Adoption of the OPDC Local Plan – the flaws in the process

The OPDC Local Plan was finally adopted by the Development Corporation’s Board on June 22nd.  This is five years later that the original timetable of Spring 2017.

The Local Plan has had a difficult time in reaching adoption.  Previous posts on the website record the history.  The ‘examination’ of the Plan by Planning Inspector Paul Clark ran from October 2018 to April 2022 and involved 464 ‘major modifications’ (a very high number for a London local plan).   We have long argued that

  • OPDC should not have submitted its Regulation 19.2 Draft Plan in the first place, back in October 2018.  Cargiant had by then written to withdraw their co-operation (in a letter the existence of which was made public only in January 2020, in a report from the London Assembly).
  • OPDC should have withdrawn its ‘submission version’ and started on a fresh plan once the Inspector had issued his interim findings in September 2019.  The Inspector ruled that the Cargiant sites must be removed as development landf as an unviable way forward.  This prompted wholesale changes to the local plan, made via a ‘modidfication’ process the scope and duration of which is arguably open to challenge.

In the final stages of decisions by OPDC to proceed to adopt the Plan, OONF has continued to raise issues and ask questions of the OPDC.  Recent correspondence is listed below for those who want to see the detail.

OONF to Liz Peace April questioning why a key document of January 26th 2022 (OPDC-51 on tall buildings) had not been considered by the OPDC Planning Committee or the Board.  These very late ‘modifications’ to the Local Plan did not form part of the 2021 public consultation, and were not consulted on subsequently prior to adoption of the local plan.

Liz Peace to OONF May 2022 is the response from Liz Peace saying that Planning Committee members were ‘fully aware’ of the content of OPDC-51. But how was this the case, as the committee did not meet between a meeting held on January 17th 2022 and its meeting of June 16th which recommended adoption of the Local Plan?

Our letter of  11th June to OPDC Planning Committee members, and an summary of the discussion at the 16th June Planning Committee were reported to the OPDC Board in an addendum report at the Board meeting on 22nd June.  This addendum also includes a ‘briefing note’ sent by OPDC Director of Planning to Planning Committee members, respnding to the OONF letter before the committee meeting took place.

After the Planning Committee discussion, OONF wrote to all OPDC Board members in a final effort to bring to their attention the flaws in the content of the Local Plan, and in the process of its long period of examination by a planning inspector.   As yet there has been no reply to this letter.  OONF to Liz Peace for June 22nd Board.V2 final.

OONF will be discussing at it next regular meeting the implications of adoption of the local plan and the extent to which the process leading up to adoption is open to legal challenge.



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