Examination in Public

Before it can be adopted, Richmond’s Local Plan is subject to an independent Examination in Public by a Planning Inspector to assess whether it is ‘sound’.

Planning Inspector

The Secretary of State has appointed Inspector Andrew Seaman BA (Hons) MA MRTPI from the Planning Inspectorate to carry out an independent Examination of the Richmond Local Plan. He will consider whether or not the Local Plan is ‘sound’, based on the criteria set out in paragraph 182 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

The Local Plan will be considered ‘sound’ if the Inspector concludes that it is:

  • Positively prepared, meaning that the plan is prepared based on a strategy which seeks to meet objectively assessed development and infrastructure requirements. This includes unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities where it is reasonable to do so and consistent with achieving sustainable development
  • Justified, meaning that the plan should be the most appropriate strategy, when considered against the reasonable alternatives, based on proportionate evidence
  • Effective, meaning that the plan should be deliverable over its period (in this case 15 years) and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic priorities
  • Consistent with national policy, meaning that the plan should enable the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the Framework.
    livery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the Framework.

The Inspector will also consider whether the Local Plan has been prepared in accordance with the Duty to Cooperate, and whether it meets the requisite legal and procedural requirements.

In order to do so, the Inspector will assess the Local Plan, the evidence base on which it was created, as well as all of the representations submitted during the consultation phases.

Examination hearings

The hearing sessions for the Examination of the Local Plan began on Tuesday 26 September and concluded on Thursday 12 October 2017. The purpose of the hearings is for the Planning Inspector to examine matters relating to the ‘soundness’ of the plan in more detail. These matters are identified in the main issues and questions (pdf, 176 KB) paper prepared by the Planning Inspector.

The hearings were held at York House, Richmond Road, Twickenham, TW1 3AA.


Week 1
Date Session (start time) Main issues
Tuesday 26 September Morning (10am) Spatial Vision and Strategic Objectives (to incorporate legal compliance) (pdf, 93 KB)
Tuesday 26 September Afternoon (2pm) Community Facilities (pdf, 90 KB)
Wednesday 27 September Full day (9.30am) Housing (pdf, 105 KB)
Thursday 28 September Morning (9.30am) Site Allocations (SA 1-17) (pdf, 86 KB)
Week 2
Date Session (start time) Main issues
Monday 9 October Full day (9.30am) Character and Design, Green Infrastructure, Climate Change (pdf, 97 KB)
Tuesday 10 October No hearing scheduled  
Wednesday 11 October Morning (9.30am) Borough Centres and Employment/Economy (pdf, 90 KB)
Wednesday 11 October Afternoon (2pm) Transport, Implementation and Monitoring (pdf, 93 KB)
Thursday 12 October Full day (9.30am) Site Allocations (SA 18-28) (pdf, 88 KB)

The Planning Inspector has prepared a guidance note (pdf, 113 KB)
to explain the procedural and administrative matters relating to the examination process, which includes more information about the format of the hearings. Please also see guidance produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government for frequently asked questions and more general information about the examination process (GOV.UK).

Main Modifications to the Plan

Following the hearings, the Inspector has proposed a number of changes to the Local Plan (Publication version), known as ‘Main Modifications’, which he considers are necessary to make the Plan ‘sound’ and/or legally compliant. The proposed Main Modifications have been subject to a Sustainability Appraisal by the Council and an Addendum report to the Sustainability Appraisal has been produced.

The proposed Main Modifications were subject to a public consultation, which ran from 22 December 2017 until 2 February 2018. This consultation was on the proposed Main Modifications only and not on matters relating to other aspects of the Plan, which have already been considered by the Inspector during the Examination process and/or hearing sessions.

Representations received that did not relate to the Main Modifications were not forwarded on to the Inspector.

Other comments received not relating to Proposed Main Modifications (pdf, 35 KB) were also provided to the Inspector in a separate schedule for information only.

Available for information only:

  • Additional Modifications (pdf, 416 KB) - these are minor changes put forward by the Council during the Examination. They have been published for completeness and are not before the Inspector. 

Examination documents

We have created an index of examination documents. It contains links to the:

  • Correspondence with the Inspector
  • Examination statements from the Council and other parties
  • Evidence supporting the Local Plan

What happens next

The Council’s consultation on the Main Modifications ended on 2 February 2018. The Council has now submitted the representations that it received on the Main Modifications to the Planning Inspector, who will take these into account before finalising and issuing his report. The Main Modifications were proposed without prejudice to the Inspector’s final conclusion on the Local Plan.

Once the Inspector has submitted his report to the Council, this will be made available on our website. Following the examination, if the Inspector considers the Local Plan to be ‘sound’, and that it meets all the legal and other requirements, it can be formally adopted.

Further information

If you would like more information, please contact the Local Plan Team.

Email: localplan@richmond.gov.uk
Telephone: 020 8891 1411

Updated: 15 February 2018