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Local Plan Preparation and Examination

Local Plan Preparation and Examination

We started reviewing the Local Plan in summer 2015 and held a final consultation on the proposed Submission draft Local Plan in January 2018. Representations were received from just under 200 respondents.

Local Plan Review 2016 – 2036: Examination

In May 2018 we submitted the draft Local Plan; copies of all the representations; and a wide range of supporting documents to the Secretary of State for independent examination. Caroline Mulloy BSc (Hons) DipTP MRTPI and Kevin Ward BA (Hons) MRTPI were appointed to conduct the examination on behalf of the Secretary of State to determine whether the submitted Local Plan is sound. The Inspectors were supported by a Programme Officer – Chris Banks of Banks Solutions.

On 12 June 2018 the Inspectors set out their initial questions for the examination. Our response was sent on 22 June 2018. An additional response and accompanying report was sent on 4 July 2018 regarding the implications for the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) of the draft Local Plan following a recent legal judgement. This response also included a revised schedule of proposed minor modifications and a revised schedule of proposed main modifications to the draft Local Plan.

On 9 October 2018 the Inspectors wrote to us regarding the implications of the recently published 2016-based household projections for the calculation of housing need in the National Park. Our response was sent on 16 October 2018 confirming that we do not consider additional work to be necessary on the OAN figure for the National Park.

Hearing dates, Matters, Issues and Questions

 In July 2018 the Inspectors published their guidance notes for the examination.

The main examination hearing sessions took place between Tuesday 6 November – Thursday 15 November 2018 at Lymington Town Hall. The list of matters, issues and questions were published and the additional written statements submitted for the hearing sessions can be viewed below.

The Authority’s Examination Opening Statement can be viewed here.

Documents relating to the Local Plan and examination are set out in the Core Documents Library. You can view copies of the core documents, supporting evidence base documents and representations received at our offices at Lymington Town Hall.

Following the Examination hearing sessions held in November 2018, the Inspectors identified a series of actions which can be viewed here and the Authority’s responses are available to view below under the title ‘Examination Hearing Sessions – Actions’.

On 29 November 2018 the Inspectors wrote to the Authority regarding the duty to cooperate, the supply of housing land and land at Ashurst Hospital. A copy of this letter can be found here. The Authority’s response was sent on 9 January 2019 and was accompanied by a Habitat Regulations Assessment Addendum.

Find out more about the examination in this useful guide from the Planning Inspectorate: Examining Local Plans Procedural Practice.

Ashurst Hospital consultation and examination hearing session – March 2019

A six-week consultation ran from Wednesday 23 January – Wednesday 6 March 2019 and an additional hearing session on Thursday 21 March considered the proposed additional site allocation at Ashurst Hospital.

Main Modifications – Spring 2019

Following the conclusion of the Hearing sessions the Authority wrote to the Inspectors requesting that they recommend proposed main modifications to the submitted draft Local Plan.

The Inspectors replied on 29 March that they consider a number of main modifications are required to make the submitted Local Plan sound. The proposed modifications were subject to a six-week public consultation between 16 April – 31 May 2019. All of the representations received were considered by the Inspectors in the preparation of their final Report, which can be viewed on the main Local Plan webpage.

We have also prepared an informal track-changed version of the Local Plan to include all Main Modifications and Minor Modifications proposed to the draft Local Plan since submission in May 2018. This version is for information only and subject to further change before it is adopted.

Inspectors’ Report – July 2019

On 24 July 2019, we received the Inspectors’ Report on the Examination of the New Forest National Park Local Plan 2016-2036.  The Report sets out the Inspectors’ recommendations and their reasons for them. The Inspectors’ Report concludes that the Local Plan meets the criteria for soundness subject to the inclusion of a number of main modifications. The Inspectors’ Report and Schedule of Main Modifications can be viewed online (links on the right hand side of this page), or in our office at Lymington.

National Park Member


'Our planning policies have been developed to ensure our duties to conserve and enhance the National Park are incorporated in all planning decisions.'

More New Forest Planning policy

Planning policy is a key statutory function and plays a central role in the achievement of the two National Park purposes and the related socio-economic duty.

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