Giving local residents a voice with a comprehensive and balanced local plan

Date Published

01/03/2021

Reading time

2 mins read

We’re working with Hambleton District Council to deliver its Local Plan, that delivers its vision as “a place to grow” by improving its residents’ quality of life and giving them a say in their community’s development.

Hambleton is a district in the heart of North Yorkshire that’s experiencing strong demand for new homes. It’s the responsibility of the council’s planning team to balance the building of new homes with the need for infrastructure, services and open spaces that keeps Hambleton a great place to live.

The Local Plan lies at the heart of these decisions – it informs council policy on every aspect of development and every planning application must be judged against it.

Hambleton District Council (HDC) must ensure that its Local Plan remains up to date, reviewing it at least every five years. Submitting a draft Local Plan to the government is a massive undertaking, involving producing detailed plans and supporting evidence for every aspect of development in the area to make sure that it follows national guidelines.

In May 2019, HDC’s planning team found that they needed more resources to complete the draft Local Plan to meet the deadline for its publication for public consultation. They asked Capita Planning Services to help them to produce the necessary documents to support the consultation, and to ensure that they were accurate and detailed enough for the examination following the draft Local Plan’s submission to the government.

Our expert planning consultants began by supporting HDC’s understanding of its infrastructure needs and its analysis of its housing sites’ sustainability. The draft Plan was made available to residents to see how HDC intends to provide them with homes, jobs, sport and recreation open spaces and vital services over the coming years and to have their say on the strategy.

Following the public consultation, we helped HDC to review more than 1,000 responses from local residents, to make sure that their views were taken into account. Our consultants created high-quality supporting documents that outlined HDC’s approach to important issues such as economic development and housing delivery.

Our expertise allowed these supporting documents to be completed to a high standard, faster than the HDC team would have been able to achieve alone. We offered ‘critical friend advice’ to the HDC team, advising them on existing documents’ suitability and further information required to prepare for the Local Plan examination. This included helping them to complete the Planning Advisory Service Local Plan self-assessment toolkits.

With our support, HDC submitted the draft Local Plan for examination before the deadline, while still maintaining its regular planning services. It aims to complete the examination process and adopt the Plan later in 2021.

We worked with HDC after submission, to draft responses to questions about the Local Plan from independent planning inspectors and to prepare, with the planning team, for public hearings about the draft Plan. And we’re continuing to work with it as the Local Plan examination continues, currently supporting work on the sustainability of additional housing sites.

To find out how we can help you to develop Local Plans that offer the best outcomes for your residents, contact localpublicservices@capita.co.uk

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