‘Submission’ version of Local Plan published

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The Epping Forest District Local Plan – Submission Version 2017 is available to view ahead of a special Council meeting to be webcast on 14 December.

Local plan time line

Epping Forest District Local Plan Submission Version 2017

Councillors will be asked to approve formal publication of the ‘Epping Forest District Local Plan Submission Version 2017’. If agreed, residents will be invited to make representations on the legality and soundness of the Plan during a six week period between 18 December and 29 January. Representations will then be submitted with the Local Plan for examination by a government-appointed planning inspector.

Consideration of the Local Plan has been brought forward following Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid’s announcement that councils failing to submit a Local Plan for examination before 31 March 2018 could see housing allocations significantly increased. If Epping Forest District’s Plan is not submitted in time, the 11,400 new housing requirement allocated for the District could increase to 20,000 over the Local Plan period up to 2033.

Subject to Council approval, the Plan and all supporting documents will be published to its website from 18 December with a special form for residents, developers and any other interested stakeholders to complete.

The Council hopes people will use the online form specially created for the purpose.

The next stage in the process

Planning Portfolio Holder, Councillor John Philip said: “We held extensive consultation on the Local Plan last year. The next stage in the process restricts representations to legal compliance and soundness of the Plan. The online form is designed to help everyone follow the guidelines and submit comments in the right format for the planning inspector who will ultimately hold the public examination and approve or reject the Plan. Using the form will give you the best chance of ensuring the inspector takes your views into account.”

However, Councillor Philip added: “We know online forms are not for everyone. We will also provide a printable version if you prefer paper as well as accepting email submissions on behalf of the inspector.”

Watch the meeting online

The ‘Submission Version 2017’ of the Local Plan has been published online as part of the Council agenda.

Due to the nature and complexity of the Plan, the meeting is scheduled to start earlier than usual at 6pm. Limited public viewing is available in the Council chamber and the Council will also provide access via breakout TV screens in the atrium of the Civic offices.

The meeting will also be webcast and residents will be able to watch live and recorded online from the comfort of their own homes.

Councillor Philip added: “Publication over the Christmas period is not ideal but the government consultation leaves little choice if we are to hit the 31 March deadline. However, by sharing the Plan through the Council agenda as early as possible, we can effectively give people an extra two weeks to think about any comments and submissions before the formal representations period starts.”

The Council is also writing to everyone who previously expressed interest in the Local Plan.