Strategic Local Plan Examination

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Strategic Local Plan Examination

SLP Front cover

A local authority’s local plan is an important document setting out the scale and direction of growth for its area, over a 15 year period. Once finalised, the local plan is the starting point for consideration of all planning applications.

Before a local plan can be adopted it has to be subject to several stages of public consultation and comply to the government’s policies and regulations.
Once the local planning authority are satisfied they have met all these it will submit its local plan to the Secretary of State for independent examination by the Planning Inspectorate.
We submitted our plan in August 2016 and you can find more about the background to this here.

Find out more about ‘submission of a local plan' here.

Inspector and programme officer


The Secretary of State has appointed Inspector David Hogger BA MSc MRTPI MCIHT as the Inspector from the Planning Inspectorate to carry out an independent examination of the St Albans Council Strategic Local Plan.

The Inspector’s task is to consider the soundness of the submitted plan, based on the criteria set out in paragraph 182 of the National Planning Policy Framework (the framework).

The relevant soundness criteria are whether the local plan is:

  • positively prepared (based on a strategy that 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 most appropriate strategy when considered against the reasonable alter-natives, based on proportionate evidence)
  • effective (the plan should be deliverable over its period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic priorities)
  • consistent with national policy (the plan should enable the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the framework).

Programme officer

The programme officer is an independent officer of the examination and works on behalf of the Inspector to organise and manage the administrative and procedural matters of the examination process and is the appropriate point of contact for any queries in relation to the examination.

Contact details:
Mrs Claire Jones-Hughes
Bank Solutions
c/o 6 Brading Road

Telephone: 01273 381518 or 07737 786425

Latest news and updates

The Inspector has written to the Council with his conclusions on Issue 1 Duty to Co-operate. Please see a copy of the letter here: ID-7 CONCLUSIONS letter to the Council.

St Albans City and District Council has challenged an Inspector’s conclusion that it has not met its duty to co-operate while drawing up its Strategic Local Plan (SLP). The Council started legal proceedings on Thursday 5 January against the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to quash the decision. For full details, please see our press release.

The Council has received the following court order in relation to these proceedings: 27 February 2017 High Court order re application for Judicial Review.

The Council's press release on the final judgement of the Court is here.

The full decision is below.

Hearing sessions

Further details of hearing sessions of the examination will be published here as soon as they are available.

Examination Timetable

Inspector's Issue 1 questions, hearing programme and guidanceFriday 16th September
Deadline for hearing statements*Friday 7th October
Initial Hearing Session

26th October at 2pm

Venue: Council Chamber

* For the avoidance of doubt, I would draw your attention to paragraph 6 of ID-2 Inspector’s Procedural note "[ID-3] includes a number of questions and I invite responses to those questions from the invitees."
Therefore the Inspector is only expecting statements from those invited to participate in the discussion at the hearing by the 7th October deadline.

Any queries people may have regarding the Examination process should be directed to the Programme Officer who will be happy to assist.

Initial Hearing

The Council has received a letter from the Planning Inspector following the Initial Hearing.  We will be considering the contents of this letter with our advisors before deciding what action to take.

The Inspector agreed to accept these submission in writing, originally put forward at the Initial Hearing Session. The invitees to the table discussion at the IHS have been invited to comment on these submission if they wish. Submissions should be received via e-mail to the Programme Officer Mrs Claire Jones-Hughes plus one hard copy to: Programme Officer c/o 6 Brading Road, Brighton, BN2 3PD by 5pm 22nd November 2016. Please note it is only these parties who should make comments, other written representations are likely to not be accepted.

  REP-975973-1 Commercial Estates Group Written DtC Statement from Hearing

  REP-343745-1 Ms Whitehead Written Representations on Duty to Co-operate (including appendices)

Date of last review: 17 March 2017