KENT COUNCIL REJECTS INSPECTORS’ ADVICE TO WITHDRAW LOCAL PLAN

photo of tonbridge castle

TONBRIDGE AND MALLING BOROUGH COUNCIL, ‘VERY DISAPPOINTED’ THAT INSPECTORS’ PROVISIONAL VIEWS REMAIN UNCHANGED ON THE DUTY TO CO-OPERATE 

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council has written to Inspectors examining their emerging Local Plan to state that they will not be withdrawing their plan and to request that Inspectors proceed to issue a final report. 

The council originally submitted their draft local plan for examination back in January 2019 and hearings were held throughout 2020.

Following sessions held in October, the Inspectors wrote to the council raising ‘legal compliance issues’, particularly around the statutory, Duty to Co-operate  and re-stated concerns in further correspondence in December, and then again in March 2021

In the most recent correspondence from Inspectors, it was suggested that the plan either be, “withdrawn from examination or we will write a final report recommending its non-adoption because of the failure to meet the duty to cooperate“. 

“The Council remains confident that it has met the requirements of the Duty to
Cooperate and will now have no alternative other than to challenge your final decision.”

However, in their letter to Inspectors last week, the council stated that it, “remains confident that it has met the requirements of the duty to cooperate and will now have no alternative other than to challenge your final decision“.

This “will inevitably result in further delays to adopting a local plan for Tonbridge and Malling and raises the risk that this will not now be achievable by the government’s deadline that all local planning authorities should have an up-to-date plan by the end of 2023” the letter states.

PINS are now expected to issue their report, with the Council likely to challenge either by way of judicial review or by asking the Secretary of State to intervene.

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With thanks - Article Image of Tonbridge Castle by David Mark from Pixabay

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