What is a Local Plan?
A Local Plan is the basis for the future development of homes, employment, business and much more. Planning applications, whatever their size and proposed use, are assessed against the policies contained in the Local Plan.
Having a Local Plan is really important because it sets the direction for future development but it also gives Braintree District Council more power to stop inappropriate development.
Local Plans are not just about new homes but must ensure that housing growth is supported by infrastructure, jobs and community facilities.
What is the status of the Braintree Local Plan?
Public consultation on the Braintree Local Plan closed in July 2017 and the Publication Draft Local Plan was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 9th October 2017. This document can be found here
The document is in two parts:
- Section 1 - Strategic Plan for North Essex - including the Garden Communities (This document is shared with Colchester Borough Council and Tendring District Council)
- Section 2 - Policies, maps and sites for development, housing, employment, regeneration etc within Braintree District Council
Section 1 is currently being examined by the Planning Inspector and following the Local Plan hearing sessions held in January 2020, Braintree District Council recieved the Planning Inspector's letter which can be found here
In the letter the Planning Inspector said that “the North Essex Authorities have two main options” which are:
- To propose and consult on main modifications to remove the Colchester / Braintree Borders and West of Braintree Garden Community proposals from the Plan; or
- To withdraw the Plan from examination.
The Inspector went on to say that he would have to recommend main modifications that would make the Plan sound and legally-compliant.
On May 19, Braintree District Council asked the Planning Inspector to start work on these modifications.
So what are the next steps?
The modifications will be discussed at the next Local Plan sub-committee at Braintree District Council to be held on 16th July.
Full Council on 27th July will consider the Planning Inspector's proposed modifications and what it will mean for our district.
Both meetings will be available to watch here: www.braintree.gov.uk/youtube