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Richmond’s Local Plan (Publication Version), along with supporting documents, was submitted to the Secretary of State for independent examination in public on 19 January 2024.

The Local Plan sets out a 15 year strategic vision, objectives and the spatial strategy. The plan includes place-based strategies covering the whole borough, along with accompanying site allocations, as well as the thematic planning policies that will guide future development in the borough. It will inform how growth will be accommodated across the borough. The plan seeks to address future challenges including climate change, health, affordability and liveability.

Examination

The examination assesses whether the Richmond Local Plan was prepared in accordance with legal and procedural requirements and whether it is ‘sound’, in accordance with paragraph 35 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

A Local Plan is considered ‘sound’ if it is:

  • Positively prepared, meaning that the plan is prepared based on a strategy which seeks to meet objectively assessed needs; and is informed by agreement with other authorities, so that unmet need from neighbouring areas is accommodated where it is practical to do so and is consistent with achieving sustainable development
  • Justified, meaning that the plan is the most appropriate strategy, taking into account the reasonable alternatives, and is based on proportionate evidence
  • Effective, meaning that the plan is deliverable over its period (in this case 15 years), and is based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic matters
  • Consistent with national policy, meaning that the plan should enable the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the polices in the NPPF and other statements of national planning policy

Planning Inspectors and programme officer

On 1 February 2024, the Secretary of State appointed Planning Inspectors J Bridgwater PGDipTP MRTPI and Michael Boniface MSc MRTPI to conduct the examination.

Richmond Council appointed Charlotte Glancy of Banks Solutions as the programme officer to manage the procedural and administrative aspects of the examination. Charlotte works independently from the council and acts as the main channel of communication between the Inspector and all parties participating in the examination, including council officers and representors.

All correspondence or queries relating to the examination should be directed to the programme officer:

  • Email: bankssolutionsuk@gmail.com
  • Address: C/O Banks Solutions, 80 Lavinia Way, East Preston, West Sussex, BN16 1DD
  • Telephone: 01903 776601
  • Mobile: 07519 628064

Examination hearings

Hearing sessions will take place as part of the examination process. The purpose of the hearings is for the Planning Inspectors to examine matters relating to the ‘soundness’ of the plan in more detail. These matters will be identified in the document prepared by the Planning Inspectors. Further details will be available in due course, and representors invited to attend the hearing sessions will be notified once the examination progresses.

The Planning Inspectorate have produced a short guide for those taking part in their first hearing. Find out more about taking part in examinations (GOV.UK).

The examination process

For more information on how the examination will be carried out, please see the Procedure Guide for Local Plan Examinations (GOV.UK).

Examination library

The examination library is formed of all the documents related to the Richmond Local Plan and its examination. The Programme Officer is responsible for ensuring that all documentation for the examination is recorded and made available to the public (via this website). Additional documents will be added over the course of the examination, and will include items such as:

  • The Local Plan and supporting evidence submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 19 January 2024
  • Correspondence with the Planning Inspectors
  • Examination statements from the Council and other parties
  • Additional evidence submitted as part of the examination process

A complete list of the documents relevant to the examination is available in the examination index.

Representations

From 9 June to 24 July 2023, we consulted on the Draft Richmond Local Plan (Regulation 19), including changes to the Policies Map designations. The representations from this period have been submitted for examination alongside the other submission documents. Read through the examination representations.

Contact

Email:  localplan@richmond.gov.uk

Updated: 05 February 2024

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