The Council received a report on The Local Plan: Development Management Policies (‘the LPDMP’), which was the second part of Guildford’s Local Plan. Once adopted, it would supersede extant Local Plan 2003 policies and become part of the Council’s Development Plan. The LPDMP provided the more detailed policies to be used by Development Management in the determination of planning applications.
Following submission of the LPDMP by the Council to the Secretary of State in June 2022, the Plan was subject to Examination in Public. This included a set of written matters and questions from the Government appointed Planning Inspector, responses from the Council and consultees, and a series of hearing sessions into those issues that the Inspector considered necessary to explore further with all relevant parties. Those sessions took place from 15 to 17 November 2022, following which, the Inspector proposed that several necessary main modifications be made for the plan in order for it to be found ‘sound’. The proposed main modifications to the Plan underwent a formal consultation for a 7-week period from 15 December 2022 to 2 February 2023. The consultation related only to the main modifications and not to additional/minor modifications, or the remainder of the plan. On completion of the consultation, the Inspector considered the representations and prepared his report.
Following its receipt by the Council on 22 February 2023, the Inspector’s draft report was subject to a ‘fact check’. This check allowed the Council the opportunity to review the accuracy of its contents, but it was not an opportunity to question the Inspector’s conclusions or findings. The Inspector’s final report, a copy of which was appended to the report submitted to the Council, was published by the Council on 3 March 2023. The final report had confirmed the LPDMP to be sound, subject to several Main Modifications being made.
Following the Inspector’s recommended Main Modifications, the Council has also made several additional/minor modifications to the LPDMP, details of which were also appended to the report submitted to the Council. These modifications were minor in nature, did not materially affect the plan’s policies, and were not matters of soundness. They were designed to aid clarity, consistency, and accuracy. During the examination, minor modifications were shared with the Inspector who agreed that they were correctly described as minor in nature and did not therefore need to be consulted upon.
Councillors noted that the report had also been considered by the Executive at its special meeting held on 20 March 2023. At that meeting, the Executive had also considered and adopted, subject to the formal adoption by the Council of the LPDMP, “Parking Standards for New Development Supplementary Planning Document” (SPD), which linked to Policy ID10 on parking standards.
The Executive had commended the adoption of the LPDMP to the Council.
Upon the motion of the Deputy Leader of the Council, and Lead Councillor for Finance and Planning Policy, Councillor Joss Bigmore, seconded by the Leader of the Council and Lead Councillor for Housing and Community, Councillor Julia McShane, the Council
(1) That the Local Plan: Development Management Policies (as set out in Appendix 4 to the report submitted to the Council), which incorporates the Inspector’s Main Modifications (at Appendix 2 to the report) and the Council’s Minor Modifications (at Appendix 3 to the report), be adopted.
(2) That the Secretary of State be requested to exercise his powers to revoke the ‘residual’ policies of the 2003 Local Plan.
(3) That updates to the Guildford Borough Policies Map be adopted in line with the Local Plan: Development Management Policies including additions proposed at Appendix A of the Local Plan: Development Management Policies, as amended by the Inspector’s main modification 6.
(4) That the Lead Councillor with portfolio responsibility for Planning Policy be authorised, in consultation with the Joint Strategic Director of Place, to make such minor alterations to improve the clarity of the LPDMP as they may deem necessary.
1. To enable the adoption of the Local Plan: Development Management Policies in line with the Council’s Local Development Scheme and for the plan to become part of the Council’s development plan, carrying full weight in the determination of planning applications.
2. To enable the revocation of the ‘residual’ Local Plan 2003 policies that are not superseded by policies contained in the Local Plan: Development Management Policies.
3. To ensure that changes are brought about to the policies map in line with the adoption of the Local Plan: Development Management Policies.
4. To enable minor alterations to be made to the Local Plan: Development Management Policies should they be necessary prior to publication.