local Plan being examined and questions arising from the Inspector.
Timing Key Actions Lead
Week 1
  • Local Plan submitted by OPDC
Week 2
  • Planning Inspector appointed and administrative review of Local Plan carried out
Planning Inspectorate
Weeks 3-4
  • Early appraisal of the Local Plan and identification of any issues and/or questions
  • Requests for any further information to address issues and/or questions
  • Structure and timetable of hearing sessions determined and participants identified
Planning Inspector
Weeks 5-6
  • Participants notified
  • Responses to Inspector’s issues and/or questions (Hearing Statements) developed by participants
Planning Inspector
Week 7
  • Hearing Statements submitted by participants
  • Participants confirmed
Planning Inspector
Week 8
  • Hearing Statements published on OPDC website
Planning Inspector
Week 9
  • Final hearing session agendas circulated to participants and published on OPDC website
Planning Inspector
Week 10+
  • Hearing sessions commence
Planning Inspector

The Planning Inspector’s next steps

Following the close of the hearings, the Inspector may identify main modifications needed in the Local Plan to make it sound. These changes would then require an additional six-week public consultation to be carried out.

After the close of this additional consultation, the Planning Inspector will draft their report, which may include any of the main modifications. OPDC must then make the main modifications set out in the Inspector’s Report to the Local Plan before it is then considered by the OPDC Planning Committee and Board for adoption.

Further information on the examination process can be found in the supporting document 'Procedural Practice in the Examination of Local Plan'.

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