Posted by: westlancashirerecord | April 16, 2018

In The Local Election Blue And Red Corners

Election glossies are appearing thick and fast, and while the Reds are basking in their successful defence of the developers’ “great Parrs Lane grab” , the Blues are depending on a policy that accuses the Reds of a “great greenbelt grab” ,

These glossies follow the meeting in Aughton last week when Labour Cllr John Hodson described some details of the Parrs Lane appeal and the upcoming new Local Plan to 64 locals who attended. Questions were put to him about whether or not the current Plan stands until 2027 or is likely to be replaced by a 30 year plan from 2020 to 2050.

Plan B trigger points were mentioned, and naturally enough the question of safeguarded land in Aughton was of interest. Cllr Hodson referred to the WLBC Cabinet Local Plan working group. He spoke about duty to cooperate with other local authorities. The duty to cooperate is a legal test that requires cooperation between local planning authorities and other public bodies to maximise the effectiveness of policies for strategic matters in Local Plans. It is separate from but related to the Local Plan test of soundness.

It places a legal duty on local planning authorities, county councils in England and public bodies to engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis to maximise the effectiveness of Local and Marine Plan preparation in the context of strategic cross boundary matters.

The duty to cooperate is not a duty to agree. But local planning authorities should make every effort to secure the necessary cooperation on strategic cross boundary matters before they submit their Local Plans for examination.

Local planning authorities must demonstrate how they have complied with the duty at the independent examination of their Local Plans. If a local planning authority cannot demonstrate that it has complied with the duty then the Local Plan will not be able to proceed further in examination.

Local planning authorities will need to satisfy themselves about whether they have complied with the duty. As part of their consideration, local planning authorities will need to bear in mind that the cooperation should produce effective and deliverable policies on strategic cross boundary matters.

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