Date Published: 24 August 2020
Rutland County Council has announced details of the final public consultation that will take place around the county’s draft Local Plan.
The Local Plan sets out planning policies for the Rutland area, as well as listing sites for additional housing, employment or other development for the period 2018 to 2036.
Rutland County Council’s Full Council approved the Pre-Submission Local Plan on Monday 10 February, where Councillors voted 15 to 10 in favour, with one abstention.
This consultation, known as a Regulation 19 Consultation, will give residents, businesses and other stakeholders the opportunity to comment whether the Local Plan meets the ‘Test of Soundness’ – whether the Plan is sound and has been prepared in accordance with all necessary legal and procedural requirements and is positively prepared, effective and is justified by the evidence.
Since February’s Full Council meeting, Rutland County Council has also undergone a review of its Statement of Community Involvement (SCI), in order to incorporate statutory changes to national planning regulations and ensure that local planning functions can continue to operate despite COVID-19 restrictions.
“The Council will shortly be seeking the views of residents, businesses and other interested parties on the pre-submission version of Rutland’s new Local Plan. Ahead of this consultation, we’ve given careful thought to the impact of social distancing measures and other COVID-19 restrictions that are still in place. The government has made it clear that the planning process and preparation of Local Plans must continue in spite of the pandemic. This is why we’re encouraging people to use electronic documents and submit their representations online wherever possible, to help limit risk of transmitting the virus. We are also making arrangements for people who can’t access the internet, so that they are not disadvantaged. Information about the consultation is being sent to every household in the county and can already be viewed online, before the consultation gets underway.”
Councillor Gordon Brown, Cabinet Member for Planning
Regulation 19 consultation on Rutland’s pre-submission local plan will take place over six weeks from Thursday 27 August to Friday 9 October 2020. During this time, the Local Plan and supporting documents will be available to view on our Local Plan Review page. This will include videos explaining the background to the Local Plan and how to take part in the consultation, plus a further link to an online form which allows residents to submit their responses directly to the Council.
For anyone who is unable to access the consultation online, paper copies of the Local Plan documents will also be made available to view by appointment only at the Council’s main Catmose office in Oakham.
A booking system will be in place to manage these appointments, taking account of the time needed to clean the viewing room between bookings. Rutland County Council is also working with local Town and Parish Councils so they can provide access to the documents for those without internet access.
Appointments to view the Local Plan can be made now by calling Rutland County Council on: 01572 722 577.
Other than pre-booked appointments to view the Local Plan, Rutland County Council’s main building and customer service desk remain closed to maintain the safety of the public and our staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“At this stage of the Local Plan process, the Regulation 19 consultation has a specific response form for people to fill in, and we are urging people to do this online. Residents who are unable to access the documents online will be able to view a paper copy of the Plan at the Council’s offices and complete their response. Special measures are being put in place to make this a COVID-safe environment, including a telephone appointment system and time between bookings to allow the room to be fully cleaned and sanitised.”
Councillor Gordon Brown
Once the Regulation 19 consultation ends, responses will be compiled with the Local Plan and its supporting documentation before being submitted for independent examination by the Planning Inspectorate. If the Plan is found to be sound, it will be presented to Rutland County Council’s Full Council for adoption.
For more information about Rutland’s Regulation 19 consultation and to take part online from the 27 August, please visit our Local Plan Review page.