Local Plan - overview

Examination: Local Plan

Latest news

Following confirmation from the Planning Inspectors in November that we will continue to develop the current Local Plan, officers have been proactively preparing a work programme and detailed CBC proposed timetable for progressing the Local Plan to adoption. The decision notice granting approval for the M1-A6 link road was issued on 9 January, and as such, this detailed work programme, along with an update on the link road has now been sent to the Inspectors.

The correspondence has been made available on the examination section of our website.

15 January 2020: The Inspectors’ have replied to the Council’s letter, and their response can be viewed in the Examination documents at EXAM 84.

We will continue to keep you updated.

Examination documents

The following is a list of documents submitted to the examination, since the submission of the Local Plan.

View examination documents >>

Please note: these documents cannot be shared by using the individual document link.

Written Statements

Hearing Sessions closed on 25 July 2019 (view the final programme). Further information regarding the next stage of the examination process will be published in due course.

The Planning Inspectors

Planning Inspectors; Matthew Birkinshaw BA (Hons) Msc MRTPI and Helen Hockenhull BA (Hons) B.Pl MRTPI have been appointed to undertake an independent examination into the soundness of the Central Bedfordshire Local Plan (the Plan).

The Inspectors' 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 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 alternatives, 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)

The Inspectors will take into account the representations submitted upon the Plan at pre-submission stage as far as they relate to soundness considerations. A number of informal debates will take place on the principal matters identified by the Inspectors these are termed Hearing Sessions.

Following the closure of the Hearings, the Inspectors will prepare a report to the Council with precise recommendations, these recommendations may include modifications to the Plan, if such a request is made by the Council.

Guidance notes have also been prepared which will help to explain many of the administrative and procedural arrangements.

Please note: these documents cannot be shared by using the individual document link.

The Programme Officer

The Programme Officer, Louise St John Howe, will act as the contact for any person who has an interest in the Examination and as a liaison between the Inspectors, Council and Representors.

She is an independent Officer of the Examination and works on behalf of the Inspectors to organise and manage the administrative and procedural elements of the Examination process. All statements will also be submitted through him.

Any matters that anyone wishes to raise with the Inspectors should be submitted via the Programme Officer.

Contact details

Louise St John Howe
Programme Officer
PO Services
PO Box 10965
Suffolk CO10 3BF
Email: louise@poservices.co.uk
Telephone: 07789 486419

Hearing Sessions Venue and Timetable

Hearing Sessions closed on 25 July 2019.

View the Programme for the Hearing Sessions, and Matters, Issues and Questions.


Please note: these documents cannot be shared by using the individual document link.

Written statements

View Statements of Common Ground

Please note: these documents cannot be shared by using the individual document link.

Evidence Base Documents

In preparing the Plan the council both refer to and were informed by a number of documents that together form the 'Evidence Base' for the Examination. These documents can be accessed on the Submissions to Government page.

Opening speech

Councillor Richard Wenham, Deputy Leader of the council opened the local plan examination in public with the following speech. 

View the Local Plan opening speech.
View the Local Plan closing statement.