VALP Further Main Modifications Consultation - Guidance Note & Response Form

15 December 2020 – 9 February 2021

Please read these guidance notes before completing your response

Introduction

Following the Main Modifications consultation in late 2019 and the Council’s consideration of those responses, the plan has reached the next key stage in the process. The Council has prepared further modifications to the VALP in response to representations and based on other updated information. The Inspector has considered the Council’s proposed further Modifications and determined that some of these are main modifications and require further consultation in order to make the VALP a ‘sound’ plan. The Proposed Further Main Modifications document is accompanied by a Sustainability Appraisal Addendum and an updated Habitats Regulations Assessment as well other supporting documents. The Proposed Further Main Modifications will be subject to an eight week public consultation period from 9am Tuesday 15 December 2020 until 5.15pm Tuesday 9 February 2021.

The consultation material can now all be viewed on our website.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are currently Government regulations in place which remove the requirement for the Council to display hard copies of consultation material in its main offices at the Gateway in Aylesbury and deposit point locations around the area. These regulations are due to expire on 31 December 2020 and so the Council will make hard copies available after this date. Further information can be found in the Statement of Availability, which can be found on the Council’s website through the link above.  

We would encourage consultees to make their representations via our online consultation platform. This will enable the Council to deal with your representations in a more efficient way. This will assist the examination process by allowing the comments to be sent to the Inspector and publicised in a more timely manner after the consultation.

Responses should be limited to the Proposed Further Main Modifications, the Sustainability Appraisal Addendum and the updated Habitats Regulations Assessment. If you have a comment on the additional evidence produced to support this stage of the plan it should be made against the further main modification it relates to. You should not repeat or re-submit your previous representations or raise new issues on parts of the plan that haven’t changed. Following completion of the consultation period the Council will prepare a response to the representations for the Inspector. The Inspector will then consider the representations and the Council’s response and decide whether any further hearings are necessary or any issues need to be revisited. At the end of the examination process the Inspector will present his final conclusions in a final, binding report. If the plan is found legally compliant and ‘sound’ with any necessary modifications, it will then be adopted by the Council.

If you require a hard copy version of the response form, need assistance in completing your representation, or have any other questions then please contact the Planning Policy Team by email or by phone on 01296 585308.

Part A: Personal Details

Please note that it is not possible for representations to be considered anonymously. Representations will be published on the consultation website and sent to the Inspector but address and contact details will be removed from published responses.

By making a representation you are agreeing to your name and comments being published.

The Council reserves the right not to publish or take into account any representations which it considers offensive or defamatory. The Council will be publishing representations after the consultation closes. Where possible, please supply an email address when submitting responses as this will allow us to contact you electronically. Everyone who submits a representation will be added to the relevant consultation database (if not already included) so that we can keep you up to date with the Plan. If you do not wish to be contacted in this way, please state this clearly on the form or email us.

If an agent or consultant has been engaged to act on your behalf, please fill in both sets of details in full when registering online or on your form. Correspondence will be sent to the agent.

Part B: Representation

The Council is inviting comments on whether the Further Main Modifications are legally compliant and sound. Comments should only be made on the Proposed Further Main Modifications published for comment or the accompanying Sustainability Appraisal Addendum and/ or Habitats Regulations Assessment. Please give details to explain why you support or object to the wording of the Further Main Modification or part of the accompanying a Sustainability Appraisal Addendum and/ or Habitats Regulations Assessment. The Inspector is not inviting further comments on issues not covered by the Proposed Further Main Modifications, Sustainability Appraisal addendum or Habitat Regulations Addendum.

The online portal has recently been upgraded in order to improve the consultation process. Consultees who have used the portal for previous consultations will notice the look of the website has changed, however the process for making and viewing representations is still very similar. If you intend to submit a representation on the portal, there is an updated help page available with instructions on how to register, log in, make comments and view representations. 

In addition to the proposed Further Main Modifications the Council has identified further minor amendments it considers necessary to improve the clarity of the Plan. These amendments are known as Further Additional Modifications and they include the correction of typos and updates to factual information. These Further Additional Modifications are not considered to affect the soundness of the Plan and do not form part of this consultation. Any representations made about the Further Additional Further Modifications will not be considered by the Council as ‘duly made’ as part of this consultation.

Legal Compliance

The Inspector has assessed whether the Plan meets the legal requirements under section 20(5) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended), which includes whether the Council has complied with the Duty to Co-operate when preparing the VALP. In relation to the current consultation, comments regarding legal compliance should only be submitted where they relate to the Proposed Further Main Modifications.

You should consider the following before making a representation on legal compliance:

  • The Plan should be included in the current Local Development Scheme (LDS) and the key stages should have been followed.
  • The process of community involvement should be in general accordance with the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI).
  • The Plan should comply with the Town and County Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 (as Amended) (the Regulations).
  • The local planning authority must provide a Sustainability Appraisal Report and a report assessing if there would be any impact of the plan in combination with other plans and projects on species covered by EU Directive (a Habitat Regulations Assessment). This should identify the process by which it has been carried out, baseline information used to inform the process and the outcomes of that process.

Soundness

Local Plans are required to be assessed against the tests of Soundness. The appointed Inspector has to be satisfied that the Plan is positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national policy in accordance with section 20 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended). If you are objecting to a Proposed Further Main Modification, the response forms asks you to identify which of the below tests of the soundness you consider the modifications fails to address, which will aid the Inspector when considering your comments. Soundness is explained in National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF 2012) paragraph 182.

Positively prepared

This means that the Plan should be prepared based on a strategy which 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 Plan should be the most appropriate strategy when considered against reasonable alternatives, based on a proportionate, robust and credible evidence base.

Effective

The Plan should be deliverable over its period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic priorities, sound infrastructure delivery planning, and should not infringe on regulatory or national planning barriers. It should be flexible to changing circumstances.

Consistent with national policy

The Plan should be consistent with national policy. Any departure from this must be clearly justified.

General Guidance

Where there are groups who share a common view on how they wish to see the Plan modified, it would be very helpful for that group to send a single representation which represents the view. In such cases the group should indicate how many people it is representing.

Please remember that where a representation is over 100 words you are required to include a summary in fewer than 100 words of its main points in the box provided, which will be published alongside your full representation. Where a summary has not been provided by a respondent, one will be produced by a planning officer to outline the key representation issues as a point of reference for the Inspector and any other interested parties.

Care will be taken to ensure the summaries reflect the representations and it is important to note that the full text of all representations and any attachments will still be sent verbatim to the Inspector. The summary will therefore not impact on how the Inspector views your representation.

Representations can be made:

Response Form

The information on this page and the response form are also available in document form: