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Step 7: Taking part in the Examination

How the Local Plan is examined and how you can take part in that process.

The Local Plan will be considered by an independent Planning Inspector who will assess whether the plan has been prepared in line with the following requirements (a process known as independent examination):

  • The 'duty to co-operate' - the local planning authority must co-operate with neighbouring districts, boroughs and counties, as well as other organisations including the local primary care trust, transport authorities and the Environment Agency.
  • Legal and procedural requirements - has the local planning authority followed the rules for preparing Local Plans as set out in regulations (such as formally consulting on the plan for at least six weeks at the publication stage)?
  • The tests of {glossary: Soundness}soundness{/soundness}.

The inspector will also consider all of the representations made and the evidence prepared by the local planning authority.

After considering all these matters, the inspector will decide if a hearing is required and if so what issues will be covered when. If a hearing is held participants are invited to take part in a round-table discussion of the issues, with the inspector asking questions and leading the debate.

The inspector has to concentrate on whether the plan meets the tests of soundness so will focus on this during the examination.

Get involved: If your objection has not been overcome by changes to the plan at the submission stage, you may want to appear at an examination 'hearing' where the inspector leads a round-table discussion, normally based around particular topics.

NextStep 8: Adoption

Further reading

'Tests of Soundness' under Step 5