Updates on the local plan

The Local Plan

A local plan is a document which the borough council is required to produce. It sets out local planning policies, how land is used, and determines what is built where.

The local plan sits below a national document, called the National Planning Policy Framework. The local plan is required to meet the standard set out in the NPPF.

The plan has to achieve certain objectives. This is ensured by a Planning Inspector. Planning Inspectors are key to examining local plans, as independent experts. Ultimately, it is up to the Planning Inspector to deem the local plan sound or not.

With regard to housing, the plan must set out how the local authorities will meet the Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) for housing in their locality.

Welwyn Hatfield’s Local Plan

WHBC’s local plan was targeted for the period 2016-2032. However, it is yet to be approved by the inspector. This is due to the plan failing to meet the required OAN. As of April 2019, the council has called for more sites to satisfy the OAN. The inspector is keen for the process to be as smooth as possible from this point in order that the plan can be adopted sooner than laid out opposite.

Further information regarding the WHBC local plan can be found on their website. The latest timetable is now available.

We look forward to working with the borough council to get the plan adopted.

Key dates for the WHBC local plan

May 2019

Further evidence on Birchall Garden Suburb published

June 2019

Inspector produces questions for Birchall Garden Suburb

July 2019

Birchall Garden Suburb hearings

September 2019

Modifications to local plan submitted and published on WHBC website

December 2019

Hearing sessions on new local plan

February/March 2020

Consultation on new local plan

July 2020

Adoption of local plan, development can begin.