South Warwickshire Local Plan Timetable Update
Published on 31 October 2023
Following public consultation on the South Warwickshire Local Plan (SWLP) Issues and Options earlier this year, both Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick District Councils have been progressing work on the joint Local Plan. Since the existing timetable for the preparation of the Plan was approved in March 2022 a number of factors are now requiring a revision to this timetable, including:
- A delay to the publication of 2021 Census data resulting in a delay to the production of the Coventry & Warwickshire Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment (C&W HEDNA), a key piece of evidence required to support the Plan
- Changes to the administrations of both councils and the need to ensure new administrations and members of all parties understand progress to date on the plan and have an opportunity to input in the process
- The uncertainty of potential changes to national planning policy and to the planning system, including the process for producing plans.
Following a meeting of the SWLP member Advisory Group on 19th October 2023, a revised timetable is being recommended for approval to the Joint Committee of both councils at a meeting to take place at the first available opportunity, and certainly before the end of 2023. This proposed timetable envisages a Preferred Options consultation in autumn 2024 followed by further stages of consultation and a public examination, with final adoption of the Plan by 2027. (An alternative approach would be to cease work on the SWLP until the Levelling Up & Regeneration Bill passes into law. This would likely mean pausing work on Local Plan preparation until possibly the autumn of 2024 and re-commencing work on a "new style" Plan under the new legislation. This alternative approach is not considered desirable and will not be recommended to the Joint Committee.)
Once a revised timetable is approved by the Joint Committee it will be published on the SWLP website. It is important to note that the proposed revised timetable is subject to a continuation of the existing national plan-making system. The government has recently consulted on reforms which may impact on the process and timescale for the production of the SWLP. Depending on whether and when these changes are implemented by the government, this may result in the need for further revision to the timetable in due course.