AM72

Showing comments and forms 1 to 1 of 1

Object

Schedule of Additional Modifications

Representation ID: 24648

Received: 10/09/2019

Respondent: Kember Loudon Williams

Representation:

Throughout the whole DaSA Local Plan consultation process the public were told that any sites affecting areas with a Neighbourhood Plan would not be considered in the DaSA, and instead they would be dealt with as part of the Neighbourhood Plan process. This was set out in Paragraph 1.27 and Appendix 2 of the 2018 Submission Document also confirmed this. As a result of this, we never submitted comments on the DaSA. It clearly spelt out to the public that the Blackfriars site would be considered separately as part of the Neighbourhood Plan process.

With the changes proposed in AM72 and AM73, the Council now want to keep the Blackfriars allocation "safe" until the Neighbourhood Plan becomes adopted.

the Council have downplayed the inclusion of Blackfriars as a typographical error (AM73) and have simply put in a footnote (AM72) to make these changes. However, it is our assertion that these changes are fundamental, and the inclusion of the Blackfriars site should therefore be treated as a major modification

The way in which the Blackfriars site is being considered has not been clear and a late entry into DaSA is not appropriate.

Full text:

It is frustrating that by simply inserting a footnote (AM72) and amending a "typographical error" (AM73) at the very last stage in the Local Plan process, the Blackfriars site in Battle remains an allocated site once again.

Throughout the whole DaSA Local Plan consultation process the public were told that any sites affecting areas with a Neighbourhood Plan would not be considered in the DaSA. And that instead, they would be dealt with as part of the Neighbourhood Plan process. This was set out in Paragraph 1.27 and Appendix 2 of the 2018 Submission Document also confirmed this. As a result of this message, we never submitted comments on the DaSA. It clearly spelt out to the public that the Blackfriars site would be considered separately as part of the Neighbourhood Plan process. However, it has transpired that the Blackfriars site has been discussed during the DaSA process. As soon as the consultation process ended and the Plan was submitted, the Blackfriars site started to come up in conversation. For instance, the Inspector raised it in Matter 6 Housing Supply and Delivery and the Council confirmed at this point that the site would still be included as site in their housing numbers. With the changes proposed in AM72 and AM73, the Council now want to keep the Blackfriars allocation "safe" until the Neighbourhood Plan becomes adopted.

Frustratingly, the Council have downplayed the inclusion of Blackfriars as a typographical error (AM73) and have simply put in a footnote (AM72) to make these changes. However, it is our assertion that these changes are fundamental, and the inclusion of the Blackfriars site should therefore be treated as a major modification. It is a complete reversal to what was set out at the start of the consultation process and to what is still implied in Paragraph 1.27 of the current version of DaSA.

The Plan is not legally compliant. The Council's SCI includes a consultation charter which identifies a number of principles, including that "it will seek to ensure that the issues are clearly understood and that objectives, timescales and expectations are clearly identified". Unfortunately, the way in which the Blackfriars site is being considered has not been clear and a late entry into DaSA is not appropriate.

The DaSA is not delivering what it set out to do and therefore does not meet the test of soundness. The NPPF states that plans should be positively prepared and justified. However, the Blackfriars site has been given a preference and the decision to suddenly keep it as an allocated site at this late stage (albeit until the Neighbourhood Plan becomes adopted) is unjustified. We were under the distinct impression that the Blackfriars sites would no longer stand as an allocation should the DaSA become adopted and now suddenly it appears it will.

Paragraph 16(d) of NPPF states that Plans should contain policies that are clearly written and unambiguous, so it is evident how a decision maker should react to development proposals. To make this change at the eleventh hour is considered unsound and unlawful.