Purbeck Local Plan supplementary proposed main modifications

Closed 22 Dec 2023

Opened 10 Nov 2023


Supplementary Proposed Main Modifications Consultation

This consultation relates to supplementary proposed Main Modifications (SMM) to the Purbeck Local Plan (2018-2034). These are modifications which are necessary to address planning issues of soundness and for compliance with legislation relating to the local plan making process. The consultation runs between 10 November 2023 and 11:45 pm on 22 December 2023. The Council will not consider any representations received after the final deadline. This text provides a summary of the background to the consultation, the form of the SMM presented on the online response platform, how to make a response using the online platform, consultation procedure and next steps.

Background to the consultation

The Council has previously published Main Modifications (MM) (2020-2021) and Further Main Modifications (FMM) (2021-2022) to the Purbeck Local Plan. The scope of this consultation is expressly limited to revisions presented in the latest SMM which have been drafted following correspondence with the Planning Inspectors and in response to their most recent interim findings (presented in a letter dated 24 May 2023). The SMM take account of changes in circumstances, updates to evidence on local housing need and housing supply, and minor errors/issues which have been brought to the Council’s attention. These changes are considered necessary to make the plan sound and legally compliant (compliant with legislation related to the plan making process). The tests of soundness are outlined in national planning policy and include requirements to prepare local plans which:

  • seek to support delivery of development to meet an area’s needs;
  • are based on evidence;
  • are deliverable; and
  • are consistent with national planning policy and legislation and regulations.

Alongside the novel text the Council has also re-presented some of the earlier MM and FMM which have been taken forward for consideration. MM and FMM have already been subject to consultation. The Main Modifications tracker in Appendix 1 of SMMCD1 clarifies whether a policy or supporting text has been subject to MM, FMM and/or SMM. (There is also a summary of a Main Modifications history under the heading ‘Justification’ for each modification presented in the schedule). Modifications considered through earlier consultations can be found on Dorset Council's Main Modifications web page.

The Council is only seeking comments through this consultation on the novel revisions presented in the SMM.

The SMM have been subject to Habitats Regulation Assessment (SMMCD2) and Sustainability Appraisal (SMMCD3). Alongside the SMM the Council is also presenting revisions to the policy maps and proposing a number of factual updates resulting from Local Government Reorganisation that are considered necessary to ensure the soundness of the plan.

Form of SMM presented on the online response platform

The SMMCD1 document shows all proposed modifications through formatting applied to the text. The formatting distinguishes between deletions (presented as struck through text), additions (marked bold and underlined) and also provides a justification for changes. The formatting has been applied to clearly identify the text to be deleted and inserted as part of the modification. This approach is consistent with the procedure guidance issued by the Planning Inspectorate. For each SMM the original text from the submission version of the draft local plan is presented, along with reasons for the changes, and the proposed changes.

Alongside this version of SMMCD1, the Council has also prepared a screen reader accessible version of the document. Screen readers do not distinguish between the formatting that is applied to clearly distinguish between the modifications and submission draft text. To support accessibility the screen reader accessible version of SMM shows the submission version of the draft plan and a modified version of the policy in accordance with the proposed SMM.

People using this online form will firstly encounter the procedure compliant version of each SMM with the formatting applied, with the screen reader accessible version of each SMM available by selecting the links provided throughout the form.

How to make a response

The response form asks you to consider whether a modification to the local plan is compliant with the legislation applied to the local plan making process or is sound. The tests of soundness are described in national planning policy, and include whether the local plan:

  • Has been positively prepared – providing a strategy which, as a minimum, seeks to meet the area’s objectively assessed needs; and is informed by agreements with other authorities, so that unmet need from neighbouring areas is accommodated where it is practical to do so and is consistent with achieving sustainable development;
  • Is justified – an appropriate strategy, taking into account the reasonable alternatives, and based on proportionate evidence;
  • Is effective – deliverable over the plan period, and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic matters that have been dealt with rather than deferred, as evidenced by the statement of common ground; and
  • Is consistent with national policy – enabling the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in this Framework and other statements of national planning policy, where relevant.

Justificatory text is provided for each SMM to explain whether it has been prompted by a legal compliance or soundness issue (some SMM are justified by both soundness and legal compliance issues).

You will be invited to give details of why you consider the local plan is sound/unsound or is/is not compliant with legislation. You will also be invited to give details of any further changes that you consider are necessary to make SMM sound and/or legally compliant. The online response platform allows you to input responses directly through a form and you may also add an attachment to accompany your response.

If you have questions relating to the consultation in general or making a response using the online platform, please contact the Planning Policy team on 01305 838334 or planningpolicy@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

Next steps

Once the consultation is closed, the Council will prepare a summary of the issues raised in representations and provide its response. The Council’s summary, and full copies of the representations, will then be published and sent to the Planning Inspectors for consideration. The Inspectors will then make a recommendation around the next stages of the local plan’s examination taking account of the issues raised in the representations. If you wish to be kept informed of the progress of the draft plan be sure to tick the box on the response form.