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Local Plans

Chambers has a particular specialism in development plan preparation both in England and Wales.

In the past year, Members have been involved on behalf of local planning authorities in the preparation of 27 local plans.  That involvement has included advising at all stages of plan preparation and appearing at examination to promote the plans before inspectors.

Members have been involved in plans across all of England and Wales with areas as diverse as Central London (Camden), university cities (Oxford and Cambridge), new towns (Stevenage) and many rural districts (Aylesbury Vale/Cotswold/Cherwell).  This has included involvement in Joint plans.

Issues on which Members regularly advise include:

  • the adequacy of the wording of draft policies
  • the steps required to discharge and to evidence the discharge of the duty to cooperate
  • the soundness of the assessment of Objectively Assessed Need and the adequacy of any uplifts
  • how best to demonstrate a five year land supply at the point of adoption
  • whether the exceptional circumstances test for the release of Green Belt land has been made out
  • justifying a small site affordable housing requirement
  • how best to address the infrastructure requirements of local plans
  • the viability of the policies proposed
  • the adequacy of the SA/SEA process and any corrective measures required
  • compliance with the Habitats Regulations
  • the wording of any necessary modifications to secure the soundness of the plan.

Members have experience dealing with plan policies relating to a number of specialist areas including:

  • Airports
  • New Settlements
  • Film Studios
  • The Horse Racing Industry
  • High Tech Clusters
  • Motor racing circuits
  • Reservoirs
  • Strategic Warehousing
  • Waste
  • Minerals

Members also advise on defending challenges to recently adopted Local Plans and appear in the High Court to resist such claims.

For those who seek changes to emerging Local Plans, Members also act for those who are challenging the soundness of draft policies.  This includes advising and appearing at examinations on behalf of neighbouring and other local authorities, public bodies and statutory undertakers, landowners, housebuilders,  industry and other developers, parish councils and other local interest groups.  Members advise on the content of representations and how best to secure changes to the emerging policies as well as guiding the presentation at examination.