The Council submitted the Plan for Stafford Borough to the Secretary of State on the 20 August 2013.
The independent Planning Inspector appointed to examine the Plan was Stephen Pratt BA (Hons) MRTPI. He conducted an examination of the Plan to determine whether it is sound and if it complies with all legal requirements. The criteria for soundness are whether the Plan’s policies are positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national policy.
A copy of the submitted version of the Plan and all supporting documents are available in the examination library or can be viewed at the Council Offices upon request.
Hearings and Main Modifications
The hearing sessions for the Plan for Stafford Borough took place between 23 October 2013 and 1 November 2013 in the Civic Suite at Stafford Borough Council Offices. The Inspector then released his Inspector's Recommendations for Further Main Modifications report in December 2013.
In light of this report the Council produced a Schedule of Main Modifications. The proposed Main Modifications were intended to address soundness issues raised by the Inspector, and address matters arising from representations throughout the Examination process.
The proposed Main Modifications were subject to Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment as set out in the addendum reports. The Council also produced a Schedule of Additional Modifications; these were minor modifications which are immaterial in nature, in that they did not affect the soundness of the Plan.
The Council sought representations on the Main Modifications between the 6 February 2014 and the 20 March 2014. You can view all representations in the consultation portal.
The Inspector considered the representations made and the Council's responses. As a result, he asked the Council to reconsider or clarify the content and detailed wording of some of the proposed Main Modifications, as set out in the Inspector's Note on Further Amendments to Main Modifications. The Council responded to this note (Council Response to the Inspector's Note on Further Amendments to Main Modifications) and produced a final schedule of Main Modifications. These documents are also available in the examination library.
The Inspector has also asked the Council to prepare a brief position statement regarding the National Planning Practice Guidance, published on 6 March 2014. This has also been included in the examination library and is being made available for information.
The Council received the Inspector's Report on the 11 June 2014. The Inspector’s Report concludes that the Plan for Stafford Borough is legally compliant and provides an appropriate basis to guide future development across the Stafford Borough area until 2031, subject to a number of modifications being made to the Plan.
The Plan for Stafford Borough was adopted by the Council on the 19 June 2014.