As every Local Planning Authority knows from experience, the evolution of Planning Law seems in recent years to have bordered upon revolution.

Consequent pressure on resources leaves LPAs in danger of falling short of the requirements for the adoption of a “Sound” Core Strategy or in relation to the “Duty to Co-operate” imposed by the Localism Act.

At Attwaters Jameson Hill, we understand the challenges you face because we work with LPA clients day-to-day.

As renowned Town and Country Planning experts, we pride ourselves on our ability to make relevant and incisive advice and representation accessible to all our LPA clients across the spectrum of Planning issues, such as:

  • Supporting LPAs with Core Strategy development
  • Section 106 and 278 Agreements
  • Section 78 and Section 174 Appeals
  • Certificate of Lawfulness applications
  • Judicial Review of Local Authority decisions
  • Interpretation of planning legislation and case law to assist with matters covered by the Town and Country Planning Act – including Article 4 Direction consideration and implementation and Local Plan legislative matters.

Core strategy development service

Attwaters Jameson Hill’s Town and Country Planning team has exceptional experience of planning law issues and government policy, which means our proposition is one that offers guidance and support to LPAs during the various stages of developing a Core Strategy. Whatever stage a particular LPA has reached, it will enjoy a head start with us, thanks to our familiarity with the processes, gained by helping other LPAs to develop and document their Core Strategy, and our attendance at many Core Strategy Examinations on behalf of Local Authority clients.

The importance of an up to date Core Strategy is now highlighted by the provisions of paragraphs 214 and 215 in Annex 1 of the NPPF.

Attwaters Jameson Hill and the challenge for LPAs

LPAs are under pressure to deliver their Core Strategy, made all the more challenging by limited resources and severe budgetary constraints. It takes time to assimilate the requirements for Core Strategy documentation, including prior consultation, and present it for Examination so that it stands up to scrutiny.

Each Local Planning Authority should ensure that their Core Strategy is based on adequate, up-to-date and relevant evidence, termed in paragraph 158 of the NPPF as “using a proportionate evidence base”. As far as housing is concerned, to help ensure that the Plan is found to be “Sound”, it is essential that the Council has correctly addressed the point in NPPF paragraph 47: “full objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area”. Of equal importance is working with neighbouring authorities where housing market areas cross administrative boundaries – the “duty to co-operate”.

The test of “Soundness”, the “duty to co-operate” and the legal and procedural requirements are all critical when the Core Strategy comes to be examined by an Inspector.

That’s why the Attwaters Jameson Hill Town and Country Planning Team is here.

Where pressure exists for urgent adoption of a Core Strategy, our expert solicitors can help you avoid the pitfalls of a hurried approach. We will aim to expedite a satisfactory conclusion, but without compromising on requirements. Familiarity with the Regulations, the tests of “Soundness”, the National Planning Policy Framework of March 2012 together with Inspectors’ reports and relevant Case Law enables us to grasp the complexity of the issues confronting you and to provide appropriate advice.

We are very aware of the difficulties LPAs face over provision for new housing, including the pressure to significantly boost the supply of high quality new homes, both market and affordable, as set out in Paragraph 47 of the NPPF. Then there are the issues summarised in Paragraphs 150-157, which require wide-ranging consideration of many aspects relevant to the Core Strategy.

Attwaters Jameson Hill offers an expert, bespoke Core Strategy development service at a value-for-money cost, determined in advance to assist your budget planning.

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