Shropshire Local Plan passes key stage as inspectors share initial findings
Shropshire’s Local Plan has passed a significant stage following the Stage 1 Hearing sessions. It has met the legal ‘Duty to Co-operate’, which effectively means the inspectors are satisfied that Shropshire Council has worked with neighbouring and closely-related authorities. We will now be able to move to the next stage of the examination process.
The inspectors have acknowledged the agreement between Shropshire Council and the Black Country Authorities regarding the level of unmet need that Shropshire is proposing to accommodate in the Plan, and have not requested that Shropshire Council reconsider this figure.
The inspectors have also stated that the council’s approach to identifying the housing and employment land needs derived from Shropshire itself is sound.
The upshot of these conclusions is that the inspectors consider that the Examination can proceed.
However, the inspectors have identified a few areas of the Plan they consider will require the council to propose additional main modifications in order to make the Plan sound. They have been specific about the areas they wish the council to consider further, including how the agreed level of unmet need from the Black Country is accommodated.
The need for local authorities to provide main modifications to Plans during the Examination process is not unusual, and indeed is a key aspect of the Examination process.
Over the coming weeks Shropshire Council will be considering in detail its response to the inspectors’ concerns and this will be publicly available when it is ready. Following that, the council and the inspectors will be able to agree a future timetable for the Stage 2 hearing sessions.
The inspectors’ interim findings can be found here.