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Council submits Local Plan for examination

Chichester District Council has announced this week that it has submitted its new Chichester Local Plan 2021-2039 to the Planning Inspectorate for examination.

Chichester Local Plan branding

This announcement follows careful consideration of the comments and feedback received during the Regulation 19 consultation, which took place last year and resulted in almost 2,500 comments from groups and individuals. In addition to this, a great deal of work has been done by the council's planning policy team to update and finalise critical evidence, including examining the impacts on the A27 and local highway network.

The council has now submitted the plan, alongside a range of supporting documents and a list detailing suggested modifications aimed at addressing consultation feedback.

The Local Plan identifies housing requirements, development areas for economic growth and locations for new homes in the Chichester plan area over the next 15 years. The Local Plan also has a raft of policies relating to climate change and the natural environment. There is a separate plan for areas located in the National Park and this is produced by the South Downs National Park Authority.

"Submitting our plan for examination is a huge milestone," says Cllr Bill Brisbane, Cabinet Member for Planning at Chichester District Council. "Since our most recent consultation closed last year, our officers have been working very hard to get the plan into shape and ready for submission. Due to the large number of comments we received, and the complex nature of the issues, this has taken time to review and assess. It was critical that every comment was properly considered. The feedback we received led to us suggesting a series of modifications, which have been listed alongside the plan that we submitted this week.

"I would like to thank all of the officers that have been involved in preparing this critical piece of work, which has involved addressing some very difficult challenges, including complex issues around roads, air quality, wastewater and water neutrality. I'd also like to thank everyone who took part in our consultation and took the time to comment."

Now that the plan and accompanying documents and evidence have been submitted, a Planning Inspector will be appointed to review and assess it. They will consider whether the plan has met the legal requirements; whether it has been positively prepared and is justified, effective and consistent with national policy; and if the council has engaged and worked effectively with neighbouring authorities and statutory bodies.

To support the examination process, the council has appointed an independent Programme Officer. Their role will be to act as a point of contact between the council, individuals and groups who commented during the last consultation, and the Planning Inspector, throughout the examination period.

Once appointed, the Planning Inspector will set out the next steps in the examination process, which will be published on the council's website on the Chichester District 'local plan examination' page.

The council has updated the Statement of Consultation summarising the work that has been done to prepare the plan to this point, including previous consultations and the suggested modifications that have been submitted alongside the Local Plan. This can be found on the council's 'local plan examination' page, where people can also find more information about the key topics the plan covers and frequently asked questions.

For more information about the local plan examination process, the government has also created a guide, which can be found on the government's local plan examination page (opens new window).

Date of release: 3 May 2024

Reference: 4023